Artist Pauline Short

Belfast Artist Pauline Short My work revolves around a sense of memory, life, identity in both culture and history and a desire to articulate those feelings within a visual art form.

In my work I am looking at power struggles within areas of conflicted space and the basic rights of human existence. As part of this process I have researched the effects of conflict in Poland, Germany, Vietnam, England, Africa, Japan, and Rwanda, as well as exploring the conflict in Northern Ireland, the place I call home.
Some of these concerns include dislocation, particularities about place and contestation around language.

Philosopher Emile Durkheim founded the school of thought called Functionalism, which maintains that a society, in essence, takes on a personality of its own and could be objectively viewed the way a scientist or physician may regard a living organism. He proposed that cultures have a collective consciousness, where the values and beliefs held by a culture direct the behavior of its members without them even knowing it.

I have narrowed my research focus to looking at how children have dealt with living in areas of conflict and dangerous environments while living under threat, surveillance and living under a false sense of security because of naivety. Also examining the effects that siege mentality has on a community, my practice takes inspiration from how one's survival is achieved in a conflicted space. Drawing from my own experience living in North Belfast from 1964 to 1994 I saw firsthand the effects that conflict had on the community I lived in.

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