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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Profile: Terry Duffy

Hoylake resident Terry Duffy is an internationally established artist with a reputation for unique and challenging work. He studied at Liverpool College of Art in the 1970s and has exhibited in New York, Philadelphia, Berlin, Venice, Paris, Dresden, London and many other locations. He has worked with many notable artists including Joseph Beuys, John Cage, Roy Adzak and Stuart Brisely. He works between his studios in Wood Street Hoylake and in London.


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“The problem today is that artists are born into a culture of commodification which by its very name implies superficial, contrived, processed. To be commodified is to be packaged and sold and therefore, unless you are happy with being bought for decoration, adornment and valuation then you need to change, to refuse. But how? You have to use the NO rule! Artists work inspite of money not because of it.”

In 2013 he established the Global Biennial (TGB) – a groundbreaking, independent platform for emerging and established artists, curators and galleries worldwide, in response to the Art Market-driven commodification of ART that excludes many talented artists across cultures. He says: “TGB has set out to democratise and inspire opportunities worldwide; it aims to be edgy, innovative, inspiring, broaden horizons and cross cultural communication. We promote art wherever it is located, Real or Virtual. It doesn't have to be in a gallery. its where you say it is. The priority is content, context and quality. TGB is not affiliated to any Biennials, Art Fairs or funding body. It represents artists and art professionals worldwide.”

His own work has always been received with enthusiasm and support by the press and media, e.g. Studio International, Time Out, The Guardian, The Independent, Art Review, Channel 4 and BBC World News. His paintings now form part of many collections in this country and abroad. E.g. Sainsbury's, Granada, Bosch, Penguin Books, Panasonic and other collections in the USA, Switzerland, France and Germany.

In 2008, during the European Capital of Culture year, he had a show in Liverpool at the Walker Art Gallery and other important locations. In 2009 he exhibited in the prestigious Venice Biennale at the Palazzo Contarini, sponsored by Sotheby’s, and in 2011 at the Liverpool Biennial, sponsored by Barclays Bank.

He has worked across a broad range from abstract to figurative. He is inspired by Art as a means of commenting upon and an expression of humanity for all its strengths and weaknesses, good and evil.

The ‘Victim Series’ first exhibited at Rochdale Art Gallery in 1983. Irene McManus of The Guardian wrote “Duffy dominates this show with his huge Victim series, a sculpture / environment / altar piece of seven paintings as a monument or epitaph” to those who are the victims in society. The centre panel, a 14ft. high crucifix entitled ”Victim, no resurrection” was the major work in the series and later exhibited in New York. Studies from the Series were later shown in Cheltenham.

Recent works have included text/poetry addressing such issues as Anti-Semitism, Anti-Apartheid, war, religious conflict. Other recent projects include a series of talks and discussions focusing upon creative strategies, commodification, architecture and healing.

‘Victim, no resurrection’, is currently on a worldwide journey focusing upon religious and cultural conflict worldwide. Its most recent destination was Dresden because of its historic bombing and in opposition to the planned Neo-Nazi rallies. On this he reflects: “Art at the edge can be scary and challenging. When I was in Dresden I was openly asked to be challenging in what I had to say. It's a strange one for artists, we spend so much time alone, in isolation creating our work through its up and down it traumas and its bliss that we forget that what we say is also important, valued… Its a bit like being the “Best Man” or Woman at a wedding, you have to come prepared. But most artists will say: How?”

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“I installed ‘Victim, no resurrection’ at the Kreuzkirche in Dresden to commemorate the bombing of the city and its many victims in 1945. It also acted as a powerful statement of Peace and Reconciliation in opposition to the disturbing Neo Nazis rallies being held at the same time. A shocking reminder of the outcome of right wing extremism in Germany: The Holocaust.”

‘Victim, no resurrection’, is currently in Capetown, South Africa.

His project MONUMENTS continues to be installed in important locations such as the Palazzo Contarini in Venice and recently the Brunswick Centre in London. This project exemplifies the intensity of his abstract work and powerful use of iconic architecture.

He has received major awards and international media coverage including indepth coverage on BBC World News. In 1992 he was the British Council Fellow in Fine Art in Budapest. His studio is in London. Many works are in private and public collections.

On motivations he says, “The problem today is that artists are born into a culture of commodification which by its very name implies superficial, contrived, processed. To be commodified is to be packaged and sold and therefore, unless you are happy with being bought for decoration, adornment and valuation then you need to change, to refuse. But how? You have to use the NO rule! Artists work inspite of money not because of it.“

The Armistice Day 2013 project is in remembrance of the 26 who had died during a Zeppellin bombing raid in London in World War One and had been forgotten. Camden Council commissioned Duffy to provide 26 signed limited edition prints of a miniature 'Monuments' Image.

As a ritual of remembrance Duffy inserted these prints after the 11am two-minute silence on Armistice Day Monday 15th November 2013 into 26 books selected by him. The books went on display and later returned to the Library shelves for public use with the artworks intact within them as a reminder of the tragedy in 1915 each time the book or books are opened.


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