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Route III (Lurgan), silver gelatin print, toners and gouache, Victor Sloan
Victor Sloan (born Dungannonmarker, County Tyrone, Northern Irelandmarker, 1945) is an Irish photographer and artist.

Victor Sloan studied at the Royal School, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone and Belfast and Leedsmarker Colleges of Art, Englandmarker. He lives and works in Portadownmarker, County Armagh in Northern Irelandmarker. Employing primarily the medium of photography, he manipulates his negatives and reworks his prints with paints, inks, toners and dyes. In addition to photography, he also uses video, and printmaking techniques.

His works are a response to political, social and religious concerns. He is perhaps best known for his works investigating the Orange Order in series such as: Drumming; The Walk, the Platform and the Field and The Birches.

Victor Sloan was awarded an MBE in 2002. He is an academician of the Royal Ulster Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Artsmarker, and a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. He won the Academy's Conor Prize in 1988 and the Gold Medal in 1995 and 2008. The Ormeau Baths Gallerymarker, Belfast held a major exhibition of his work (Victor Sloan: Selected Works 1980-2000) in 2001. In 2008, the exhibition History, Locality, Allegiance , curated by Peter Richards at the Golden Thread Gallerymarker, Belfast, brought together a comprehensive selection of past works, with a particular focus on his video works.


A typical image from the Northern Irish works of Victor Sloan is Walk X View Image from 1985.It is a silver gelatin print, 64 cm. by 50 cm. In it we see dead centre, splitting the image, a uniformed police officer with a peaked cap. He is in profile, staring tight-lipped at the parade, feet apart in a rooted stance, symbol of law-and-order but also unusually for the North, of impartiality, indicated by his dead centre stance. From the left a huge Lambeg drum, strapped to its unseen owner's chest, juts out across the body; but it has been rendered semi-transparent so that the outline shape of the police officer can still be seen. On one level this drum functions as a musical instrument, the rhythmic 'keeper of the beat'. But the unhinged arm, wielder of a timpani-like drum-stick, indicates not only the wardrum call, but also the potential of the drum-stick as a weapon. On another level the drum is like a Jasper Johns target with its concentric circles of black, white, black and white again for the heart of the target. The paradox is that the police officer who has often been seen, in the eyes of Catholics, as the defender of the Protestant tradition, has now become a target for his own loyalist people (the police being a largely Protestant force).
From Stadium Installation, Victor Sloan


Victor Sloan's video work includes a 44 minute video of an 8 mm looped film fragment of The Little Rascals,(1930s), which destroys itself and catches fire. This was shown in the Gastag in Munichmarker and in Toskanische Saulenhalle, Augsburgmarker, Germanymarker, 2004 as part of his installation Stadium. Gavin Weston in the Sunday Times describes it when first exhibited in the Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast: "...a noisy trundling projector surrounded by four large prints at which one strains to peer through the blacked-out gloom. Staring back in time and this dingy light are the eyes of Adolf Hitler, bolstered by images of the Werner March/ Albert Speer - designed stadium that hosted the Berlin Olympics of 1936. There is no further direct reference to Jesse Owens, the Führer's gravest embarrassment, but flickering through this laden environment, archive footage of white children allowing a black child to draw the short straw, serves as an indicator". Other video works include Drumcree (2001), Walk (2004) and Fishtank (2006).

