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Brian Flynn

Brian Flynn holds dual citizenship from Canada and Ireland.  Throughout his life, he has moved back and forth between both countries.  He has a Master in Fine Arts Degree from the University of Ulster Belfast (Ireland) .Flynn has received major art grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, The Irish Arts Council, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. He has solo exhibitions in public galleries that include: the Art Gallery of Calgary, Ace Art inc. (Canada), the Sirius Art Center (Ireland), Basement Gallery (Ireland) and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in Victoria, B.C.  Notable group exhibitions include the Lulea Biennale, Sweden, the ev+a art festival in Limerick, Ireland, and the Huntington Art Prize held annually at the Royal College of Art, London, England and Flynn participated in the X-Border Art Biennial which took place in three different countries, using exhibition spaces in Lulea, Sweden; Rovaniemi, Finland and Severomorsk, Russia.

My latest bodies of work continue my interest in social constructions and my family’s ties to politics in Ireland.  Using oil paint and photo-transfers as my mediums, I recreate figures from both my family’s history as well as Ireland’s turbulent politicized past.  The subjects in my work either held specific agendas in outlawed political organizations or were those who have been affected by these agendas. My process of layering and obscuring, protecting identity while simultaneously wiping it out, is an artistic exercise of the very activities that members of the resistance practiced during the Troubles as a means of self-preservation to avoid detection during oppressive times.

I have recently spent time documenting Fork Hill – the village where my family is from and still lives.  A border town, Fork Hill was the most occupied town in Northern Ireland’s history.  As of July 31, 2007, the British military finally completely pulled out of the area.  


My interest in documenting this area's history focuses on the role of identity and place in the context of conflict.  I spent some time interviewing former IRA members regarding their activities, specifically in relation to my grandfather's house located twenty feet from the border which divides Northern and Southern Ireland.  The house was used as a staging point for IRA maneuvers against the British army posted in the area.  How do you tell a story that must remain faceless, nameless, and without evidence? 


2001-2003    Master of Fine Art: Honours, University of Ulster, Belfast, N. Ireland

1988-1992    Honours Diploma: Painting, Alberta College of Art and Design,                                       Calgary, Canada


Exhibition Record

Solo Exhibitions

2019          No Photos… No Recordings… No Notes… Studio Exhibition curated by                               Dick Averns, Calgary, Canada

2008          Hedgerow Series, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia,                                      Canada

2006          Cover Series: Belfast Portraits, Aceartinc. Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada

                   Cover Series: Belfast Portraits, Sirius Art Center, Cobh, Cork, Ireland

2005          Wake, Basement Gallery, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland

                   Wake, SKEW Gallery, Calgary, Canada

                   Cover Series: Belfast Portraits, Eastern Edge Gallery, St. Johns, Canada

2004-2005     Cover Series: Belfast Portraits, Art Gallery of Calgary, Canada

2001          Power Dot Series, Basement Gallery, Dundalk, Ireland

1999          The Object Singular, Art Gallery of Peel, Brampton, Canada

1998          New Paintings, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Newbliss, Ireland

1996          A Selection of Paintings, Tableau Vivant Gallery, Toronto, Canada

1995          Works in Progress, Third Space, Hamilton Artists inc., Hamilton, Canada


Group Exhibitions

2015          The Changing Face, Essentia, Calgary, Canada

2013          “X-Border” Art Biennial 2013, Rovaniemi, Finland (May - August)

2009          Portraits, Trianon Gallery, Lethbridge, Canada

2007          “Passion of mankind” Lulea Summer Biennial 2007, Lulea, Sweden                                          (June - August)

2005          Beyond Emma Lake: Contemporary Art of Alberta and Saskatchewan,                                                 Triangle Gallery

2003          ev+a 2003, various venues, Limerick, Ireland

                  May, County Louth Museum, Dundalk, Ireland

                  Art in Ulster, North East Institute, Ballymena, N. Ireland

2002          [two/four(eh!)], Walsh Exhibition Space, Belfast, N. Ireland

                  The Hunting Art Prizes 2002, Royal College of Art, London, England

                  See what I mean, Naughton Gallery, Queen’s University, Belfast, N.                                       Ireland May, County Louth Museum, Dundalk, Ireland

                  Souvenirs, DeLeon White Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2001         Small Islands, Big Ideas, Irish Art Centre, New York, U.S.A.

                  Shredders: a correspondence art project, CIRCA Magazine Website,                                                     Dublin, Ireland 1999

                  Resistance is Futile?, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada

                  Mighty Canadian Art, Red Head Gallery, Toronto, Canada 1998             

                  Stuff, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada

                  The Summer Collection, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada Dreamers                                  of  Dreams, Area Gallery, Toronto, Canada

1997         One X One, Area Gallery, Toronto, Canada

                  A Great Gathering, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada Inheritance,                                     Faktorie Gallery, Toronto, Canada

                  Steam, 376 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Canada

1996         Out of Darkness, Art Gallery of Peel, Brampton, Canada Third Rail,                                        Artscape, Toronto, Canada

                  23rd Annual Juried Show of Fine Arts, Art Gallery of Peel, Brampton,                                  Canada          

