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Fergus Jordan is a Belfast based artist having recently completed his doctoral research study in Photography. Fergus was recently awarded the Artists Career Enhancement award by the Arts Council NI, enabling him to work with Belfast Exposed on a new body of research during 2013. His work with photography and video investigates the conflict between darkness, night and artificial light, city in photography, the invisible, and the study of post-conflict societies. His research has resulted in several exhibitions across Europe.
Low voltage orange streetlights bouncing off wet black asphalt, surrounded by breaks of light shining through window blinds. Yellow floodlights contaminating every inch of space, and cold white tunnels scrawled with graffiti and melted plastic. A perception of night that became ingrained in me from growing up in a housing estate in Ballymena County Antrim where, like in many towns and cities across Northern Ireland lighting extends beyond the norms of lighting parks and pathways to create balanced, safe social spaces. In this context it becomes an instrument of social control and surveillance, where darkness is positioned as a space of tactical menace, exile and the unknown. I recall on occasions during the early 1990s lights being switched off, providing cover for police to covertly enter the estate during drug raids, while black spot areas of the estate remained engulfed by powerful light throughout the night. I lived beside the main thoroughfare of the estate making the house an easy target for passing vandals. Frustrated by the exposed position I decided to climb the lamp post next to the property spray-painting the light black. From my window I could see those near but they could not see me, the veil of darkness almost stopping attacks on the house. I found this situation intriguing, prompting a desire to probe these spatial dynamics.
Professional Academic / Artist Positions
Belfast Exposed Artist in Residence January 2013 – November 2013
I have partnered with Belfast Exposed and the Arts Council to develop a major research initiative in 2013. I have secured full funding for the research project through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland ACES Award and established working fieldwork partners as well an organisation to host the research in a gallery setting in November 2013.
U.K and Ireland DAS Artist in Residence October 2012 – January 2013
I will commence a Four-month residency at Digital Arts Studios in Belfast with the aim of developing my current body of research. Through the DAS UK & Ireland Residency Program I will move into new territory working in film as part of my on going research into the subversion of iconography, in particular the mutation and transformation of the flag over the course a twenty four hour period.
Lecturer in Interactive Media September 24th –December 15th 2012
Lecturer in Interactive Media at the School of Media, Film and Journalism, Leading two modules in Visual Culture Studies and its relationship to new media applications. I teach students to understand the creative thinking processes inherent in the design, planning and production of interactive media formats as well as examining the subsequent media debates surrounding new media applications.
Tutor at Belfast Exposed Gallery, June 2012
Teaching practical photography skills, providing hands-on experience in both 35mm and digital photography. We work extensively throughout the region and occasionally on cross-border projects with groups and individuals. Through practical engagement we use photography as a method to communicate, build confidence and develop key skills behind the camera.
Installation Assistant Belfast Exposed Gallery March 2012- Present
The installation of exhibition in the Belfast Exposed Gallery a 20 x 7m space for contemporary photography. This year I have worked on exhibitions including Settlement (Anthony Haughey). Enemy Blue, (Allan Hughes) Open Shutters Iraq, (Engenie Dolberg) Prima Materia (Broomberg & Chanarin, Colin Gee, Factotum, Tonic D). My roles include, hanging work, lighting and audio-visual set up. Completing condition reports at the install and de-install stages, preparing the gallery space for exhibition and working in collaboration with Artists and Curators.
Demonstrator/ Graduate Level Teaching at The University of Ulster Belfast 2009 – 2011
Making a significant contribution to the undergraduate teaching course. Mentoring students at undergraduate level as they develop photographic projects over the course of a semester.
Doctoral Research Study September 2008 – May 2012
In 2008 I commenced my Doctoral research study titled, Under Cover of Darkness: Photography, Territory and the City. My PhD research study was supervised by Professor Paul Seawright and Professor Ian Montgomery at the Research Institute of Art, Design and the Built Environment.
As a member of the Research institute of Art and design my role included actively engaging in with the research culture in the University; Contributing to the wider cultural context of Fine art photography through developing original critical practice; Outreach in the form of peer reviewed publication; Developing an active exhibition profile locally and internationally; Delivering academic papers and artist talks across the U.K about my research practice.
Awarded PhD in Photography from The Research Institute of Art and Design and the Built Environment, University of Ulster, Belfast
2008 – 2012. jointly supervised by Professor Paul Seawright and Professor Ian Montgomery.
Research Grants and Awards
BEI Fellowship Grant, 2002 -2003
Individual Arts Award Grant, Art’s Council Northern Ireland
Awarded Del Scholarship for PhD study, 2008-2011.
Individual Arts Award Grant, Art’s Council Northern Ireland 2011
The ADAI Award, 2012.