Selected Exhibitions

From Walk Video Installation, Victor Sloan
  • 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, curated by Dermot Keogh and Ruth Osborne, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, 2008/9
  • A Shout in the Street: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art, curated by Declan McGonagle, Golden Thread Gallerymarker, Belfast, 2008
  • Drawing a Line: A Contemporary Survey of Northern Irish Art, curated by Peter Richards Museum of the Heilongjiang Daily, China, 2008
  • Victor Sloan: History, Locality, Allegiance, curated by Peter Richards Golden Thread Gallerymarker, Switch Room, Belfast, 2008
  • Walk, Diversions Festival, Gallery of Photography, Dublin, (Projection, Meeting House Square), 2007
  • Luxus, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, 2007
  • Things We May Have Missed,curated by Peter Richards Golden Thread Gallerymarker, Switch Room, Belfast, 2007
  • Walk, Théâtre Paris-Villette, 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 Gallerymarker, Belfast, 2006
  • 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, 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 1980-2000, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, 2001
  • Recent Work from Northern Ireland, curated by Wayne Bearwaldt, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, Canada, 2001
  • Portadown, Orchard Gallery, Derry, 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, 1999
  • Stadium, Context Gallery, Derry; Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast; galerie + edition caoc/Walden Kunstausstellungen, Berlin and Gasteig München, Munich, Germany, 1998-99
  • Troubled: Photography, Film and Video from Northern Ireland, The Light Factory, Charlotte; Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh; Wake Forest University Fine Arts Gallery, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S., 1998 -1999
  • Zeitgenössische britische Fotografie, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Kunstamt Kreuzberg/Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin. and Kunstverein Ludwigshafen, Germany, 1997-98
  • Seek Me, Goteborg Konstmuseum, Hasselblad Centre, Gothenburg and Bildmuseet Umea, Umea Universitets Museum, Sweden, 1996-97
  • Poza Bornym Sulinowem, Baszty Czarownic, Slupsk, Poland, 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, 1995
  • Cease-fire: Reflections of Conflict, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, 1994
  • Initials, Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art, Poland, 1994
  • Bradford Print Exhibition, Cartwright Hall, Bradford, 1993
  • Acts of Faith, Gallery of Photography, Dublin and touring UK, 1992-95
  • I-D 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, 1991
  • Marking the North, Impressions Gallery, York and Cornerhouse, Manchester, 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 (now the National Media Museum), Bradford, 1989
  • Walls, Orchard Gallery, Derry, 1989
  • Ulster Art in the 80s, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin, 1988
  • The Birches, Orpheus Gallery, Belfast, 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, 1986
  • Divisions, Crossroads, Turns of Mind: Some New Irish Art, curated by Lucy Lippard, touring U.S., Finland and Ireland, 1985-86
  • Irish Exhibition of Living Art, Guinness Hop Store, Dublin, 1985
  • Independent Artists, Guinness Hop Store, Dublin, 1984
  • EV+A, Exhibition of Visual Art, City Gallery of Art, Limerick, 1981

Selected collections.

