Victor Sloan

Visual Arts

Victor Sloan is one of Ireland’s major visual artists. He was born in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland and now lives and works in Portadown, Co. Armagh.

He studied at Belfast and Leeds Colleges of Art. Victor Sloan is an influential artist and educator. He has developed an international reputation for creating powerful images, which display his prodigious versatility and inventiveness. He is known for his works commenting on various political, social and cultural aspects of Northern Ireland. As well as working with the medium of photography, he also uses video, etching and screen-printing.

In 2002 Victor Sloan was awarded an MBE. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts , an Academician of the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts and a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

He has exhibited widely throughout Europe, North America, South America and Asia. His work is to be found in numerous important private and public collections worldwide. In 2001 the Ormeau Baths Gallery in Belfast initiated a major retrospective exhibition, Victor Sloan: Selected Works 1980-2000, which was curated by Hugh Mulholland. In 2008, the exhibition History, Locality, Allegiance, curated by Peter Richards at the Golden Thread Gallery, Switch Room, Belfast, brought together a comprehensive selection of past works, with a particular focus on his video work.

Books about Victor Sloan and his work include Marking the North by Brian McAvera (1989), Victor Sloan: Selected Works by Aidan Dunne (2001), Victor Sloan: Walk, by Jürgen Schneider (2004) and Luxus by Glenn Patterson (2007).

In Ireland and the UK his work is included in public collections such as the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; the Ulster Museum; the State Art Collection, Ireland; the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland; the British Telecommunications, the Millennium New Media Collection; the Imperial War Museum, London and the National Media Museum, Bradford, England.

Photographers usually take ‘what is there’ in front of them in the world; but what is there in Victor Sloan’s works is not totally given. What is there is paradoxically not there at all. He makes what is present find a gap to hide itself; empty spaces emerge, no longer solid or demanding. That is why his images become events in themselves and can significantly speak about a wider social condition.”

Jamshid Mirfenderesky, Ulster Art in the Eighties

“Over a sustained period Victor Sloan has produced a body of photographic work which deals with his own personal history in the context of a particular Northern Ireland community.
Although he has a full understanding of current photographic practice, he is not a slave to the medium. He is not is awe of its conventions and constantly ‘interferes’ with the images at the negative and print stages in realising his ideas.”

Declan McGonagle, Walls, Orchard Gallery.

Selected Honours:

1999 Elected Academician of the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts (RUA)
2002 Appointed Member of the British Empire (MBE)
2002 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
2003 Elected Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain (FRPS)

Selected Exhibitions:

