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Protest and Remembrance Miriam de Búrca Joy Gerrard Mary Griffiths Barbara Walker 28 February – 30 March 2019

Alan Cristea Gallery


Protest and Remembrance 28 February - 30 March 2019

This exhibition brings together four artists who use drawing to examine elements of protest and/or remembrance through a range of subjects that include war, political demonstration, burial sites and lost industry, set in both the urban and the rural, past and present. As a society we often come together, in times of celebration, in times of crisis, to protest or to mourn, or simply to remember. Whether we are reflecting on our past or trying to change our future, these artists are telling us the story of something that should not be forgotten. This e-book highlights a selection of available works. Please contact the gallery for further information.

Left: detail from Joy Gerrard; Protest Crowd, London (Brexit 1, June 2018), 2018 See page 18 for more details


Detail from: Anatomy of Chaos II: The Legacy of Madness, 2018


Miriam de Búrca Miriam de Búrca (b.1972) focuses on the ancient burial sites in Ireland called cilliní which were used to bury unbaptised babies (until as recently as the 1980s) and many others considered ‘unsuitable’ for consecrated ground: unmarried mothers, the mentally ill, unknown strangers, disabled children (or ‘changelings’) and suicides were all laid to rest here, exiled to a state of eternal limbo. One way she responds to these landscapes is to select samples of plant life that grows from the grounds, making detailed studies as a way of interrogating the land and the charge that it holds. de Búrca comments; “The peripheral nature of the locations that were chosen for these sites is like a metaphor for the alienation and marginalisation of those buried there. They are often found on geographic, territorial or spiritual boundaries; townland ditches, at crossroads, on river banks, lake shores and where the land meets the sea, outside graveyards or inside pre-Christian sites, as if being handed over for the Pagan gods to deal with… Hidden in dark spaces, set far back from the road, or vaguely somewhere in a wide, open expanse of land, cillíní exist somewhere in the twilight of our subconscious. The underlying message we are to understand from these subtle, sequestered graves, is that there is nothing to see here – so leave well alone…. Cillíní, to me, are the legacy of how unhindered institutional power can turn into legitimised madness. There are at least 2000 of these unmarked burial sites dotted throughout the country. Most of them forgotten, or better said, ignored, except by those directly affected. To this day, there are many people who will remember someone in their family being buried in one, even their own child or sibling.” Artwork photography by: Jack Hems and Miriam de Búrca


Miriam de BĂşrca

Anatomy of Chaos I: What Remains?, 2018 Ink drawing on man-made vellum Paper and image 49.8 x 65.8 cm


Anatomy of Chaos II: The Legacy of Madness, 2018 Ink drawing on man-made vellum Paper and image 51.0 x 65.8 cm


Miriam de BĂşrca

Anatomy of Chaos III: Forensics as Memorial, 2018 Ink drawing on man-made vellum Paper and image 51.2 x 65.8 cm


Anatomy of Chaos IV: Amnesia Sampled, 2018 Ink drawing on man-made vellum Paper and image 50.5 x 65.8 cm


Miriam de BĂşrca

Cluster I: 1950, 2018 Ink drawing on man-made vellum Paper and image 27.4 x 39.6 cm


Cluster II: 1961, 2018 Ink drawing on man-made vellum Paper and image 25.5 x 32.0 cm


Miriam de BĂşrca

Cluster III: 2018, 2018 Ink drawing on man-made vellum Paper and image 27.3 x 42.7 cm


Intent on Forgetting, 2018 Acrylic ink on watercolour paper Paper and image 23.9 x 31.9 cm


Detail from There is Nothing to See Here, 2018


Miriam de BĂşrca

There is Nothing to See Here, 2018 Acrylic ink on watercolour paper Paper and image 23.9 x 31.9 cm


Joy Gerrard ‘What happens when democratic processes express, even produce, social and political divisions? How are the outcomes of such processes – sometimes only narrowly won - resisted and critiqued? How moreover, do such processes make use of visual-cultural means to, as the writer Rebecca Solnit puts it ‘make injury visible’? As a spectacle of resistance, public protest has a long history, but persists as a powerful form of expression in a time of conflict and instant ‘citizen-enabled’ global media.’ Drawing on over a decade of image-making and research on themes of protest and urban space, Joy Gerrard (b.1971) archives and painstakingly remakes crowd images from around the world, sourced from the media. Gerrard’s crowds are viewed from above, suggesting the depersonalisation of media observation, while the fluidity and drama of their movement is expressed through precise, expressive mark-making. The large paintings allow a shift in scale, disrupting the photographic schema of the smaller drawings, and thereby allow greater freedom from the original mediation of the image. Working in Japanese ink on both a small and a large-scale, for this exhibition she has made new paintings and drawings of protest scenes from London, including the recent anti-Trump demonstration, and the anti-Brexit march which actually passed by the doors of the gallery in which the work will be exhibited. More poignantly, the looming Brexit deadline of March 2019 will pass while the exhibition is taking place, making these protest images even more relevant. Left: detail from Protest Crowd, London (Brexit 2, June 2018), 2018 Artwork photography by: Ross Kavanagh


