Image: Craig Donald, ‘Quo Vadis?’ detail, collage 2018

“The world must be romanticized. In this way its original meaning will be rediscovered. To romanticize is nothing but a qualitative heightening. In this process the lower self becomes identified with a better self. (…) Insofar as I present the commonplace with significance, the ordinary with mystery, the familiar with the seemliness of the unfamiliar and the finite with the semblance of the infinite, I romanticize it.”

NOVALIS (1772-1801)

Platform Arts Belfast presents an exhibition of new work by Christopher James Burns, Craig Donald, Anna Marie Savage and Anne Marie Taggart which offers a contemporary investigation of Romanticism. These four practitioners currently work on the island of Ireland and a core thread that weaves through each of their work is a probing of identity, ranging from the personal through to the cultural and political. Their individual approaches combine to form a rich and complex dialogue on the nature of images, objects and the land itself. Romanticism provides them with the vocabulary and iconography to express dissatisfaction about a present that is increasingly uninhabitable and a desire for a future whose blueprint has yet to be drawn. They believe that this ‘New Romanticism’ expresses the transition from a place not yet left behind, to another space not yet entered, and perhaps impossible to reach.