Art Foretells the Future and Records the Past Art Foretells the Future and Records the Past Ireland with the Union - governed by a British Parliament It isn?t necessary to be a prophet or a genius to foretell the future. All that is necessary is to have a clear understanding of the past and the present. Much of the future is obvious to the well-informed. These two paintings from The National Gallery were painted some years before the Great Famine. Each picture tells a story. The first sees Daniel O?Connell addressing a poverty-stricken crowd with the ruins of the Irish Parliament collapsing on the right of the picture. Notice the soldiers driving farm animals away. They are escorting the white wigged figure in the black cloak; the Tithe Proctor. All Irish people regardless of their religion had to pay 10% of their earnings to the Church of Ireland, a Protestant church with a relatively small number of members. If anyone didn't or couldn't pay what the Tithe Proctor demanded their farm animals and goods were taken from them by force. 104311257 Frank Brown Great Hunger Memorial 1 "Imagine now, a person who has everything he loves taken from him; at the same time, his house, his habits, his clothes, in short everything he owns. He will become a hollow person, reduced to a thing of suffering and needs, forgetful of dignity and restraint - for he who looses all, often looses himself... Those who survived were not the best. The worst survive; the selfish, the violent, the collaborators, the spies. And the survivors feel ashamed. Primo Levi, ?The Memory of the Offence? 1954 104311259 Frank Brown Great Hunger Memorial 2 The Evicted Family - starving and shelterless, these miserable figures look towards a hopeless future. Dame Kindness, her bowels torn. The stranger waiting on the steel horizon. Thomas Kinsella 104333974 104932909 Frank Brown Great Hunger Memorial Assembly 3 The Defeated Father at the base of the tree and his desperate family carved from the trunks of the tree A battered figure. Any force remaining held In waves of threat inside the mind. Thomas Kinsella 104311260 If You Are Irish... Do You Recognize Yourself Dehumanised figures in popular British papers and magazines served to 'justify' the inhuman treatment of native Irish people whose lands, rights and liberties were stolen without regard to law. 104311262 Nicol's Plan for Irish Workhouses 1 The evidence of the past is everywhere if one looks around carefully. 104339814 Under the Eaves Paupers slept on slightly raised wooden platforms still visible in the attics of Lurgan Workhouse. 104339813 Nicol's Plan for Irish Workhouses 2 Here the original Workhouse plan fits precisely over Lurgan Hospital. The modern hospital grew out of a charnel house of cruelty, suffering, disease and despair. The clay-pit on the top left of the image might still hold the bones of the dead. 104339811 The Picture of Misery This tragic group with the last of their food face certain death from starvation. Paintings featuring scenes from the Great Hunger are extremely rare. It is necessary to consider this absence of art from the country's greatest disaster in modern times; a Great Blindness. 104670734 Infanticide Hunger and disease usually killed the infants first leaving mothers and their families with a grief that never ends. 104670736 Abject Poverty Many of the dead were found naked or with only a scrap of cloth to cover them. The poor pawned their clothes to buy food and clung to each other for the last remnants of warmth, life and love. 104670739 Pablo Picasso Hunger and poverty don't know boundaries. Grief, famine and death have universal qualities. This despairing group must serve as a memorial until we find those with no gravestone, those with no names. 104670740 Hunger's Gate These steel gates include a design of heads without faces, people with no names; a dignified and worthy gesture recalling the people who crowded Sligo's Workhouse. 104670741 The Great Hunger Memorial This memorial is one of the most moving tributes to the Great Hunger. It is the south west corner of St. Stephen's Green in central Dublin 104670742 Imperialism's Death's Head The serpent of Imperialism begins devouring its own tail. It is the fate of all empires. The dead spoke from the grave. Clutching Capricorn, the New Dawn, in one hand and a smoking bomb in the other the skeleton tells the future. Who can deny it? 104708119 The Stricken Cross The Rev. Edward Marcus Dill described Catholics as 'mental imbeciles, social cripples and moral slaves' and the Roman Catholic religion as 'a Satanic conspiracy against the human soul'. The Rev. Dill was a principle agent of the Irish Church Mission. ?God has pleased, by means of the famine, to begin a great change which promises to renew the country. Irish Popery has ever relied on its numbers and to increase these has encouraged early marriages and used the productiveness of the potato. But how useless its craftiest tricks when God chooses to ruin them. He smites the potato and ... people who had multiplied like summer insects vanish like them too - its supplies are cut off - its priests are starving - its chapels are emptied and its arm is withered. It is easy to see that if things go on like this, and it seems they will, Popery in Ireland is inevitably doomed. It would seem as if God had decided to clear out the country in order to refill it again. The land is rapidly passing into British hands. With the Irish emigrating and the immigration of Scots and English ... thus God is renovating the country ... by driving Popery beyond the ocean and bringing Protestantism across the Channel. ? from, 'The Mystery Solved of Ireland's Miseries, the Grand Cause and Cure', page 302, by the Rev. E. M. Dill published in London in 1852 104670738 The Risen Cross The aftermath of the Great Hunger ushered in a risen people determined to end British rule in Ireland. The principal outcome of the Great Hunger was the survivors and their relatives overseas would not tolerate a form of government that allowed such horror to continue to govern those they betrayed. This post-Great Hunger stone cross is covered in ancient Celtic symbols and design dating back to Celtic heritage. Nationalism and Catholicism made a grim recovery and a large majority of the population became irreparably committed to repossess themselves of their national parliament and independence from Britain. They would rule themselves; the concept of Sinn Feín was born. 104701069