DUBLIN’S LAST SUPPER 2004 BY JOHN BYRNE
Someone tried to add face masks but they have been partly removed.
A Juventus football shirt and logo were later incorporated into the artwork.
The 13 apostles (from left to right):
Bartholomew: Jude O’Dochartaigh, tattoo artist
James the Less: Vernoica, librarian
Andrew: Eddie Salim, from east Africa
Judas: Frank Conlon, actor and drama facilitator
John: Julie Kerrigan, employee at Pavee Point Travellers’ Centre
Jesus: Kulpreet Singh, PhD student at Trinity College Dublin
Thomas: Willie Crowley, ecologist
James the Great: Leighton, student at Cornell University
Philip: Diana Sabogal, student at the American College, Dublin
Matthew: Alan Kavanagh, architecture student at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)
Thaddeus: Aloysius McKenna, building worker
Simon: Michael Foley, network analyst
The extra hand behind Judas is that of Jonathan Hession, the photographer.
John Byrne is a contemporary artist born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he now lives and works in Dublin.
As a performance artist, gallery as well as theatre based, Byrne began addressing identity and issues around the conflict in Northern Ireland.
After moving to Dublin in 1996, he performed A Border Worrier as part of the 1997 Theatre Festival. In 2000 he produced Border Interpretative Centre, a visitor centre and souvenir shop on the border which attracted media attention on its opening. It was a neon decorated simple breezeblock structure located on the border, on the main Belfast-Dublin road. Although it was forced to close after less than a week, it was documented in a series of Gallery shows in Dublin (The Border Itself, Temple Bar Gallery, 2001), in Belfast (Ormeau Baths Gallery, 2001) and in Berlin (Gallerie Agregat, 2002).
In 2003 Byrne produced a 12-minute video, Would you die for Ireland?, recording his tour around Ireland asking people on the street whether they were prepared to make ‘the ultimate sacrifice’. Most participants were members of the public, but also included the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and members of the Orange Order. The piece was made in response to a commissioned group show (Dearcadh) for Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, marking the bi-centenary of Robert Emmet’s rebellion and execution in 1803. The work examines ideas around patriotism and nationalism.
In 2004 Byrne produced a large public artwork Dublin’s Last Supper which was commissioned by building developer Mick Wallace (M&J Wallace Ltd) in central Dublin. It is a 9 metre by 2 metre photo screen-print on steel panels featuring 13 people encountered on the streets of Dublin in the form of an interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece. The work was meant to be reflective of a changing society and the growing cultural mix in Dublin.
In June 2005 his video Believers premiered at the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork. In this work Byrne is the central protagonist, confessing his art beliefs to a classical female nude who in turn responds, thus playing on the traditional notion of an artist and his muse.
Misneach was a major permanent sculptural work commissioned as part of Breaking Ground’s Public Art programme. This monumental bronze sculpture of horse and rider is rendered in a style typical of the European tradition of portraying generals or heads of state. The horse is a copy of the Gough Memorial originally sited in the Phoenix Park which was blown up in 1957. The rider is modeled on a teenage girl native of Ballymun. The completed monument was mounted on a plinth and unveiled in September 2010.
In August 2010 he presented Casting Light a video projection mapped onto the façade of a bank in Cavan which was showcased during the Fleadh Cheoil. This included a segment where the bank appeared as a giant fruit machine. An updated version featured in 2012. Byrne is working on a number of commissions including a per cent for art work for the Loreto School in Balbriggan and a new collaborative work with The Palestrina Choir entitled Good Works commissioned through Create.
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