Up and coming artist celebrates dance in impressive debut show
A Celebration of Dance in Northern Ireland by Dan Ferguson ArtisAnn Gallery, Belfast Until February 2
ArtisAnn Gallery opens the new year with artist Dan Ferguson presenting his first solo exhibition.
Ferguson is a Londoner who worked as a teacher of art and media studies before moving to Belfast, where he recently completed an MA at the University of Ulster.
Make Room! celebrates the expression and enjoyment of dance, dancers and onlookers in Northern Ireland over the decades, from 1950s rock ‘n’ roll to raves, ska and contemporary dance.
This show is strongly graphic in character, with the paints having a luminosity in the colour palette.
For me, the two strongest images are The Whistling Doorman and Off The Rails.
The Whistling Doorman reflects that uninterested, faraway look of a certain kind of man. It is also interesting that it does not contain any dancers.
Off the Rails contains only two figures. There is one male, staring at an object directly in front of him, and at his side there is a female figure, falling backwards, perhaps in ecstasy, but this appears to be of no interest or concern to him.
This strange image seems to reflect a counter-culture of dance and, by its very composition, makes us question dance itself.
The gallery says: “Dan Ferguson enjoys painting places and people, identities and souls and mostly seemingly banal scenes, endeavouring to honour the spirit and history of a person or place.
“He uses the situation and setting, as much as the figures, as protagonists to reveal layers within identity, narrative and era.”