A Broken Surface

Circa, Dublin, No. 103, Spring 2003, p. 103.

Victor Sloan: A Broken Surface

A Broken Surface, an exhibition of the work of Victor Sloan was recently on view at Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co. Kildare. The title reflects both technique and theme. A fusion of photography and painting creates the impact. Layered and textured images (no computer graphics here) are overpainted: silver gelatin prints, toners, dyes, inks, bleach, gouache. Subtle tonal effects contrast with urgent, vital almost aggressive energies of expressionism.

From hundreds of photographs taken, the selection process becomes critical. Sloan's portraits emerge, visually arresting, historically significant - searing statements on his inherited world - sinister images of surveillance, frustration, decay, and menace, which seep insidiously through A Broken Surface to the heart of humanity.

Ferrygate, Dogs and the trapped innocence of Soldier from Derry; an impressionist portrayal of macabre antics in Sham fight (with sword), Scarva; the hapless plight of Vietnamese boat people and atmospheric Fireworks, Craigavon; barely recognisable remains of a defaced poster of Michael Gorbachev, Leader, Borne Sulinowo, and the ghostly imagery of Russia's military: Slide, Borne Sulinowo, in the aftermath of its occupation of Poland: Sloan's art is sincere and exploratory - a jolting reminder of our human culture impoverished by war and aggression.

Elaine Murphy

Elaine Murphy is a Licentiate, London Guildhall School of Music & Drama (L.G.S.M.); a poet/lecturer; and organiser of The Gerard Manley Hopkins Society's Annual International Summer School.

Victor Sloan: A Broken Surface, Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, February/March 2003

Article reproduced from CIRCA 103, Spring 2003, p. 95

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