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Alistair MacLennon: a poetic introduction

Watson, Gray (2003) Alistair MacLennon: a poetic introduction. In: Alistair MacLennon: a poetic introduction. Ormeau Baths Gallery.

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Watson, Gray

Invited by the artist Alistair MacLennan to produce an essay for this exhibition catalogue, the essay aimed to provide a clear and balanced contextualising overview focusing on the artist’s work. MacLennan has been a leading practioner of performance and installation art since the 1970s and became familiar with Watson’s writing mainly through the articles he contributed to ‘Performance Magazine’, of which Watson was the Editor from 1989 to 1992. Watson’s knowledge of the artist’s work was developed through his extensive lecturing on performance and related forms of art and his participation in a festival of British performance art in Israel in 1990, where his role was to provide the audience with a contextualising overview of British performance art in general.

The catalogue for which this essay was written accompanied a major retrospective of MacLennan’s work at the Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast. Watson’s research process involved travelling to Belfast, several months prior to the opening of the exhibition, to talk through with MacLennan the crucial issues which his art raised. Set against the backdrop of the sectarian conflict which afflicts Northern Ireland, his work addresses, in an intensely humane yet rigorous way, the relationship between divisions and fractures within the individual psyche and divisions and fractures within and between communities. It is an excellent instance of the type of art with which much of Watson’s current research is primarily concerned, namely that which explores, poetically and provocatively, connections between psychological and socio-political factors in such a way as to provide a catalyst for developing new and unexpected ways of looking at problematic and seemingly intractable issues of fundamental human concern.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Ormeau Baths Gallery
Your affiliations with UAL: Other Affiliations > RAE 2008
Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: 31 December 2003
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2009 23:53
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2011 10:41
Item ID: 1845
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1845

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