Selected publications

  • McGonagle, Declan (2008). Sloan, Victor in A Shout in the Street: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Golden Thread Gallerymarker. ISBN 978-0-9557469-2-5
  • Richards, Peter (2008). Sloan, Victor in Contemporary Art: Northern Ireland. China, Museum of the Heilongjiang Daily
  • Patterson, Glenn (2007). Luxus. Portadown: Millennium Court Arts Centre. ISBN 978-0-9549816-5-5
  • Szabó, Carmen (2007). Sloan, Victor in Clearing the Ground. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 1-84718-180-5
  • Alcobia-Murphy, Shane (2006). Sloan, Victor in Sympathetic Ink: Intertextual Relations in Northern Irish Poetry. Liverpool, England: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 1-84631-032-6
  • McAvera, Brian, (2006). Sloan, Victor in Icons of the North: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art. Belfast: Golden Thread Gallerymarker. ISBN 0-9549633-3-4
  • Alcobia-Murphy, Shane (2005). Sloan, Victor in Governing the Tongue in Northern Ireland: The Place of Art/The Art of Place. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press. ISBN 1-904303-60-9
  • Graham, Colin (2005). Sloan, Victor in Cotter, Lucy (Ed.), Third Text . “Every Passer-by a Culprit?”, Kala Press/Black Umbrella. ISSN 09528822
  • Tipton, Gemma (2005). Sloan, Victor in Space: Architecture for Art. Dublin: Circa. ISBN 0-9550319-0-7
  • Schneider, Jürgen (2004). Victor Sloan: Walk. Augsburg, Germany: Kulturbüro der Stadt.
  • Graham, Colin (2003). Sloan, Victor in Allen, Nicholas; Kelly, Aaron (Eds.) The Cities of Belfast. Dublin: Four Courts Press. ISBN 1-85182-771-4
  • Clancy, Martin (2002). Sloan, Victor in Brian Lalor (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. ISBN 0-7171-3000-2
  • Dunne, Aidan (2001). Victor Sloan: Selected Works 1980-2000. Belfast: Ormeau Baths Gallery. ISBN 0-9540086-0-X
  • Kiang, Tanya; McCabe, Martin; Wilson, Michael (2001). Sloan, Victor in W.J. McCormack (Ed.), Blackwell Companion to Modern Irish Culture. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-16525-8
  • Brady, Ciaran (2000). Sloan, Victor in Encyclopedia of Ireland. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. ISBN 0-19-521685-7
  • MacKillop, James (1999) Sloan, Victor in Contemporary Irish cinema. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press. ISBN 0815605684
  • McCabe, Martin (1999). Sloan, Victor in Revealing Views. London: Royal Festival Hall. ISBN 1-85332-194-X
  • Buckman, David (1998). Sloan, Victor in The Dictionary of Artists in Britain Since 1945. Samson. ISBN 0-9532609-0-9
  • Williams, Val (1997). Sloan, Victor in On The Bright Side Of Life: Zeitgenössische Britische Fotografie. Berlin: Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst. ISBN 3-926796-50-2
  • Kelly, Liam (1996). Sloan, Victor in Paul Brennan and Catherine de Saint Phalle, (Eds.), Désirs d'Irlande. Paris, France: Actes Sud. ISBN 2-7427-0748-4
  • Schneider, Jürgen (1996) Victor Sloan. Poland: Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych. ISBN 83-903457-9-X
  • Kelly, Liam (1996). Sloan, Victor in Thinking Long - Contemporary Art In The North Of Ireland. Dublin: Gandon Editions. ISBN 0-946641-66-8
  • O’Toole, Finton (1995). Sloan, Victor in Lie of the Land. Dublin: Gallery of Photography. ISBN 0-9526741-0-6
  • Roberts, John (1992). Sloan, Victor in Selected Errors, Writings on Art and Politics, 1981-1990. London: Pluto Press. ISBN 0-7453-0498-2
  • Mellor, David; Wood, Nancy (1992). Sloan, Victor in I-D Nationale. Edinburgh: Portfolio. ISBN 0-9520608-0-9
  • Hutchinson, John (1990) Sloan, Victor in A New Tradition: Irish Art of the Eighties. Dublin: Douglas Hyde Gallery. ISBN 0-907660-37-1
  • Watkins, Jonathan; Burns, Gerry; Strather, Martin (1991). Sloan, Victor in Kunst Europa. H. Schmidt. ISBN 3-87439-240-6
  • McAvera, Brian (1989). Marking The North-The Work of Victor Sloan. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. ISBN 1-872496-01-6
  • McGonagle, Declan; Odling-Smee, James; Burns, Gerry (1989). Victor Sloan: Walls. Derry: Orchard Gallery. ISBN 0-907797-52-0
  • McAvera, Brian (1989). Sloan, Victor in Art, Politics and Ireland. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. ISBN 1-872496-00-8
  • Mirfenderesky, Jamshid (1988). Sloan, Victor in Ulster Art in the 80s. Dublin: RHA Gallagher Gallery. ISBN 1-871630-00-2
  • McAvera, Brian (1986). Sloan, Victor in Directions Out - An investigation into a selection of artists whose work has been formed by the post 1969 situation in Northern Ireland. Dublin: Douglas Hyde Gallery. ISBN 0-907660-20-7
  • Lippard, Lucy R (1985). Sloan, Victor in Divisions, Crossroads, Turns of Mind; Some New Irish Art. Ireland America Arts Exchange Inc., Wisconsin and Williams College Museum of Art, U.S.

External links

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