Cecily Brennan | ‘Hero's Engine’ | 2005 | Single channel digital video | 2mins 18secs
Since the Arts Council collection was established in the early 1960s there has been a huge growth in the number of artists using the camera to create photographs and make moving image artworks. At this time when we are all looking at an abundance of images
online, we wanted to highlight some key works in the collection. There are over 100 lens-based works in the collection, and we’ve selected 14 works that are maybe not as familiar to our audiences. Works in the exhibition were created between 1987
Here, Cecily Brennan, whose work is showcased under the ‘Four Decades of the Lens’ theme, tells us more about the featured artwork and what it means to have her artwork as part of the Arts Council collection. Explore this and more from the Arts Council
collection at instagram.com/artscouncilireland/
Hero's Engine is one of series of short video works about heat and pressure that I made in 2005. I sensed that there were possible connections between physics, the body and bodily sensation that I could exploit for my work. After much research I found
this object, the Hero’s Engine, the earliest example of steam power and considered to be the first recorded steam engine or reaction steam turbine. Hero of Alexandria, about whom we know very little, first described the device in 60 AD and is widely
regarded as its inventor.
The beautiful little Hero’s Engine that I use in my video was made for me by a glass blower called Bart Finn.
By overheating the device I forcibly threw it off-balance creating a rocking and whistling action, off- kilter and reminiscent of the movement and sounds of the human body under pressure, until it runs out of energy and is still.
Since 1962, the Arts Council has been buying art from working artists. The Collection that evolved tells the story of modern and contemporary Irish visual art in a unique and fascinating way. Today the Collection continues to grow and its more than 1,100
paintings, sculptures and other works are on display in public spaces all over Ireland for people to experience and enjoy first hand. You can find out more at: www.artscouncil.emuseum.com