Tomorrow’s Almost Over, curated by Greg McCartney, is a group show featuring artists living and working in the City of Derry.
A city in the middle of a year of culture and in the midst of regeneration schemata holding a contemporary art exhibition featuring artists based in the locale poses some questions including: Is it a celebration of local art production? Is it a critique of cultural branding? Is it (however unintentionally) a part of that cultural branding process? It is of course to a degree all of these things but none completely.
Whilst on one hand Tomorrow’s Almost Over is a Derry artist’s exhibition there is intended to be a much broader reading than that of the purely geographical. Also, there are no direct references to the state of the city and its populace, or City of Culture and culturally-led regeneration. Rather, it is a poetic exploration of personal and social landscapes pondering now that the ‘future’ (take your pick of any number of definitions from A to Z, from post-conflict to post-Fordist etc. etc.) is here, what do you do? Where do you go? Who do you need to know?
There aren’t any definitive answers of course and none of the exhibited work suggests explicitly that there are. Indeed the title Tomorrow’s Almost Over implicitly carries a curatorial distrust of overriding political, socio-cultural or religious philosophies as it suggests that the promise of any bright new future is likely to fail. The use of a line from a television show can also be seen as a critique of and antidote to the tiresome overuse of contemporary art/curatorial tropes. Tomorrow’s Almost Over is taken from the theme tune of ‘Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?’ an early 1970s BBC comedy set in the North of England that focused on change and loss. Just as the Sixties were considered a highpoint in terms of idealism and protest so the years following saw the failure of that idealism particularly amongst the young and would lead eventually to the triumph of consumerism. This was a show that offered us an uncertain horizon, an exploration of that moment between sleeping and waking in which we aren’t sure who we are or how we got there or importantly what happens next? Tomorrow’s Almost Over similarly is a critique of a promise in whatever form it takes, inevitably therefore suspicious of its own rationale.
is an Italian lens based artist. She has lived, worked and studied in Rome, London and Toronto and has made Derry her home since 2002. Her work moves through the interstices between photography, video and digital art, and is often combined with the use of obsolete technologies
See more about her work at her website
Damien Duffy leads Void Art School, an initiative that he began as a resident Artist in Void in 2006. The education programme delivers studio based learning in Contemporary Art practice that matches that of tertiary level education to a range of individuals from A level students up to graduate. He is a member of Void’s curating committee, having curated Dan Hays, Cathy Wilkes, Naimh Mc Cann and Mat Collishaw, as well as several Void Art School exhibitions namely ‘Burn The Gaze, ‘Lacan can…’ and ‘We have won’.He was awarded the ACNI Artist in Education Award 2003 and a further three awards Individual Arts bursaries from ACNI.
was born in Derry N.Ireland, where he now lives and works. He has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. His exhibitions include “Disclaimer”, Orchard Gallery Derry 1997. The British Art Show 5, Hayward Gallery London, touring Edinburgh, Southampton, Cardiff and Birmingham 2000-2001. “The Case of the Midwife Toad (the unrepeatable experiment)” The Douglas Hyde Gallery Dublin 2007. “The Testing Rooms/Smashing Forms” a site specific audio and video installation at The Maze Prison 2008. In 2012 he completed an Artists International Residency at NKD Dale Norway and has had three solo shows in 2012/13 showing cycles of the Weathermen projects at the 126 Gallery Galway, Franklin College Lugano Switzerland and The Golden Thread Gallery Belfast.
See more about his work at his website
was born in Derry City, Northern Ireland, where he continues to live and work. Within his artwork that has spanned three decades there has been a persistent recurring focus centred around his immediate terrain. During the 80s and 90s he became known for producing work that referred and reacted explicitly to the Northern Irish conflict. Some early work was shown in the British Art Show touring Britain (1990), and New North (1990) and Strongholds (1991) at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool, while also being exhibited in his local neighbourhood, in places like disused bookmakers, community centres and vacant premises. Sourcing a large amount of his material for his current practice directly from the interstices and interactions of his own life , the work , often underpinned with humour, is characterised by a succinct multi-layered dark poetry. He continues to exhibit widely with recent solo presentations at the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Mannheimer Kunstverein, Germany and Mothers Tankstation, Dublin, along with group exhibitions at the Model, Sligo, Tulca festival, Galway, White Box Gallery and Apexart in New York City.
See more about his work at his website
Blaine O’Donnell (Northern Ireland, 1986) graduated BA (Honours) in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, in 2009. Recent group exhibitions include Spectrum of Activity, Black Mariah, Cork (2011) curated by Padraic E. Moore. Recent solo exhibitions include Table-Fables, Void Community Space, Derry (2011) and ZENITH, Ulster Hall, Belfast (2011/12). He is currently studying on the MA Art in the Contemporary World at NCAD.
See more information at his website
Pascale Steven was born in London and lives in Derry. One person exhibitions include Tracer at Project arts centre Dublin, Endless Revolution at Context gallery Derry and Erasure at Old Museum Belfast. More recently work includes Pause a scrolling text projection on the city walls in Derry and her invisible women portraits shown in the Nepotism +one exhibition at Platform Arts in Belfast .
See other work by Pascale here
Susanne Stich is a German artist, educator & writer. Her visual work has shown as part of film festivals (Frameline San Francisco; Galway Film Fleadh; Corona Cork Film Festival; Montecatini Mostra Internazionale Del Cortometraggio, Italy; Merlinka Film Festival, Belgrade, Serbia; Davis Feminist Film Festival, California; Belfast Photo Festival & others), solo & group exhibitions (Artlink, Donegal; Context Gallery, Derry; Catalyst Arts, Belfast & others) & academic conferences (Journal of Media Practice Symposium, Bristol; ISEA Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts, Belfast; SIEF Congress, Derry & others). In 2010, she completed a PhD with Visual Practice examining the “Visibilities of Childhood in Moving Image” at the University of Ulster, combining art-based methods with recent discourse from cultural geography, visual anthropology & sociology. She also works with children; designing & facilitating workshops in lens-based media and story-telling.
See more about Susanne at her website
Mhairi Sutherland is a visual artist based in Derry. Originally from Scotland, she has recently completed a practice based PhD in Dublin, exploring relationships between photography, landscape and conflict (2007-11), and holds a MFA from the University of Ulster at Belfast (1994-96). Ongoing concerns include issues of cultural visibility and invisibility, and the contradictory nature of ‘evidence.’ An abiding and related interest in military technologies, practices and geographies are explored through photography, drawing and site-specific installation.
See more of Mhairi’s work at her website
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Void Gallery is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Derry City and Strabane District Council.