News 1990

Victor Sloan: Marking the North

Impressions Gallery, York, England.

24 March - 28 April 1990

Walk X, Lurgan, silver gelatin print, toners and watercolours, 45.5cms x 46cms, 1985 ©Victor Sloan

This is the first extensive exhibition on the work of one of Ireland’s leading photographic artists, Victor Sloan. A former painter, Sloan now works on 35mm negatives, scraping out part of an image and using paint and ink directly onto the negative. When the negative has been printed-up, he uses toners and watercolours in order to highlight and heighten aspects of the final printed image.

The exhibition takes work from the different series he has been working on over recent years, like ‘Birches’ and ‘The Walk, the Platform and the Field’. The work has developed into an extensive investigation into Protestant culture and politics, and his own position in this community. This work is also a challenge to our media coverage of Northern Ireland with its documentary recording of the ‘troubles’.

Victor Sloan’s most recent large scale work, the series ‘Walls’ focuses on the town of Derry with the march on the 12 July celebrating the Battle of the Boyne, but with the Derry walls always dominating the image. This work was produced in 1989 at the same time as the momentous events started to take place in Eastern Europe. These events are taking Sloan’s work beyond the Irish context into a wider European perspective.

In conjunction with the Dublin publishers OPEN AIR, Impressions is publishing a book on Victor Sloan’s work written by Brian McAvera, and is available at £8.95. Buy Publication



Heritage: Image and History

Impressions Gallery and York City Art Gallery

June 16 – July 21, 1990

© Victor Sloan

Until quite recently there was only one way of ordering events, only one way of arranging artefacts, and only one voice to describe the past. There was only one history. But today British history is being challenged. History has become the battle ground where debated around national identity, methods of teaching, and ideas about the authentic are being fought. These conflicts are symptomatic of major changes taking place in Britain.

The development towards a post-industrial society with the service sector playing a more important role economically, Britain’s declining international role in world affairs, coupled with the crisis of modernity in the western world have helped to create the climate where previous held ideas on history have come into question.

These changes have assisted in bringing to the forefront the issue of diversity, raising questions on race, gender, class and regionalism. Previously neglected areas of the past are now being brought into view. One outcome of this questioning has been the beginnings of a critique on the role of the heritage industry in contemporary culture.

New work has been commissioned from artists and photographers to look at the growing heritage industry in Britain. The exhibition features the work of Denis Doran, Graham Evans, Stephen Farthing, Lubaina Himid, John Kippin, Karen Knorr, Alison Marchant, Ingrid Pollard, Paul Reas, Bill Sharp, Posy Simmons, Victor Sloan and Peter Turley.

This exhibition can be seen as an extension of the museum, but one which recognises the diversity of culture, of visions, of life. One which can question its own rhetoric. This exhibition might be the first if this kind of museum, temporal, ever-changing, making space for other voices, never allowing the dust to settle, and always engaging with the present.

Part of this exhibltion is being simultaneously shown at the York City Art Gallery, Exhibition Square.

An extensive 40 page catalogue with colour and b/w reproductions is available to accompany the exhibition. This features essays by Graham Coster, Gaby Porter and Jessica Saraga.

Monday – Saturday, 10-5pm
Sunday, 2.30-5pm
Last admission, 4.30pm
Admission Free

The exhibition is a joint touring exhibition between Cornerhouse in Manchester and Impressions.

Funded by the Arts Council and Yorkshire Arts

Telephone: 08450 515 882
Fax: 01274 734 635

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