Brian Ferran

Visual Arts

Brian Ferran trained as an art teacher and taught from 1963-66. He obtained an honours degree in Art History from the Courtauld Institute and in 1970-71, on receipt of a Leverhulme European Scholarship, spent a year at the Brera Academy of Fine Art in Milan.

In 1966 he joined the staff of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, becoming Chief Executive in the early 1990s. During 1980, he was the Commissioner for Northern Ireland at the Paris Biennale and in 1985 was the Ireland Commissioner at the Sao Paulo Bienal in Brazil. Ferran has won many awards and had numerous solo exhibitions in Ireland, Mexico, Switzerland and in the USA. His work draws upon Irish mythology and Irish political history.

Selected Collections:
An Chomhairle Ealaíon; Arts Council of Northern Ireland; Crawford Municipal Art Gallery; Donegal County Council; Wexford County Council; Ulster Museum; National Self-Portrait Gallery; Derry City Council; Belfast Education and Library Board; First Trust Bank; Northern Bank; Allied Irish Bank; Institute of Public Administration, Northern Ireland; Dept of the Environment; Office of Public Works; Irish Contemporary Art Society; North-West Arts Trust; Ulster Arts Club; Irish American Cultural Institute; Dermot Desmond; Vincent & Noeleen Ferguson; Gordon Lambert; George & Maura Mc Clelland Collection; University of Ulster; Queen’s University, Belfast; University College, Cork; St. Mary’s University College, Belfast; Stranmillis College; Boston College; Fergus Falls Community College, Minnesota; Fordham University and St. John Fisher College, New York.

In the last 20 years the political upheaval in the North has been inescapable, in fact a dominant reality; and while Ferran does not preach or posture he is plainly a man with a social conscience. Like the Northern Irish poets, he would seem to prefer an oblique approach when responding to tragic events in his own community.

(Brian Fallon on Brian Ferran, 1993)

Selected Writings about Brian Ferran:
1980 Making Sense of Ulster, Art and Artists Magazine
A Concise History of Irish Art, Thames and Hudson, London
1979 Irish Art from 1600, Anne Crookshank, published by Department of
Foreign Affairs, Dublin
1980 Mother Ireland and the Troubles, Circa Art Magazine
Artist, Model and Reality, Belinda Loftus
1982 The Arts in Ireland, Chronology by Christopher Fitz-simon, Gill and MacMillan