I'm thinking about the public war murals back home in Northern Ireland.
I'm not thinking of these murals as mere artefacts, or 'graffiti', or indeed 
'paintings'. They do more than just that. I'm looking at them as something applied 
to the dialogical aesthetics and landscape of Belfast, organic to their communities, territories and identities. The murals go beyond their symbolic content are not 
just a reflection to politics, but themselves, objects produced in specific locales,space and site's, not as products of artistic and political activity, but as a 
dynamic part of political process. I'm thinking about the value placed 
in this in contrast to painting, and publically engaged art works as a mechanism forpolitical and social transformation.  These murals in contrast to painting, are 
irrespective of the artist and cannot act independently. These murals, have no 
signature styles or be dissolved into one expressive gesture and are not interested in platitudes absorbed by painting. 
In the art system, an artist uses their status and the system, as a given to be
 politically coopted and to facilitate the public acceptance of the work. Yes, It 
can perhaps be said that painting as a development beyond paintings principles 
pushed away from the boundaries of conservatism to becoming more contemplative, but to what degree can it be said that painting in todays world be political or 
social? Or can it be at all? 


Yasmine Robinson