Conned Fused was one of five installations commissioned as part of the Lumiere Derry~Londonderry 2013 BRILLIANT competition for anyone based in or originally from the area with a bright idea for an installation.
The work explored the politics of colour, turning the flag colours of the north of Ireland on their head.
In the north of Ireland, flag colours became symbolic identifiers of allegiance during The Troubles, and in the years that followed. In some towns, housing estates, and villages the kerbing is painted in bands of red, white and blue representing the Union Jack. In others it wis painted in green, white and orange representing the Irish Republican Tricolour. Inspired by the cultural and political associations these specific colours have in Northern Ireland, Conned Fused was an effort to neutralise their lingering political potency by creating confusion through the mislabelling of the colours in neon light.
Dennis Magee was born and raised in Derry and has been a practising artist for the last 30 years exhibiting in solo and group shows in London, Derry and Dublin. Since emigrating to Australia in 1984, he has also exhibited widely in Australia. He has lectured in visual arts and design at Queensland Universities and was Head of Art and Design at the Bremer Institute of TAFE for 17 years. He has created large-scale public artworks, managed public and community art projects and curated exhibitions. Working in metal, glass, ceramics, digitally and drawing, his most recent installation works (2012) incorporate animation and light projections. As a professional artist, Magee has tutored in Derry with the ‘Academy of the Arts’ (2007) and produced ‘entry artwork’ for Dove Gardens in the Bogside (2010).
Dennis also works collaboratively with his partner, artist Patricia Harper, as ‘HarperMagee’ on public art, community and curatorial projects. Patricia works with beads, glass, lighting components, bronze, & aluminium. Her work ranges from small beadwork vessels (over 9000 beads) to large building adornment (Neon Necklace). Since finishing a Masters in VA (1996) she has exhibited in the USA, SE Asia & Australia.