Drift, F E McWilliam Gallery and Studio, Banbridge, 2014/2015
Voices Travel: Conversation Between Two Harbours, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, 2014
Art of the Troubles, Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2014
The Far Away Nearby, F E McWilliam Gallery and Studio, Banbridge, Curated by Feargal O’Malley, 2014
Art in the Eastside, Billboard Project, Creative Exchange, various locations, Belfast, (invited artist) 2013
Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography, the MAC and Belfast Exposed, Belfast, 2013
Picturing Derry, the City Factory, Derry, Northern Ireland, 2013
Aleppo International Photography Festival, Aleppo, Syria, (invited artist), 2012
Nepotism + 1, curated by Feargal O’Malley, Platform Arts, Belfast, 2012
Titles, The Great Hall, Parliament Buildings, Belfast, 2011
Voices from the Levant, Context Gallery, Derry, (now known as Centre for Contemporary Art) with Brian Kennedy, 2011
Images: Victor Sloan, Art and Design Academy, LJMU, Look International Photography Festival, Liverpool, England, 2011
RHA Exhibition, Gallagher Gallery, Dublin, invited artist, 2011 (also 2008, 2009)
Syrian artists talking, Naughton Gallery, Belfast, with Brian Kennedy, 2011
Portrait of the North, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, England, 2010-2011
Victor Sloan: Walk, AllArtNow, Damascus, Syria, 2010
The Art of the Troubles, Mid Antrim Museum, The Braid, Ballymena, 2010
Elective Perspective, Galeria Arsenale, Bialystok, Poland, 2010
A View From Napoleon’s Nose, curated by Brian Kennedy, Kao Yuan Arts Centre, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 2010
The London Art Fair, London, England, 2010
The Northern Ireland Collection: Fresh Perspectives, curated by Zoë Lippett, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, England, 2009-10
Arts Council of Northern Ireland Troubles Archive Exhibition, curated by Feargal O’Malley and Liam Kelly, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, 2009
An Eye for an Eye: Representations of Conflict in Ireland, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, 2008/9
A Shout in the Street: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art, curated by Declan McGonagle, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, 2008
Drawing a Line: A Contemporary Survey of Northern Irish Art, Museum of the Heilongjiang Daily, China, 2008
History, Locality, Allegiance, curated by Peter Richards, Golden Thread Gallery, Switch Room, Belfast (solo), 2008
Walk, Diversions Festival, Gallery of Photography, Dublin, (Projection, Meeting House Square) 2007
Luxus, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown (solo) 2007
Walk, Cine Babylon, Berlin, Germany, (Rencontres Internationales), 2007
Things We May Have Missed, Golden Thread Gallery, Switch Room, Belfast, 2007
Walk, Théâtre ParisVillette, Paris, France, (Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin) 2006
Icons of the North: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Co. Meath, 2006
Northern Propositions: Art of the Troubles, An Gaileraí, Falcarragh, Donegal, 2006
Icons of the North: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art: Socio- Political Art from 1969 – 1994, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, 2006
Victor Sloan: Walk, curated by Abrie Fourie, Outlet Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa (solo) 2005
Beyond the Troubles: Kunst aus Irland, Raum5 Galerie, Berlin, Germany, 2005
Seeing Orange, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, 2005
Victor Sloan: Walk, Toskanische Saulenhalle, Augsburg, Germany, (solo) 2004
Open Secret, Imperial War Museum, London, 2004
Blue Skies, Grey Mists, Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast, 2004
The Public Eye, City Art Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2003
Political Works from the Arts Council Collection, Context Gallery, Derry, 2002
Revealed Treasures, Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, 2002
The Public Eye: 50 years of the Arts Council Collection, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, 2002
Victor Sloan: Selected Works 19802000, curated by Hugh Mulholland, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, (solo) 2001
Recent Work from Northern Ireland, curated by Wayne Bearwaldt, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, Canada , 2001
Portadown, Orchard Gallery, Derry, (solo) 2000
Troubled: An Exhibition of Irish Art, Pitshanger Manor Museum, London, 2000
Revealing Views: Images from Ireland, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London, 1999
Victor Sloan: Selected Works, Medienzentrum, Bremen, Germany, (solo) 1999
Stadium, Context Gallery, Derry Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast galerie edition caoc/Walden Kunstausstellungen, Berlin and Gasteig München, Munich, Germany, (solo) 1998-99
Troubled: Photography, Film and Video from Northern Ireland, The Light Factory, Charlotte Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh Wake Forest University Fine Arts Gallery, WinstonSalem, North Carolina, U.S.A, 1998 1999
Zeitgenössische britische Fotografie, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Kunstamt Kreuzberg/Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin. and Kunstverein Ludwigshafen, Germany, 199798
Seek Me, Goteborg Konstmuseum, Hasselblad Centre, Gothenburg and Bildmuseet Umea, Umea Universitets Museum, Sweden, (solo) 1996-97
Poza Bornym Sulinowem, Baszty Czarownic, Slupsk, Poland, (solo) 1996
The Lie of the Land, Gallery of Photography, Dublin, Centre Nationale de la Photographie, Paris, France and touring Europe, 1995-98
Borne Sulinowo, Orchard Gallery, Derry, (solo) 1995
Ceasefire: Reflections of Conflict, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, 1994
Initials, Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art, Poland, (solo) 1994
Bradford Print Exhibition, Cartwright Hall, Bradford, 1993
Acts of Faith, Gallery of Photography, Dublin and touring UK, (solo) 1992-95
ID Nationale, Portfolio Gallery and 369 Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1992
The Long Summer Still to Come: Some Aspects of Recent Irish Photography, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, 1991
Parable Island: Some Aspects of Recent Irish Art, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, 1991
Force Fields, Mannheimer Kunstverein, Germany, (solo) 1991
Marking the North, Impressions Gallery, York and Cornerhouse, Manchester, (solo) 1990–92
Heritage Image and History, curated by Paul Wombel, City Art Gallery and Impressions, York Cornerhouse, Manchester and Greenwich Citizens Gallery, London, 1990-91
Irish Art of the Eighties, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, 1990
Sun Life Awards, National Museum of Photography, Film and Television (the National Media Museum), Bradford, 1989
Walls, Orchard Gallery, Derry, (solo) 1989
Ulster Art in the 80s, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin, 1988
The Birches, Orpheus Gallery, Belfast, (solo) 1988
Selected Images A Sense of Ireland, curated by Declan McGonagle and James Coleman, Riverside Studios, London and Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, 1988
Magnetic North, Orchard Gallery, Derry and Impressions Gallery, York, 1987-88
Directions Out, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, 1987
Critics’ Choice, Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, 1987
Contrasts, Fung Ping Shan Museum, Hong Kong, China, 1987
Next: Tomorrow, Cambridge Darkroom and Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, 1986
Drumming, Arts Council of Northern Ireland Gallery, Belfast, (solo) 1986
Divisions, Crossroads, Turns of Mind: Some New Irish Art, curated by Lucy R. Lippard, touring U.S.A., Canada, Finland and Ireland, 1985-86
Irish Exhibition of Living Art, Guinness Hop Store, Dublin, 1985
Independent Artists, Guinness Hop Store, Dublin, 1984
EVA, Exhibition of Visual Art, City Gallery of Art, Limerick, 1981