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DAN SHIPSIDES - Sorry (Untitled landscape - Cave Hill )


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Sorry intervention (Cave Hill):

During 2004 Belfast City Council demanded that the cultural newspaper The Vacuum apologised to ‘the citizens of the City' and ‘Members of the Council' for ‘any offence which may have been caused by previous publications'.

It was in response to the paired issues of the publication entitled “God” and “Satan”.

The demand for an apology was backed by an illegal threat to withdraw pledged funding.

The Council could not identify what in the two issues had caused offence nor could they produce evidence of the complaints. It was a blatant attempt to stifle freedom of expression by the conservative religious right who make up the majority of city councilors.

In response The Vacuum organised an ironic day of "apology". (see. with the help of its' supporters which included a march through the city of supporters carrying "sorry" placards and banners and a " Sorry Santa " as it was Christmas time.

I planned and executed a project to say “sorry” from the top of Cave Hill - a hill top visible from most parts of Belfast .

The close by hills around Belfast have a history of republican and loyalist “pronouncements” e.g. protests to free political prisoners and statements in relation to the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement (YES / NO).

I wanted to make a big statement of being sorry.

The word was 15m high and 40m wide, made of plastic sheets and pegged with bamboo canes.

The Sun, a tabloid newspaper covered the “ sorry” day with typically misleading but humorous reporting.

Sun newspaper - click to enlarge

Documentation of the intervention has been made into a photographic work:


Untitled landscape (Cave Hill)

Lambda print with diamond mount


Users' End. Group show (with Denicolai & Provoost, Geys, Beggs, Moore) Be-Part Gallery, Waregem, Belgium. 2008
Uneasy Spaces. Group show 80 Washington Sq. East Gallery. New York. 2006
. Factotum / Vacuum support action. Belfast. 2004
London art Fair represented by GTG gallery. 2006