A Shout in the Street
….the anger in the marking in Victor Sloan’s images is literally visible on the surface of the works. Sloan brings the meaning of the work to the surface of the photographic print, most clearly in the Belfast Zoo series, in exactly the same way that the chimpanzees press forward, from a darkness, against the scratched and battered surface of the perspex barriers. The marking, in this case in an early set of works, is a given but in later series is deliberately made by the artist in/on works which both describe and deny the illusion of pictorial space, to bring the anxieties of the subjects represented to the surface. That tension has been used extensively and consistently by Sloan in his work and is handled with particular subtlety in the Day of Action series, where the emptiness of the photographed locations in Bangor, on the day of a political strike in Northern Ireland, is negated by the gestural marks on the print which are like ectoplasmic ghosts of the people who are absent and can only be made visible as insertions by the photographic process.
Extact from A Shout in the Street: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art, by Declan McGonagle, published by the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland.