Raymond Watson is an artist who creates public artwork, gallery based work and installation work - often these are site specific pieces. He works with a wide range of materials in order to visualise the themes he wishes to explore.
He has worked on a large variety of community projects, and exhibited widely in Ireland and across the globe. Exhibitions have taken place in New York, France, Spain, India, England, South of Ireland, Holland and the Basque Country. His international work has included site specific installation pieces in Ireland, Spain, India and the Basque Country and he has produced a substantial number of pieces of public art locally in Ireland. Most of these site specific projects which have been made in close contact with local communities and schools.
His practice is diverse and hybrid, including site-specific installations, site specific material, alongside personal materials and photography. He has worked with mud, bamboo and rice straw in India, Ice and steel in Belfast and oranges in Valencia.
“Much of my work revolves around topics of dislocation and displacement, migration, human/civil rights and is often simply the creation of beautiful things and the exploration of mysterious topics. “
Some recent and significant international and local arts activities are:
2015: Kids Gernika work was displayed at Hosishima commemoration and other important sites in Japan.
2014: Workshops at ArTifarti Festival, Western Sahara, Africa
2013: Kids Gernika International Art Project, for display at Derry City of Culture
“The Cell Was My Canvas” published. This will be released in 2015/16 in German.
Bridging Cultural Divides Programme. Expressionist Art sessions for team building and self expression. Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency, Armagh Business Centre Ltd.
Banbridge District Enterprises and the Newry Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership - European Union’s PEACE 111 Southern Partnership.
Work 4 You Plus, Providing cross community art workshops to mature groups, and providing ‘Champion Leadership’ program to teenagers on the WIN Youth Development Program.
2012: “The Power of Arts & Culture to Promote Democracy & Global Peace “ paper presented at The ICD Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin.
Art and Social Justice Conference. Presented and conducted workshops at 3rd Art and Social Justice gathering, Gernika, Basque Region, Spain.
2011: Belfast Flags of Hope. Belfast. Created 10,000 individual artworks with community groups to present the largest art display ever seen in Belfast.
2010: Residency at Cacis, Contemporary Arts Centre, Catalonia, Spain.
2008: Conducted a residency at Santiniketan, The Tagore International University of Art, in West Bengal, India.
2008: Participated in 13Isolations, a prison based arts project and exhibition in Hoorn, Holland.
Exhibited in Fis 2008, part of the Liverpool European City of Culture celebrations.
Exhibited in the Independent Liverpool Biennial.
2007: Represented Northern Ireland at the 3nd.International Gathering of Artists for Peace, in Gernika, the Basque Country.
Conducted a four month residency in Calcutta, India; during which I produced a large temporary installation, The Helix of Hope.
Presented and discussed my work with lecturers and students at Santineketan, The International University of Peace, founded by Rabindranath Tagore, in West Bengal, India.
Artwork is included in the International Humanist Art Archive, Melbourne Australia
2005: Commissioned to produce an outdoor installation for the 1V Encuentro Internacional Artistas para la Paz (4th International meeting of Artist for Peace), in La Vall d’Uixo, Spain. A painted element of the installation is on permanent exhibition in the Municipal Library in Vall d’Uixo.
Exhibited with the RUA in the Ulster Museum Belfast.
Organised a Humanist Arts event and International Humanist Art Archive Exhibition in Conway Mill, Belfast.
Presented and discussed my work at the Foc Art Festival, Moncofa, Spain.
Arts Delegate at the Crossing Borders, Crossing Waters International arts project, Cork, Ireland.
2004: Presented and discussed my work at the Peace Pedagogy Conference, Gernika, the Basque Country.
2003: Represented Ireland at the 1st International Gathering of Artists for Peace in Gernika, 2003. At this same Gathering I travelled with an International group of artists to schools and community centres to conduct workshops with hundreds of local people.