Hibernia: A Twist
on Tradition

By Steve O'Loughlin.

By Irish America Staff
October / November 2000

The familiar swirls and knots of Celtic design are under renovation – American style. “American Celtic – Beyond the Ninth Wave” brings the Celtic art of 21st-century American artists to several cities across the U.S., including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Milwaukee, Lexington (K.Y.), and New York. The recent resurgence in interest in all things Celtic has drawn many American artists to study the nearly lost art that speaks of Ireland’s ancient culture. The artists include Steve O’Loughlin, Cindy Matyi, Patrick Gallagher, Jen Delyth, and Michael Carrol, who all contribute their modern American angle to new interpretations of the ancient art form.

But all is not just knots and swirls. These artists use Celtic forms to depict the spiritual, social, and political life of turn-of-the-millennium America. For example, a painting by California-based artist Steve O’Loughlin shows a man trapped within Celtic swirls of traffic and paved road. Another shows woven and entangled arms in a scene depicting police brutality. ♦

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