Joy Gerrard

Protest Crowd, London (Brexit 1, June 2018), 2018 Ink on paper mounted on aluminium Paper and image 23.0 x 40.0 cm


Protest Crowd, London (Brexit 2, June 2018), 2018 Ink on paper mounted on aluminium Paper and image 23.0 x 40.0 cm


Joy Gerrard

Protest Crowd, London (Brexit 3, People’s Vote, October 2018), 2018 Ink on paper mounted on aluminium Paper and image 23.0 x 40.0 cm


Protest Crowd, London (Trump Protest, Trafalgar Square, July 2018), 2018 Ink on paper mounted on aluminium Paper and image 23.0 x 40.0 cm


Joy Gerrard

Protest Crowd, London (Brexit 4, People’s Vote, October 2018), 2018 Ink on paper mounted on aluminium Paper and image 23.0 x 40.0 cm


Protest Crowd, London (Brexit 5, People’s Vote, October 2018), 2018 Ink on paper mounted on aluminium Paper and image 23.0 x 40.0 cm


Detail from Wild Honey, 2018


Mary Griffiths Mary Griffiths (b. 1965) investigates the lost industry of coal mining, through the study of a colliery in Lancashire which has been transformed from a place of work to a place of leisure, from mine to museum. Griffiths’ carefully rendered graphite drawings on gesso panels pay homage to the miners who used to work there, the volunteers who now run the museum, and the intricate machinery that was used to bring up the coal from the depths below. “Many of my drawings are of industrial sites and engineering and they are always tied in with the history of the site and also the working-class history of the place. In Wild Honey, I wanted to valorise the beauty of the engineering at Astley Green Colliery which closed in 1970 but is kept alive by a group of volunteers. I spent a year visiting and drawing and very quietly getting to know the men and women who run the museum, keep the locomotives going and the magnificent winding engine working. The challenge to myself was to make art that had the same tone and gravity as a finely worked engine part or steel rope, and that the ex-miners would feel did some justice to the beautiful machinery and the black stuff that they heaved out of the ground.” An additional group of drawings takes the graphite mines of Seathwaite in Cumbria as their starting point. It is from this mineral that the revolutionary ‘graphene’ is made and Griffiths makes new work by bringing together the arduous landscape of the mine with the precise geometry of the carbon atom.

Artwork photography by: Michael Pollard


Mary Griffiths

Upcast, 2018 Inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood 29.7 x 21.0 cm


Astley Ribbon, 2018 Inscribed graphite on red pigment on gesso on plywood 21.0 x 29.7 cm


Mary Griffiths

Wild Honey, 2018 Inscribed graphite on gesso on playwood 3 panels, 21.0 x 29.7 cm (each)


Mary Griffiths

Sweet Briar (Yates and Thom Ltd), 2018 Inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood 49.0 x 69.0 cm


After Seathwaite, 2015 Inscribed graphite on red pigment on gesso on plywood 29.7 x 21.0 cm


Mary Griffiths

Prospect Piece, 2018 Inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood 29.7 x 21.0 cm


Parallel Elevation, 2018 Inscribed graphite on red pigment on gesso on plywood 29.7 x 21.0 cm


Mary Griffiths

Circuit Gate, 2018 Inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood 21.0 x 27.9 cm


Detail from Circuit Gate, 2018


Barbara Walker Barbara Walker’s (b.1964) works depict people who are often cast as minorities, inviting the viewer to look beyond the anonymising act of categorising or classifying citizens. This particular body of work is part of a series of drawings which highlight a forgotten history of black soldiers who fought for Britain in the First and Second World Wars. “At the outbreak of WW1, thousands of West Indians volunteered to join the British army on the basis that, if they showed their loyalty to the King, they would be treated as equals. However, in the beginning, only white soldiers were allowed to fight, so the West Indians were relegated to carrying out arduous physical tasks such as loading ammunition, laying electrical wires and digging trenches for their white colleagues…. I intend to challenge and then revise history in order to make the men and women from colonial empire visible, validated and centre stage where they belong.” Working from public photographic archives, Walker creates beautifully drawn portraits of these men and women that effectively transfer visibility back to the subject, offering an alternative and balanced interpretation of a nation’s history that celebrates the contribution of African and Caribbean servicemen and women to the two World Wars. Walker makes these portraits in a range of media and formats, from small embossed works on paper to paintings on canvas and large-scale charcoal wall drawings. Left: detail from Parade II, 2018

