AGREEMENT (2004-2022) Since 2004, Dunsmore has filmed portraits of individuals engaged in politics. AGREEMENT is a unique collection of video portraits depicting individuals involved in the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which ended decades of conflict in Northern Ireland. This is a monumental artwork series created in recognition and inspired by these individuals contribution to the ending of ‘The Troubles’. These calm filmic studies in light present a point of reflection, a moment of silence. The portraits are silent, twenty minutes in duration and continuously looped in gallery presentation, and in all of them the subjects are still, seated, their gaze focused and looking out towards the audience.
The portraits are filmed in 4:3. The same dark red velvet curtain is used for each portrait, providing a visual parity of composition. There is only one take. The lighting is purposely reminiscent of painterly use of light and compliments facial features. The camera acts as a gatherer of light. These are portraits of light painted in pixels, the artistic aim being to create artworks which would provide an insight and understanding of the individuals involved in the Good Friday Agreement. The shifting light, replicates the shifting subtlest of the sitters face. The substance of light and colour dissolving into image. A slight, moving image, on the flat surface of the material projected, or shining through the glass of a monitor.
AGREEMENT features : David Ervine, Progressive Unionist Party, filmed in Northern Visions community television studio, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2004; Lord Alderdice, Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, filmed at his home in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2005; Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin, filmed in the Void Gallery, Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 2005; John Hume, Social Democratic and Labour Party, filmed in the Void Gallery, Derry/Londonderry, 2005, Northern Ireland; David Trimble (by then Lord Trimble), Ulster Unionist Party, filmed in Seapatrick Parish Church Hall, Banbridge, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, 2017; Senator George Mitchell, United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, filmed in the Shelbourne hotel, Dublin, Ireland, 2018; Monica McWilliams, Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, filmed in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2005/2019; Pearl Sagar, Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, filmed in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2019; Seamus Mallon Social Democratic and Labour Party, filmed in Markethill, Armagh, Northern Ireland, 2019; Bertie Ahern, Fianna Fáil Taoiseach, filmed in Drumcondra, Dublin, Ireland, 2019.
Currently in production is the final AGREEMENT portrait of the former UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1997-1999), Dr Mo Mowlam (deceased). Her role was crucial to the peace process and as is the case with other women involved, her importance played down. Dr Mowlam’s portrait will be created from data, digitally processed from archival film. Using new technologies associated negatively through ‘Deep Fakes’- Dunsmore is re-appropriating AI technology for positive representation of women. This reclaiming of the software, is an important aspect of this portrait, a reclaiming/representing the recognition of actions for future generations. The portrait will be 4:3 aspect ratio, 20mins, similar in composition to previously the 10 filmed portraits. Funded by Arts Council of Ireland 2021 Visual Arts Bursary, Dr Mowlam’s portrait will complete the series for premier in 2023.