Belfast-based painter Rita Duffy produced a powerful series of large-scale portraits which questioned the demons inside and challenged us to confront our fears or our ‘icebergs'. Duffy used the Titanic (built in Belfast) as a metaphor for Northern Ireland's struggle in the twentieth century. Each portrait had a panel cut out from the centre of the head, with an iceberg study of corresponding dimensions placed adjacent. The strong surrealist quality of the portraits and the jagged formation of the icebergs provoked an uneasiness in the viewer. Each subject (members of her immediate family) was represented by the back or side of the head which showed great vulnerability and a feeling of insecurity.
Published 2004; 24pp; paperback