← Past Exhibitions

Americana: Future Rural

Gallery 1, Gallery 2, Gallery 3, Visual Arts
25 March - 30 April

Curator Linda Shevlin

Presenting works by

Brian Duggan (IE)

John Gerrard (IE)

Kim Shively (USA)

M12 Studio (USA)

Americana: Future Rural is an important exhibition which has been developed from time Linda has spent on residency with M12 Studio, Colorado (USA) and is driven by her interests in rural representation in international contexts. The subject of the exhibition comes from the increasing desire for an expanded view of land use and the commoditisation of rural space, the loss of wilderness and notions of displacement and replacement. The exhibition provides a perspective on the past, present and future manifestations of Rural.

Linda Shevlin's long links to The Dock extend back to 2005-2008, when she was artist in residence. More recently Linda has been curator in residence with Roscommon Arts Centre/Roscommon Arts Office, supported by the Arts Council. Linda’s curatorial projects emphasise the idea that the visual is an assimilatory process continuously at work in the construction of cultural, political, personal, and national identities. Her interests are in histories, and their intersection with the present, and in how traditions in art can be revealed through research in archaeology, history, technology and ethnography.

Brian Duggan lives and works in Dublin. Usually working from extensive research the artist navigates unusual cracks and problems within particular structural frameworks, taking both personal testimony, throw away comments and official documents to build and explore overlooked situations. 

The Last Day Diary, featuring John Hurt, is a film inspired by a specific historical relic from the Johnson County War in 1882 Wyoming; a hand written letter found on the body of Nathan D. Champion who was falsely accused by a wealthy Wyoming cattleman’s association. He was the first person murdered by a band of hit men hired by the cattlemen. The film is a powerful but comtemplative film which draws on the  pressures between those with land and those without. The Last Day Diary expands on Duggan’s larger body of work which is influenced by themes in the film Heaven’s Gate (1980) a film based on A.S. Mercer’s 1894 book Banditti of the Plains. The book, which was banned in Wyoming due to political embarassment, is an eye-witness account of local small homesteader immigrant groups who were harrassed into abandoning their plots of land to earlier, polictically connected settlers having manipulated cattle grazing rights. 

Brian Duggan is represented by blazer projects, Basel, Switzerland.

Brian Duggan Press Link

John Gerrard is an Irish artist, working in Dublin and Vienna, best known for digital simulations displayed using Real-time computer graphics. Many of Gerrard’s surreal works have featured geographically isolated industrial facilities that are a hidden part of the global production network, a by-product of consumption and data driven contemporary life. Indeed, Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma), 2015 is a portrait within the virtual of a Google data center in Oklahoma.

After being denied access to Google’s data farm in Pryor Creek Oklahoma, Gerrard hired a helicopter to produce a detailed survey of this significant site, a pointed reminder that information and data is being farmed and this architectural form is a physical manifestation of modern society’s social and private information. At a time when crop prices continue to fall, squeezing smallholder farmers out of business, these data farms represent a potentiality around future land usage.  Farm (Pryor Creek Oklahoma) is being presented along with Grow Finish Unit (near Elkhart, Kansas) where the similarities between the architectural space of the data farm bears a startling resemblance to the vernacular architecture of the livestock facilities in Gerrard’s earlier work.

John Gerrard is represented by the Thomas Dane Gallery, London.

John Gerrard Press Link

Kim Shively is a filmmaker based in Denver, Colorado. Her work leans towards the strange, the haunting, the beautiful and the damned and is currently in the post-production stages of a documentary short about the 1961 film “The Misfits”.

Kim Shively will be presenting a film installation “Tumbleweed”. Over the last century, the tumbleweed has embodied the roaming frontier spirit of the American West, it has been romanticized and many times objectified, reinforcing our pastoral dreams of the country. But today an ecological war has ensued in the high plains region, a battle fought by farmers against a brazen and bold plant staking claim in fields across Colorado. Tumbleweed, a four part documentary film, explores the past and current day history of the Russian Thistle and Kochia plant—both, commonly known as tumbleweeds in their dried out form. These perennials are extremely adaptable and thrive in all weather conditions, making them indestructible and capable of choking out food systems across the United States. Filmed near Last Chance, Cheyenne Wells, and Burlington, Colorado, the series divides into four seasons exposing the tumbleweed life cycle in these rural locales. Shively, known for the idyllic and reticent qualities of her films looks through a bucolic lens, giving us a story of one dried up plant pushing its way through the rural landscape.

M12 Studio is known for groundbreaking and award-winning creative projects that explore the aesthetics of rural cultures and landscapes. M12 is an interdisciplinary group based in Colorado on the American High Plains that create context-based art works, research projects, and education programs. Working in the fields of art and design, they favour projects that are centered in rural areas and which can be developed through dialogical and collaborative approaches. Their projects explore community identity and the value of often under-represented rural communities and their surrounding landscapes.  They strive to be stewards of effective local and global creative problem solving and a community resource for evolutionary thinking and innovative communication.

Article Links:

Making Space for Art: Spotlight on M12 Studio

Farmers & Ranchers



Opening preview:

Thursday 24th March, 6pm

Followed by John Gerrard in conversation with Dr. Maeve Connolly (ARC, IADT) 6.30pm

Friday 1st April, 3.00pm

Curator's Talk with Linda Shevlin.

Friday 16th April, 7.00 pm

The Listening Club with artists Karl Burke & Mark Garry.

Calling all lovers of sound to listen and share music. An Americana themed event in association with our exhibition. Bring along some of your favourite tunes for everyone to hear.