The early days 1965 - 1985
21.07.2007 23 °C
THE EARLY DAYS
I was born in Dublin in 1965, a fairly rough working class area in the city centre. My parents bought a house with a garden, thus I was going to be kept off the streets to have a more sheltered childhood and let my imaginations run away with myself in that garden. 1965 was the start of Star Trek, a programme based on what we may see in the future. Sure enough half of the things I saw in the programme became real later in the 80's like, sliding doors, mobiles etc. I guess that stayed in my mind when I was a baby. My unconscious mind remembered the importance of what people think. It came to be the most important part of my life and my own beliefs.
Starting in school it didn't take long that the teachers noticed how good I was at drawing. I look at my own drawings today and I see that I always saw things in a 3 dimensional way, which came out to be very important in my life. If you look in a 2 dimensional way, to me that means I am limited in what I can see or think. On a ship one I looked down at the water, as we only see the surface. But I know that there are millions of life and action going on down there under the surface, and that's what I wanted to draw.
Year by year, I started to become a good student, excellent at maths art and English, but struggling with Irish as my Christian brother teacher refuses to speak English. It made the language more complicated to follow, and with the same teacher, I failed in Latin also as he spoke through Irish as well! I loved school but I didn't know how much unfairness and brain washing was going on in this Christian Brother School in the 70's and 80's. Looking back it seemed being educated was secondary, as long you speak Irish and dislike English people and Protestants. Being that young, I believed this, and it took me 19 years to get away from being an ignorant, racist teenager, and sadly that is what my school produced.
Art was my best subject and my art teacher a Sister, saw my talents early. We had something in common as we both suffer from migraine headaches. Mine started at about 8 years old, and she had similar experiences. I used to get 2 or 3 migraines a year, but more coming close to exam time. She always asked my about it, but I never thought anything about it, its just a headache.
In 1981 I heard about the man Terry Fox, who tried to run across Canada raising funds for a cure for Cancer. He lost his right leg through this disease, and sadly over half way, the cancer came back and he died soon after. The impact he made was astonishing, asking one dollar from each Canadian and after his death over 26 million was raised, more than 1 dollar per head. I was inspired but it was way over my head. I didn't even know where Canada was.
My world was my garden, and my imagination was free. At 17 I was picked for a possible scholarship in Art, in Trinity College, being one of just 40 people who got an A in Art and History. The 4 scholarships were up for grabs, but I did not get it, and despite my disappointment It came to be a blessing in another year.
I was a clerk in a shipping company, B&I and I got the job as my father was well respected their and with my good grades in school, I got the job comfortably. I loved it but I was very green. My father and uncle had a boxing club around the corner from the B&I offices on the quay, so the Transport Boxing Club was my play ground each afternoon. At 18 I was fitter than ever, and i started thinking of getting fit enough to do something special but I didn't no what it.
It was no 1985, I had just turned 19, and everything looks pretty good for me. Little did I know what happened next.