In a career spanning 40 years a substantial period of Gerry Gleason’s art practice has been played out against the back-drop of the Nothern Ireland Troubles. He was a founder member of Belfast’s Queen Street Studios, which operated in the centre of the city during the course of the Troubles. he has had numerous national and international exhibitions and his work is held in significant collections.
Selected Solo Exhibitions:
1995 “Ulster Saga” Middlesbrough Art Gallery, Middlesbrough
1994 “Ulster Saga” Newlyn Gallery, Penzance
1990 “Objects of History” Galeria Caoc, Berlin
1989 “History and Language” Orchard Gallery,Derry. McLaurin Gallery, Ayr. Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Limerick City Art Gallery, Limerick
1987 “People and Numbers” Otter Gallery, Belfast
1985 “Mixed Media Paintings” Peacock Gallery, Craigavon
“Mixed Media Drawings” Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
1981 “Oil Paintings” Art and Exchange, Belfast
Selected Group Shows:
1997 “Drawings” (2 person show) Moon Gallery, Berry College, Georgia, U.S.A.
“River Deep, Mountain High” Inverness,touring Highlands and Islands of Scotland.Ireland North and South
1995 “7 Northern Artists” Model Arts Centre, Sligo. (Sligo Arts Festival)
1991 “Parable Island” Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool
1991 “In a State” Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin.(Installation)
“Drawings” Galeria & Verlag Martin Schmitz Documenta X Kassel, Germany
1990 “Directions” Peacock Theatre, Dublin
1989 “People at Work” Temple Bar Studios, Dublin and touring
1987 “Directions Out” Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin
1986 “Critics Choice” Alliance Francais, Dublin,. Salon d’art, Brittant
1985 “E.V.A.” Limerick City Art Gallery, Limerick
“Images” Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork
“During the 1970’s the Troubles had reached a cycle of violence which as a young artist I found it difficult to express myself about events which were unfolding around me. Perhaps the first work which I felt hinted that I could was the work I made called “Farewell” (after Poussin) 1980 and interpretive work the essence about a sense of loss emphasising with the bereaved. There is a moment when you know that you have found your own personal vision and that I feel was the “Bones” series (1983) created as artist-in-residence at the Crescent Arts Centre. Around this time I was associated with the Artists Collective (Art and Research, Belfast) and the foundation of Queen Street Studios. Through these institutions I met people with like –minded ideas. I then built on this inter-action with other artists to take on bigger challenges- more complex works, larger in scale and intention.
I feel my work has infinity with the oblique/poetic. The poetry of Yeats dealt with historic events unfolding around him.
The work I have produced is a personal view of the human condition with its roots in N. Ireland but also looking outwards to the wider world. The value of art for me is to move the emotions and make us think what we can be in the best sense.”