Correspondence was made as part of a group Belfast/Denver collaborative show at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast in 1993. The brief for the Denver based artist Mark Lunning and myself was ‘to exchange small, found objects relevant to Belfast/Denver respectively and to incorporate these objects into pieces of work.’
The Denver artist sent me several stones from his locality. I liked the idea of them, in a sense, being thrown from across the Atlantic Ocean. Bearing in mind that a stone can be used as a building block or as a weapon (or perhaps both) I then painted images of new Belfast buildings (with American derived architecture) onto the stones.
In an impromptu performance, the painted stones were ‘installed’ into the gallery space by throwing them through the windows from outside.
The stones were left where they landed and each fragment of shattered glass was carefully bandaged
where it lay. The following day saw the window repaired and the glass swept up into a neat pile for the remainder of the exhibition.
Made at the time the idea of a ‘peace envoy’ was first being suggested and in the context of the ‘Troubles’ where large swathes of Belfast city centre had been destroyed by paramilitary bombings funded largely from North American sources, the piece tried to take on board the notion of (Irish-) American intervention (in its various forms) in Northern Ireland.
The Denver based artist was sent fragments from bombed Belfast buildings.