Research Drawing 01 is a conceptual collage mapping the research and influence on the Keeper archive art project. This framed wall piece documents lines of artistic inquiry, mapping individuals and social-historical influences in the creation of artworks from the Keeper archive art project.
Keeper is an archive comprising artworks and gathered material relating to the lived experience of Northern Ireland. Keeper artworks are continually being developed and each is unique to the time, to the legacy and to the context. They are created from found objects, digital and film colour cinematography, black and white 35mm film photography, 35mm colour slide, digital audio site recordings, and interviews. Initially these artworks were generated from the original Long Kesh compounds (1971) and the cellular HM Prison Maze (1976 – 2000). Keeper as an art project is continually evolving and each manifestation of the exhibition is unique to the exhibition context and gallery space. The archive has expanded over twenty years and no longer contains elements exclusive to these two sites of incarceration.
Keeper artworks include; Consuming Politics (1998 / 1997), Hands (1999), Bomb (2004), Billy's Museum (2004/re-mestered 2017), The Agreement Portraits (2004), Strikers (2007) and The Soldier and The Queen, (2005/re-mastered, 2017).
The Soldier and The Queen, 2005/re-mastered, 2017, 3-channel video with narrated audio and book, 3-screen 4:3 video installation. The spoken text and words depicted on three monitors are sourced from Shakespeare’s play Antony and Cleopatra, a book the artist found abandoned on the floor in a pile of books inside the education hut. Hand written notes in different handwriting form another recounted story. In The Soldier and The Queen this marginalia is narrative and non-linear, spoken by two Northern Irish men and the text is visually presented using video.
Containers (working title) is an artwork in development, based on alcohol made over period 1978-1980 by Loyalist and Republican internees from the original Long Kesh / Maze prison compounds, Northern Ireland. The containers having been given to the artist, to conduct investigations in to chemical composition and to save them from destuction.