The Great Unwashed, an exhibition by Damien Duffy – 17 Jan to 15 Feb

The exhibition takes its title from the pejorative description of the masses, the multitude.

Here also a reference to the No Wash protests for political status in Northern Irelands prisons in the 70s and 80s. Using the conceit of Walter Benjamin’s dialectical image the exhibition draws together a constellation of the artists work that reflects on the antagonisms permeating the current political landscape, Britain’s exit from Europe, populist nationalisms and the psychology of the repressed.

A remaking of Richard Hamilton’s painting the Citizen combined with verse from Rimbaud’s The Drunken Boat are adapted making allusions to psychological testing of political identity and populist chorus.


Based in Derry, Damien Duffy holds a BA Hons. Goldsmiths College, University of London. Resident in London between 1987-2002 he took part in numerous art led initiatives there. He was awarded the ACNI Artist in Education Award in 2002 and has received several further awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He set up and led Void Art School between 2007-15. As a member of Void’s Curating committee curating Cathy Wilkes in 2007, Dan Hays 2007, Matt Collishaw in 2010, amongst others well as numerous Void Art School exhibitions within the programme. He was a member of the programme team for Derry’s UK City of Culture bid for 2013 In 2016 he was awarded the ACNI Fellowship at The British School at Rome and a subsequent residency with Fondazione per L’arte in Rome 2016-17. He has been guest lecturer at the Slade School of Fine Art, London and Universita Boconi in Milan. Exhibitions include Milch Gallery London, fuori uso, Caserta, Fantasy Heckler, Liverpool Biennale 1999, Void Gallery 2011, Academia Britanica, Rome 2016, About Blank, Macro, Rome 2016. He will be delivering a project with Art Arcadia / St Augustines in the summer of 2020.

Venue: Wild Tulips Gallery, 15 Clarendon Street, Derry BT48 7EP
Date: previews Friday 17th January
Time: 7.00pm

Opening hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturdays 11am-5pm. Other times by appointment.

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