The Role Of The Artist In A Time Of Conflict

The Role Of The Artist In A Time Of Conflict - Fergus Delargy

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Location: IA&A At Hillyer, 9 Hillyer Court, NW, Washington DC 20009

What is the role of the artist in a time of political upheaval? Join Irish artist Fergus Delargy, and Jackie Hoysted, Director and Curator of Visual Arts Solas Nua, as they discuss Fergus’ experience as an artist during the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland as we mark the 20th Anniversary of the Good Friday Peace Agreement in 1998.

Throughout his career as an artist Belfast born Delargy has attempted to explore and respond to the political, social, and physical context in which he finds himself. While a student of Fine Art at the University of Ulster his work was strongly influenced by the chaos around him, otherwise known as "The Troubles." He and his peers were encouraged to look towards America and international art trends to inform their practices. Whilst there were some benefits to be gained by this approach, Delargy felt that he needed to respond in a more immediate way to the reality of living in a highly charged conflict situation. Through his work, Delargy responded to what was happening outside the four walls of the college. In particular, during this time, he explored issues of identity and tribal loyalties and how these loyalties inevitably led to communal violence.

In 1987, Delargy was awarded an international fellowship program to PS1 In Long Island City, NY. He spent eight years in New York and two years in Albuquerque lecturing at the University of New Mexico. His work over these years evolved from the reverse position of being outside of the conflict to one of looking in. His cultural, political, and historical baggage had to be somehow morphed with this new experience of living in a multicultural environment were identities were somehow absorbed and accommodated in the great Melting Pot of America. In 1997, he returned to Ireland and moved to Galway in the west of Ireland and since then his work has reflected, and responded to, various personal life experiences as well as exploring the physical and historical environment of east Galway.

Organized by Solas Nua in collaboration with the Irish Network in DC (IN-DC).

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