2018, gouache on paper, 22 x 30 in. (55 x 75 cm)

These works are from a recent series that explores landscape as a multi-layered signifier, representing national territory, boundaries, control, fortification and threat. The works have been produced in the context of ‘Fortress Europe’; the ongoing tension between the desire for openness and fluidity on the one hand, and the ringfencing of states and territories as ideological enclosures, with an increase in barriers to mobility and migration on the other. As images they draw upon the construction of landscape as an indicator of national identity, informed by the ideas of the romantic and the sublime, yet are underpinned by a sense of disquiet or alienation. It is hoped that the work will not only raise questions about contemporary borders and barriers, but of the role that images of the landscape play in relation to ideology.

Conor McGrady,