Artwork photography by: Chris Keenan


Barbara Walker

Backdrop, 2018 Graphite on embossed paper 38.0 x 58.0 cm


All The King’s Men, 2018 Graphite on embossed paper 63.1 x 46.4 cm

Flags II, 2018 Graphite on embossed paper 63.1 x 46.4 cm


Barbara Walker

Parade I, 2018 Graphite on embossed paper 50.1 x 56.8 cm


Parade II, 2018 Graphite on embossed paper 50.1 x 56.8 cm


Barbara Walker

I Was There IV, 2019 Ink and tracing paper on digital media 48.9 x 38.9 cm


I Was There V, 2019 Ink and tracing paper on digital media 48.9 x 38.9 cm


Miriam de Búrca Miriam de Búrca was born in Munich, Germany, in 1972, to a German mother and an Irish father. Her family moved to the west of Ireland when she was three years old. She studied Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art and the University of Ulster, Belfast and in 2010 completed a practice-based PhD at the University of Ulster. Her drawings and experimental film and video-works have been exhibited internationally in London, New York, Montreal, Tel Aviv, Warsaw, Prague and Berlin. Recent exhibitions include National University of Ireland, Galway in conjunction with Burren College of Art (2018-19); Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London (2018/17/16); Golden Thread Gallery Belfast (2015); Higher Bridges Gallery, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland (2014); and Alan Cristea Gallery, London (2014). She has works in the collections of the Mead Gallery, University of Warwick; University of Limerick; Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast; and Queens University, Belfast. Miriam de Búrca lives and works in Galway, Ireland.


Miriam de Búrca’s studio in Galway, Ireland


Joy Gerrard Joy Gerrard was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1971 and graduated with a BA Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and an MA and MPhil from the Royal College of Art, London. Recent exhibitions include Wexford Arts Centre (2018); Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2017); Drawing Room, London (2017); MAC International, Belfast (2016); Hayward Gallery Touring show (2016); and Peer UK, LonÂŹdon (2015). She has installed numerous commissions including major works for Facebook and Tideway in London (2017/18); Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (2012); and the London School of Economics (2009). Her work is held in many private and public collections including The Museum of Central Finland, Jyvaskyla, Finland; the Arts Council of Ireland; the Crawford Gallery, Cork; and Il Bisonte International Centre of Graphic Art, Florence, Italy. Joy Gerrard lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Work in progress; Protest Crowd, London (Brexit 3, People’s Vote, October 2018), 2018


Mary Griffiths Mary Griffiths was born in the Wirral, England, in 1965. She graduated with an MA Fine Art from the Manchester School of Art in 2009. Recent exhibitions include The Turnpike, Leigh, and Lancashire Mining Museum at Astley Green Colliery (2018); Great Exhibition of the North, Newcastle/Gateshead (2018); Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester and touring internationally (2016 - 2018); Hong Kong Science Museum (2017/18); Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2016/17); and Black and White Room, curated by Cornelia Parker at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London (2014). Her book, Pictures of War, was published by Carcanet in 2009. In 2015 she completed a permanent wall drawing for the National Graphene Institute, Manchester. Her works are held in Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester; Arts Council Collection, England; and The Turnpike, Leigh. Mary Griffiths lives and works in Manchester, England.


Mary Griffiths’ studio in Manchester, UK


Barbara Walker Barbara Walker was born in Birmingham, England, in 1964. She studied Art & Design at the University of Central England, Birmingham, and completed post-graduate studies at WolverhampÂŹton University. Recent exhibitions include Jerwood Gallery, Hastings (2018); Dakar Biennale, Senegal (2018); MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen, Germany (2018); Modern Art Oxford, Oxford (2018); Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); The Drawing Room, London (2017); and MAC Birmingham (2016). In 2017 she received the inaugural Evelyn Williams Drawing Award in association with the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and completed a major commission for Facebook. She was awarded an MBE in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to British Art. Later this year she will have a solo exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate. Her work is held in public collections including the British Museum and the Yale Center for British Art, USA. Barbara Walker lives and works in Birmingham, England.


Barbara Walker’s studio in Birmingham, UK


Protest and Remembrance Miriam de Búrca Joy Gerrard Mary Griffiths Barbara Walker 28 February – 30 March 2019

Alan Cristea Gallery

Profile for Alan Cristea Gallery

Protest and Remembrance | Miriam de Búrca, Joy Gerrard, Mary Griffiths and Barbara Walker  

Protest and Remembrance | Miriam de Búrca, Joy Gerrard, Mary Griffiths and Barbara Walker