Soldier, silver gelatin print, dyes, inks, bleach and gouache, 80.5cms x 111cms, 1995 © Victor Sloan
In the summer of 1993 and 1994 Victor Sloan with other Irish artists participated in a series of exhibitions and performances entitled “Irish Days” at the Baltic Art Gallery in Uska, Poland.
During their stay in Poland, Victor Sloan and the other artists visited Borne Sulinowo. It had been a secret base for the Soviet army, a town with 25,000 inhabitants which was hidden in woodland close to the German border. The Red army left the base overnight in the winter of 1992. Since then the town lies deserted. Now only a police station exists as well as a tiny bar with three or four tables. Borne Sulinowo is heavily polluted. Wrecks of military vehicles and debris lie everywhere.
Victor Sloan, like the other Irish artists who went there, was inspired to make new work.
Victor Sloan’s previous photographic works dealt with his own personal history and experiences in Northern Ireland.
Victor Sloan’s observations in Borne Sulinowo reflect on a process of demilitarising and decay of political ideology. The current context of contemporary politics in Northern Ireland has obvious resonance.
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