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Daniel Jewesbury and Aisling O'Beirn
- 2 July to 13 August 2010
In this exhibition, Daniel Jewesbury and Aisling O'Beirn bring north Belfast into the gallery, in a series of 'microgeographical' enquiries that they have been conducting over recent months. O'Beirn's digital animations draw both on images from the Belfast Exposed archive and from contemporary images of the city; accompanying these is a new sculpture based on the Waterworks Park. Jewesbury's short 16mm film NLR takes the form of a walk along the New Lodge Road, in an attempt to discover the 'unity of atmosphere' of an area already overdetermined by representation.
Jewesbury and O'Beirn bring the exhibition back out into the city through the production of a series of small pamphlets which suggest 'tours' of north Belfast. The artists have taken as their cue certain pre-existing ways of describing the city: for instance, the neat ordering of historical information familiar from tourist literature or interpretative panels; or the idealised, simplified vision of space so typical in urban planning. Jewesbury and O'Beirn appropriate images from the Belfast Exposed archive and combine these with maps, photographs and drawings of their own, to produce 'tours' that might be impossible or inadvisable to embark upon physically: linking sites that no longer exist, or which are under construction; sites whose precise location the artists are unsure of; spaces to which the tourist cannot get access, such as private living rooms; as well as spaces that might ordinarily be considered 'dangerous' to the casual walker.
The different parts of the exhibition all look for means to activate the competing visions of this part of the city. In written and visual archives, in maps and masterplans, and most importantly in everyday use, the sites of north Belfast have become overwritten with many conflicting inscriptions. Jewesbury and O'Beirn are interested in how these different voices vie to be heard, and how they shape the social and physical fabric of the city that they live and work in. Today, Belfast exists in a state of perpetual regeneration; in this context, Jewesbury and O'Beirn want to discover more active modes of engaging, as citizens, with our city.
Daniel Jewesbury is an artist based in Belfast, where he has lived since graduating from the National College of Art & Design (NCAD), Dublin, in 1996. From 1997 to 2008, Daniel worked as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Ulster, (where he also studied for a PhD, awarded in 2001). Daniel is currently a Visiting Fellow at GradCAM, the Graduate School in Creative Arts and Media, in Dublin.
Daniel's current work mainly uses 16mm film, edited and exhibited digitally. He is interested particularly in the effects of post-conflict 'regeneration' on Belfast. Daniel has exhibited internationally, but continues to make a substantial contribution to the arts in Belfast, through the numerous events and organisations he has initiated, and through his persistent advocacy of a greater public role and voice for the arts. In 2010 Daniel curated the ambitious and well-received re:public sequence of events at Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin.
Daniel is also a widely published critic and writer, and has written catalogue texts for artists such as Willie Doherty and Duncan Campbell. As a member of the group Centrifugal, he edited The Centrifugal Book of Europe (2010). With Leigh French, Daniel is co-editor of Variant magazine
Aisling O'Beirn's current work examines spatial politics, uncovering tensions between disparate forms of official and unofficial information. This work is an extension of previous work on the politics of place and vernacular accounts of place. Work manifests variously as sculpture, installation, animation and site-specific projects.
O'Beirn, based in Belfast is represented by The Third Space Gallery . Her work is published in Art Can Function on Different Levels, Can't It? (The Third Space, Belfast, 2009). She is a member of the Centrifugal group, organised the event to Some Actions Around the Centrifugal Book of Europe (2010), to mark the launch of the book to which she contributed. She was one of the artists in 'The Nature Of Things: Artists From Northern Ireland At The 51st Venice Biennale'. Forthcoming solo shows include 'Quantum Physics for Dummies', Dadapost, Berlin 2011. She is currently an Associate Lecturer at the University of Ulster. Work can be seen on her web site, here.