At 3.10 in the afternoon of Saturday 15th August 1998, a car bomb exploded in the town of Omagh killing 29 people and injuring 220 others, some of them very seriously. Fourteen of the fatalities were women and nine of them children. Some of the wounded were treated in Altnagelvin hospital.
The key idea in this image is the fact that in times of open warfare it is the innocent who get caught up in it. Everybody suffers because everybody becomes a victim, whatever side they may find themselves on. People are pushed into reactions and responses they know full well are too charged with emotion to be rational. Reason itself retires. "The sleep of reason produces monsters", Goya wrote on one of his etchings.
The whirlpool or vortex is a graphic depiction of the notion of being 'swept up'. Like fish in a net, the victims find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Through the use of muted colours we try to convey the sad futility of it all, as well as the grief. The background is made up of the debris you would find in the aftermath of an explosion, an image that is all too familiar to us.
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