Gallery opens new exhibition

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On Friday December 5, the FE McWilliam Gallery & Studio, Banbridge, opens the doors for its latest exhibition entitled ‘Drift’ by renowned Portadown based artist, Victor Sloan.

An influential artist and educator, Victor Sloan is internationally recognised for his powerful work related to the Northern Irish Troubles.

His arresting images of Orange Order Marches, the Sham Fight at Scarva and the Security Forces have been exhibited all over the world.

Less familiar are Sloan’s works relating to Craigavon and the Vietnamese Boat People who were settled there in 1979.

Sloan got to know some of the Vietnamese community and photographed them in Moyraverty Community Centre and in the Burnside estate where some of the families were housed.

In preparation for this exhibition, Sloan rekindled his friendship with Ka Fue Lay, who was a teenager when he settled in Craigavon in 1979 and now lives in Salisbury, England.

While visiting Ka Fue Lay recently, Sloan made a new video in which Ka Fue Lay discusses his life in Vietnam, displays family photographs and fondly recalls his time in Craigavon.

The exhibition also includes Sloan’s black and white photographs of Craigavon from the late 1970s and early 1980s, contemporary images that he created by scratching, painting and bleaching photographic prints, and recent work including large colour photographs of Moyraverty

This exhibition, selected by Dr Riann Coulter, Curator of the F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio and Feargal O’Malley, Curator at the University of Ulster, is a timely reflection on the history of Craigavon and the experiences of the Vietnamese Boat People who were amongst the first refugees to settle in Northern Ireland, post-World War II.

This exhibition will be on show at the FE McWilliam Gallery & Studio until Saturday February 28, 2015 and will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with essays by Ken Grant and Dr Justin Carville.

An exhibition of Sloan’s art works inspired by the former Soviet Army Camp at Borne Sulinowo, Poland, will run concurrently at the University Art Gallery, University of Ulster, Belfast, until February 24, 2015.