Best Publication in PhD Arts, Awarded by the (RGS) Research Graduate School at the University of Ulster, 2012
ACES Award, Art’s Council Northern Ireland 2012
Selected Exhibitions 2009 – 2013
Group Exhibition. Beyond Words, Safehouse Arts Space, Belfast, 2009
Group Exhibition. Artificial Light in the Urban Landscape, Place Gallery, Belfast. April 2009
Group Exhibition. Teaching Photography Symposium, Museum Folkwang, Germany. April 2010
Group Exhibition. The Thing That Bruises You, The back loft, La Catedral studio’s, Dublin. July 2010
Group Exhibition. Open Here Hereford Photography Festival, Hereford. October 2010
Group Exhibition, Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Ulster Museum, Belfast. October 2010
Group Exhibition, The Open West. Summerfield Gallery, Pittville Studios, Gloucestershire. February 2011
Solo Exhibition, Presenting Works in Progress: Darkness, Territory and the City. The Centre for Creative Practices, Dublin. Feb 2011
Group Exhibition, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast. May 2011
Group Exhibition, Auction for HPF @ Hotshoe Gallery London -September 4th, October 7th 2011
Solo Exhibition, Under Cover Of Darkness. The Golden Thread Gallery. October 6th, November 5th 2011
Solo Exhibition, Under Cover Of Darkness. Courthouse Arts Centre Tinahely, Co. Wicklow. Feburary 18th 2012 – March 3rd 2012
Group Exhibition / Open Call 7th Berlin Biennale. Berlin + Digital Art Library – Auguststraße 69 D-10117 Berlin Germany April 26, 2012
Group Exhibition, Selected works from Under Cover Of Darkness. The Glass Box, F Floor at the School of Art and Design at the University of Ulster, June 2012
Group Exhibition, Belfast Exposed Exchange Gallery, Belfast July 26th 2012
Solo Exhibition, Under Cover Of Darkness. The OKK/Raum 29 Gallery. Berlin Germany October, 2012 November 4th 2012
Group Exhibition, Artist in Residence Exhibition, 24 – 31st January 2013
Group Exhibition, ‘Invisibility’, Pollen Studios & Gallery, Queen Street, 27 – 8 March 2013
Group Exhibition, ‘Invisibility’, University Gallery, Belfast Campus, 11 – 30 March 2013
Solo Exhibition, ‘Garden Estate’, Belfast Exposed Gallery, November 2013
Under Cover of Darkness, Temple Bar Gallery, Book Fair, Dublin, Dec 2011
Under Cover of Darkness, Photobookshow’A’ Work flow Studios, Book Exhibition, Brighton, Dec 2011
Under Cover of Darkness, Photobookshow’B’ Ground Floor Left, Book Exhibition, London Feb 2012
Under Cover of Darkness, PIVOT Visual Curiosities, The Reading Room Book Exhibition, Dublin Feb 2012
Under Cover of Darkness, The FruitMarket Gallery, Book Fair, Edinburgh, April 2012
Under Cover of Darkness, Flash Forward Festival. Fairmont Battery Wharf, Boston Massachusetts. June 8-10, 2012
Under Cover of Darkness, Photo Ireland, ‘The Library Project’ Magazine and Bookfair, Dublin July 2012
Jordan, F. Darke, C. ‘Under Cover of Darkness’ University of Ulster, Allotrope Press, October 2011. ISBN 978-1-85923-248-4
Acquainted With The Night, Photographs: Fergus Jordan | Design: Tonic, 2008. Commissioned by Knocklayd print.
RUA Annual Exhibition Catalogue 2010
The Open West, Limited Edition Screenprinted Catalogue 2011
Allotrope Press Broad Sheet Issue 3 ‘Limits” ed. Winter.K, O’Reilly, E.Oct 2011. ISSN 2048-2859.
Abridged 0 – 25: Silence- March 2012
Supermassiveblackholemag Issue 10 ‘At Night’ April 2012: ISSN 2009-2288
Photo Monitor: An Interview conducted by Christiane Monarchi, May 2012 see [http://www.photomonitor.co.uk/2012/05/under-cover-of-darkness/]
Allotrope Press Issue 5 ‘”IDENTITY” ed. Ulster Research Salon. Mirjami Schuppert & Dave Loder UK . June 2012
Coulter, R. Jordan, F. ‘IN FOCUS’, F.E, McWilliam Gallery and Studio. October 2012: ISBN: 978-1-908455-05-5
Forthcoming Publications in 2013
Tuck, S. Spectrality and Urbanism, Black Dog publications, 2013
Hailiday, A. Digital Arts Studio, archives publication, 2013
Jordan, F. Schuppert,M. Garden Estate, The Velvet Cell, 2013
Other Forms of Public Output:
Artist talk – University of Ulster Belfast. RGS Conference March 2010
Artist talk – The Centre for Creative Practices Dublin. Part of the Practice & Research Series November 2010
Artist talk – Pittville Studios the University of Gloucestershire February 2011
Artist talk – The Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast October 2011
Artist talk- Courthouse Arts Centre Tinahely, Co. Wicklow Feburary 2012
Artist talk- The FruitMarket Gallery, Edinburgh, April 2012
Artist talk- The OKK/Raum 29 Gallery. Berlin Germany October, 2012 November 4th 2012
Artist talk-Digital Arts Studios, January 27th 2013