DAN SHIPSIDES - Home
This website provides some (haphazard) information on selected projects and artworks from 1996 to today.
For those not familiar with my work here is a quick introduction through these artworks and projects:
SHIPSIDES AND BEGGS PROJECTS (co-authoring partnership)
WHERE THE LINES END
ANOTHER FINE MESS
THE LAMENT OF THE ACCOLADE TREE
DECIMATION in A Flat and F Minor
THE IRON WAY
The Alphabet Climb
Still Not Out Of The Woods
RED FLOWERS ROUNDABOUT
'Pata-perception: perceive-something, recognise-nothing, conceive-anything, cognise-everything.
I (we)* guess broadly my (our) work is ‘landscape art’. I am (we are) interested in a creative and critical relationship to place, spaces, encounters and events in all and any of its potential manifestations - political, personal, topographical, psychological, phenomenological and/or nonsensical and pata-physical. Our work manifests as video, drawing, sculpture, installation, performance, sound, music or text.
The processes of the work reflects and embodies encounters - adventures and misadventures in ‘real life’ which often includes climbing and mountaineering alongside our day-to-day lives and an open response to the politicized landscape of urban Belfast, where I (Dan) live, and the rural village landscape of La Varenne, where Neal lives in France.
Within some of our works, those relating to the politicized and physical nature of space, it often involves appropriating and disturbing the emblematic iconography and phraseology of place and colliding that with our contemporary lived experiences and interactions with the stuff that matters, which for us includes anything, but especially the phenomenologically rich activity of exploring crags, hills and mountains from below sea level to the summit, alongside more mundane aspects of daily life and events of place. It is a strange brew, where a song sung by a child might sit next to the drama or serenity of a mountain crag and the news of yet another rhetorical impasse at Stormont or beyond, all infused with the percolation of fluid unbounded imagination. Dan calls this process pata-perception** (loosely; “wilful and grounded imagination”, which he elaborates on through various works and talks) – but it’s really a way to think about artists’ method, what artist do when they are involved in the activity of art.
Somewhere, there undoubtedly twists the beauty and uncertainty of the unknown and the unknowable. In landscape art terms this is often referred to as the sublime, but if it is that, then it is a sublime which might refer to the subtle terrors of hegemony or blatant terror of political violence as much as the terrain of the vertiginous drop or the awareness of awesomely different means of apprehension and scale. As part of this approach, we often collide materials, periods, events and places, such as the 1900's, 1970’s and the present; the Dolomites and Ulster; or scale from the molecular to the data-point, to the immediate and the all encompassing and complex ecological. We do so with a concern for the visual, political, philosophical and fun possibilities of meshing out-of-sync objects, times, places and events.
For us the term landscape is a leaky one, spilling from the hills and mountains and rising up from the shores and swamping the imaged streets around us and washing over data-sets, events, people, places and incidents that register tidelines in our lives. All this is political, all this is present in our “here and now” and all this is fluidly connected.
*Since 2004 many works and projects have been co-authored with Neal Beggs (Shipsides and Beggs Projects) another artist-climber based in northern France with whom I share a love of art, mountains, music and creative madness. There is often little separation between our individual practice – we have a mutual freedom to share, combine and mutate our interests.
**Neal prefers the term “leftfield”.
Dan Shipsides, former co-director at Catalyst Arts, Belfast is an artist based in Orchid Studios and also teaches at the Belfast School of Art. He works individually and within collaborative dynamics, notably that of Shipsides and Beggs Projects.
Within the Shipsides and Beggs Project duo, he recently presented at the Katzen Art Centre at the American University Museum, in Another Fine Mess, 2020, with commissioned work including the moving-image work Where the Lines End, 2020. Shipsides also completed a moving image commission supported by aemi and Dublin Docklands, Three Points Down to Zero in 2017. He was awarded an AHRC Landscape and Environment Award in 2006, ACNI Major Artist Award in 2004, in 2000 won the Nissan Art Award IMMA (Bamboo Support) Dublin and 1998 won the Perspective award, OBG, Belfast (The Stone Bridge).
He (often with Shipsides and Beggs Projects) has exhibited nationally and internationally including; American University Museum - Katzen Gallery (Another Fine Mess), La Cuisine, France (The Lament of the Accolade Tree), L'Orangerie Bastogne, Belgium (Still not out of the Woods), Microclima (Venice Biennale collateral - The Iron Way), ACCA, Melbourne (Desire Lines), The MAC, Belfast (Still not out of the woods), Aliceday Gallery, Brussels (Vigil | Star), South London Gallery (Games & Theory), Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (Radical Architecture), Wings Project Art Space, Switzerland (Performance), Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol (Elastic Frontiers), Konsthall C, Stockholm, Sweden (Under plattan, ängen!), Platform Guranti, Istanbul (Hit & Run), Confederation Gallery, PEI, Canada (Beauty Queens), HEDAH, Maastricht (Rochers à Fontainebleau), Riga Sculpture Quadrennial, Latvia (European Space), Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast (Beta), Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (Pioneers), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (Sporting Life). Smart Project Space, Amsterdam (Endure), Melbourne International Biennial, Australia (Signs of Life).
Gratefully acknowledging the support of:
The Ulster University Ulster Aryt and Design Research Institute
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI)
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Opinions within this website are my own and do not reflect those of funders, employers or anybody else.