The Velvet Cell presents Garden Estate by Fergus Jordan, examining the legacy of the north of Ireland’s first heroin epidemic, which devastated a 1970’s council estate on the edge of Ballymena called Dunclug.
Jordan’s work is a deep encounter with Dunclug’s labyrinth of footpaths and rat runs, dead ends and cul-de-sacs. The work reflects upon the impact of more than a decade of social dysfunction, in which authorities failed to control the influx of hard drugs to the street. By opening our eyes to the dark corners of this neighbourhood and its residual landscapes, this series reveals the tensions and social complexities of a broken society on the periphery.
Using high sensitivity ISO 800 film pushed 2 stops in combination with slow shutter speeds, Jordan has attempted to frame these highly charged landscapes in low light without the aid of a tripod. This approach mirrors a dialogue that is present in the work of many photojournalists who found themselves’ working in contested situations over the course of the conflict in Northern Ireland. The result is extremely dark and anxious photography.About the Artist:
Fergus Jordan (b.1982) is an Irish artist based in Belfast. He completed a PhD in Photography at the Research Centre of Art, Design and the Built Environment, from the University of Ulster (2012). His photography investigates the conflict between darkness, night and artificial light, city in photography, the invisible and the study of post-conflict societies.
He previously published "Under Cover of Darkness" with Allotrope Press, exhibiting the series in The Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, and The OKK Gallery, Berlin.About the Writer:
Mirjami Schuppert is a curator working with photographic archives. In her practice she deploys dialogical curatorial strategies and is interested in the concept of the curatorial as a slowly evolving process.Press:Get Addicted To
- "Jordan’s photographs depict a place where all hope has faded, the sun has set indefinitely, and there is no prospect of dawn and everyone is waiting for the sun to set, but maybe it will never shine a light on Garden Estate footpaths again?"