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Entertainment and the Arts Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

The Fool by the Roadside opens at The Linenhall
21, Aug 2017 - 10:28

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The tremednous new art exhibition "The Fool by the Roadside" by Castlebar born visual artist Bryan Gerard Duffy, opened this past Friday at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar.

A huge crowd descended on the Linenhall to see the latest work from Bryan Gerard Duffy, which investigates notions of psychological and physical displacement.

Beginning in the theatre with a wine reception and special showing (Castlebar Premier) of Bryan's Award Winning Short Documentary "Sumud, Everyday Resistance", the packed theatre was then treated to a fantastic speech by the special guest speaker, and iconic Artist, Sean Hillen - who then declared the exhibtion officially open.

"The Fool by the Roadside" runs until 15th September 2017.


Bryan Gerard Duffy’s work investigates notions of psychological and physical displacement.

“I will build a great wall…” Donald Trump. Walls have played an integral role in the growth and destruction of civilizations from China to Mexico. This show explores the social consequences of walls and the process of navigating them through the everyday.

Duffy is also a collector, juxtaposing the sublime, fantastical, absurd and mythical into metaphorical paraphernalia and found objects. The use of newspaper in this instance introduces a dialogue around print media, and online media use. A dialogue of relevance is formed around the premise of newspapers, their uses and symbolisms, which refer to Old News, fake news, dispensability, discrimination, inconvenience, privilege, isolation and re-appropriation.

The fool by the roadside presents a volatile playground composed of hideaways, shelters, and interactive materials tempting the viewer to touch, think, consider, reconsider etc. Photography and camera surveillance is the primary source of retrieving the information from many “forbidden spaces”.

One of these spaces was a decrepit army tank he came across in the Golan Heights region in Israel prior to the 2014 bombings on Gaza, Palestine. Duffy’s exploration and interaction with the tank became a starting point for his dialogue with the Yeatsean poem ‘the fool by the roadside ‘, in which the poet counterbalances the structured and the playful in his exploration of the ageing process. Duffy’s own playful attitude to materials and situations counterbalances a very serious social conscience and political intent.

The themes of his work include post-colonialism, media, cultural appropriation, and social, individual and collective responsibilities.

Bryan Gerard Duffy and Emmet Sheerin coproduced the Award Winning short documentary “Sumud, Everyday Resistance”, where it has been shown in international venues including Sydney World Film Festival (Australia), Accolade Film Festival, Los Angeles (United States), Ouchy Film Awards (Switzerland), ICCL Human Rights Film Awards 2016 (Ireland), The 14th Resistance International Film Festival (Iran), Scandinavian International Film Festival (Finland), Short Pole Film Festival (England), Waterford Film Festival (Ireland), Catalyst Arts Gallery (Northern Ireland)

“Sumud, Everyday Resistance examines life under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank through the stories of Palestinian women. Seeing women as drivers of change, the film highlights aspects of Palestinian life in a way that presents its subjects not as victims, but as proactive, engaged, and dignified.”

Irish Council for Civil Liberties

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