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Brian Duggan in Dublin, Carlow, Basel in Switzerland

By the artist, Sep 5 2016 10:41PM

In June I had two solo exhibitions opening in two locations, Dublin and Basel in Switzerland. They opened within a week of each other and each exhibition was a unique presentation of new work. I spent most of my time during these months working on these projects.

In Balzer projects in Switzerland my project 'A cause for concern, but not alarm' included a collection of new work: Three solid stone sculptures made from Iberian green marble, each depicting Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, diagrams of Nuclear reactor systems cut out of Irish Slate stone, and a digitally printed wallpaper depicting the outside storage tanks at Sellafield that were published in Ecologist Magazine in 2014. I traveled to Basel in June to attend a launch and spent several days in meetings during Art Basel which was also on at the same time.

Ryou Un-Maru was my solo exhibition in the Project arts centre in Dublin which ran from 10 June 2016-13 August and was curated by Tessa Giblin. In the gallery we recreated a replica of the boat Ryou Un-Maru. This Japanese fishing boat was swept out to sea during the devastating Tōhoku Tsunami that followed the 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of the country in 2011.

In its wake, the vessel floated unmanned and unnoticed through various territories and international waters for 391 days, until it was detected and sunk in American waters off the coast of Alaska. The installation included remaking this boat ( meters long by 3.5mt wide by 4 meters high) as well as a new film animation, 'Three hundred and ninety one days' (6:51), (391 seconds long) mapping the currents of the pacific ocean and the Kurosho current. A final video work “A dark colour I had never seen before' (12.10.) Was a silent film with excerpts of the survivor stories from the Tsunami. A primary guide for this work was the book SURVIVING THE 2011 TSUNAMI:100 Testimonies of Ishinomaki Area Survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake, (2014) by Sanriku Kahoku ShinpoÌ"sha. And Dr Hitomi Nakanishi

a short video of this project can be seen here


My work is also being presented in a group exhibition in The Hugh Lane gallery: The Artist as Witness in Society: Collection Until 2 October 2016, curated by Jessica O'Donnell.

One of my sculptures was also presented in Portraits of a Nation, the OPW state collection in the Farmleigh Gallery, Phoenix Park, Dublin, from the 8 April to 29 May.

One of my sculptures 'This short-term evacuation' was also presented as an invited artist in the exhibition Place and Absence, in Visual Carlow. Running for 10 days at VISUAL and St Patrick’s College, in a quick burst, this exhibition celebrates the energy, creative power and diversity of visual arts practices in Ireland. It features work by artists selected from open submission as well as 5 invited artists; Stephen McKenna, Denis McNulty, Aideen Barry, Jaki Irvine and Brian Duggan.

This year ART WORKS has been selected by Annie Fletcher, Senior Curator, Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven & Claire Feeley, Producer Barbican, London.

Image below: Ryo-un Maru U.S. Coast Guard, photo by Petty Officer 1st class Sara Francis

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