‘Blood of the Beast’ is a triptych focusing on the subject of conflict and history in the north of Ireland, a subject that Rolfe has returned to on many occasions in his work. A series of symbolic actions and hand signs are presented in this triptych. In the first image of this sequence of hand and object photos, the raised hand signifies the red hand of Ulster, dripping with blood. The middle panel presents a hand which is slightly obscured by the skin of a drum; a lambeg or a bodhrán. The hand is playing music but at first glance appears to wield a gun.
In the final panel, a white lily, a symbol of peace, is being crushed. The imagery of the flower is important in Rolfe’s work, representing life and death, consolation and sympathy. Here, the fact that the hand is grasping the flower tightly may represent life being suppressed by the hand of man.
|Dimensions||150 x 100 cm (each)|
|Credit Line||IMMA Collection: Purchase, 1991|
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