Victor Sloan was born in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland. He lives and works in Portadown, Co. Armagh. He studied at Belfast and Leeds Colleges of Art. Victor Sloan is an influential artist and educator.
He has developed an international reputation for creating powerful images, which display his prodigious versatility and inventiveness.
He is known for his works commenting on various political, social and cultural aspects of Northern Ireland. He works with the medium of video and photography.
Victor Sloan has exhibited widely throughout Europe, North America, South America and Asia. His work is to be found in numerous important private and public collections worldwide.
In 2001 the Ormeau Baths Gallery in Belfast initiated a major retrospective exhibition, Victor Sloan: Selected Works 1980-2000, which was curated by Hugh Mulholland. In 2008, the exhibition History, Locality, Allegiance, curated by Peter Richards at the Golden Thread Gallery, Switch Room, Belfast, brought together a comprehensive selection of past works, with a particular focus on his video work.
Books about Victor Sloan and his work include Marking the North by Brian McAvera (1989), Victor Sloan: Selected Works by Aidan Dunne (2001), Victor Sloan: Walk, by Jürgen Schneider (2004), Luxus by Glenn Patterson (2007), Drift by Dr Justin Carville and Ken Grant (2014) and Northern Ireland One: Victor Sloan, Café Royal Books, edited by Craig Atkinson (2016).
In Ireland and the UK his work is included in public collections such as the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; the Ulster Museum; the State Art Collection, Ireland; the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland; the British Telecommunications, the Millennium New Media Collection; the Imperial War Museum, London and the National Media Museum, Bradford, England.
Martyn Anglesea, Stepping Stones: The Arts in Ulster.
“Victor Sloan has produced an impressive body of photoworks…Victor Sloan has offered us a new way of seeing, by way of a persistent and ultimately penetrating manner of questioning…”
Liam Kelly, Thinking Long: Contemporary Art in the North of Ireland.
“Sloan, as if in frustration, intrudes on the pristine sanctity of the negative by almost attacking it to incite new possibilities. Using bleach, dyes, pigment and scale the banner-like works undercut the purely descriptive and neutral image to reveal the hidden tensions and emotions behind the form of cultural expression depicted. Sloan’s radical intervention in the photographic process produces dramatic portrayals of the internal and external dimensions of communal strife.”
Martin McCabe, Revealing Views, Royal Festival Hall, London.
“The excitement of Victor Sloan’s work lies in the difficulty with which the viewer is faced in trying, if only for a moment, to produce a single all embracing statement about it.”
James Odling-Smee, Walls publication.
“Photographers usually take ‘what is there’ in front of them in the world; but what is there in Victor Sloan’s works is not totally given. What is there is paradoxically not there at all. He makes what is present find a gap to hide itself; empty spaces emerge, no longer solid or demanding. That is why his images become events in themselves and can significantly speak about a wider social condition.”
Jamshid Mirfenderesky, Ulster Art in the Eighties
“Victor Sloan remains optimistic for the future of Craigavon – and indeed Northern Ireland and his effective juxtapositions of drama and dreariness illuminate rather than bury the realities.”
Lucy R. Lippard, Divisions, Crossroads, Turns of Mind: Some New Irish Art
“With Victor Sloan, to my mind the most powerful photographer/artist working in Ireland, there is a combination of techniques…he blends the aesthetic/painting tradition with that of sequencing and multiple imagery, within the one frame. His search is for honesty, truth and authenticity amid the quagmire of myth, dissimilation and revisionist history that is the lot of the North.”
Brian McAvera, British Journal of Photography.
"Over the last 20 years, Victor Sloan has been one of the most iconoclastic, experimental, innovative and audacious photographic artists at work, not just in Ireland but anywhere. He takes outrageous liberties with the nice, well-made, well-mannered photographic image, making of it something compromised and problematic."
Aidan Dunne, The Irish Times.
“Victor Sloan’s work is impressive in both its technical approach to the whole aesthetic notion of the photographic image and in its range.
It both disrupts and redefines the notion of the camera as arbiter of truth while successfully allowing the deconstructed subject to act as both moral and political art.
Pertinently it questions our perceptions and quietly encourages us to redefine our entire world view.”
Mairtín Crawford, Fortnight, Belfast.
“Over a sustained period Victor Sloan has produced a body of photographic work which deals with his own personal history in the context of a particular Northern Ireland community.
Although he has a full understanding of current photographic practice, he is not a slave to the medium. He is not is awe of its conventions and constantly ‘interferes’ with the images at the negative and print stages in realising his ideas.”
Declan McGonagle, Walls, Orchard Gallery.
“Victor Sloan has consistently produced high-quality work with powerful imagery.”
Paul Wombell, Sun Life Photography Awards.
"Victor Sloan is indisputably the key figure and key influence (in Northern Ireland), both as an artist and as a teacher."
Brian McAvera, State of Art, London
“Victor Sloan’s dynamic manipulation of photographic imagery is well known, well respected and well documented.”
Gavin Weston, The Sunday Times.
“Victor Sloan creates powerfully creative visual images which respect but control their sources. That combination is a rare one, in any medium.”
Sean McCrum, Critic’s Choice, Fenderesky Gallery.
“Characterised by a tensioned balance between figuration and abstraction, Victor Sloan’s photoworks are deeply satisfying aesthetically, emotionally and intellectually.
Their symbiosis of form and content reflects an intimate binding of time and place and so defies a simplistic response to things which are not simple.”
Michael McCaughan, Acts of Faith, Gallery of Photography.
“Sloan manipulates the surface to play with our own knowledge, our memories and the immediacy and nostalgia of the photographic image,”
Gill Hedley, Contemporary Art Society, London.
“Victor Sloan’s style is assured, direct and without overstatement.”
Brian Fallon, The Irish Times.
“Sloan’s art is sincere and exploratory – a jolting reminder of our culture impoverished by war and aggression.”
Elaine Murphy, Circa, Belfast.
Victor Sloan can be contacted at: email@example.com