1995         Heart On, Parkdale Arts Collective, Toronto, Canada

1992         Debutante’s Ball, Old Toronto Dominion Bank, Calgary, Canada Thesis                            Exhibition, Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary, 

1991         Fragments, Images Art Gallery, Calgary, Canada

1990         Supplement, Old Toronto Dominion Bank, Calgary, Canada                                                 Environment, Marion Nichol Gallery, Calgary, Canada

1989         Aids Awareness, Marion Nichol Gallery, Calgary, Canada



2009         Purchase Grant, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Calgary, Canada 2008             

                  Project Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, Canada

2007         Project Grant, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Calgary, Canada

2006         Project Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, Canada

                  Project Grant, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Calgary, Canada 2005             

                  Project Grant, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Calgary, Canada 2000             

                  Visual Arts Award, Arts Council of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland

2001-03   Graduate Scholarship, Louth County Council, Dundalk, Ireland

1996         Juror's Award, 23rd Annual Juried Show of Fine Arts, Art Gallery of Peel                            ???WHERE

1992         Governor General's Medal, Alberta Collage of Art and Design, Canada 1991             

                  Simon Chang Scholarship, Alberta College of Art and Design, Canada 1989-90       

                  Illingworth Kerr Scholarship, Alberta College of Art and Design, Canada


Visiting Artist Lectures

2015        Guest Speaker, artBOX, International Avenue | SE17, Calgary, Canada 2009             

                 Guest Speaker, University of Lethbridge, Canada

2007        Guest Speaker, ACAD (Photography), March, Calgary, Canada 2006             

                 Guest Speaker for MFA Students, University of Calgary

                 Guest Speaker, University of Manitoba, January, Winnipeg, Canada

                 Exhibition lecture, Aceartinc. Gallery, Winnipeg, 

                 Exhibition Lecture, Art Gallery of Calgary, February, Calgary,

                 Canada Guest Speaker, University of Calgary, February, Calgary,

                 Canada Guest Speaker, ACAD (Sculpture), February, Calgary, Canada

                 Guest Speaker, ACAD (Drawing), February, Calgary, Canada

                 Guest Speaker, ACAD (First Year Studies), January, Calgary, Canada

2003        Guest Speaker, Alberta College of Art & Design, November, Calgary,

                 Canada Guest Speaker, Alberta College of Art & Design, October,                                     Calgary, Canada


Teaching Experience

2007-present    Faculty - Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Painting              PNTG 101, PNTG 212, PNTG 223, PNTG 213, PNTG 214, PNTG 222, PNTG 316, PNTG 317, PNTG 321, PNTG 411,                                                          PNTG 417


Drawing               DRWF 110, DRWF 120, DRW 202, DRWG 204, DRW 214


Photography      PHTG 101

2008-2010          Faculty - Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Interior Design - INDS 2213


Committee Work

2007          Portfolio Reviews in Saskatoon, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary (ACAD/AUA),

2015          NASAD - Painting Program

2014          3rd & 4th Year Painting Exhibition (ACAD)

2013          Adjudicator for painting awards (ACAD)

2008          Selection Committee for student entry into Photography Department (ACAD)

2007-2010     First Year Studies Exhibition at (ACAD)



Selected Reviews & Publications

2014          X-Border Art Biennial, Lulea, Sweden

2007          Fredriksson, Av Ida, “Var plikt ar att bli kommunikatorer med makten”, NSD, Lulea, Sweden

                   Fredriksson, Av Ida, “Nitton passioner”, Pitea-Tidningen, Lulea, Sweden

                   Soderberg, Marianne, “Moten med konst och passion,” Kuriren, Lulea, Sweden 2006         

                   Roberts, Lorne, “Troubled Faces Remain Neutral,” Winnipeg Free Press, February 9

                   GrandPre, Stephen, Trampled Underfoot: Brian Flynn’s “Belfast Portraits”The Uniter, Winnipeg, February 2

                   Pauch-Nolin, Kristen, “The Perfect Drug? Flynn and Finnigan Comment on The Addictive Nature of Art”, Uptown,                                                    Winnipeg, January

2005          “Fast Forward”, Canadian Art, Calgary, Winter

                   “Hot ticket: Galleries,” Avenue Magazine, Calgary, December

                   Holliston, Lisa, “Brian Flynn at SKEW Gallery,” Arts & Entertainment, Shaw Television, Dec

                   Reynolds, Travis, “The Underlying Truth,” SWERVE Magazine, The Calgary Herald, Nov 25

                   Roddy, Margaret, “Brian Flynn at the Basement Gallery,”The Argus, Dundalk, Ireland, Sept 12

                   Woolridge, Suzanne, “Interview with Brian Flynn,” CBC – Radio Canada, The Arts Report, St. John’s, NFLD, April

                   Sverakova, Slavka Dr., “Survey of art and politics in N. Ireland,” Contexts Art Journal 4, Dublin, Ireland, Winter 2005

                   O’Keefe, Christa, “Brian Flynn: Art Gallery of Calgary,” CIRCA, Dublin, Ireland, Winter 2005

                   Sandberg, Lorna, “Brian Flynn at the Art Gallery of Calgary,” CBC News, January 13

                   Holliston, Lisa, “Brian Flynn at the Art Gallery of Calgary,” Arts & Entertainment, Shaw Television, January

2004          Lafortune, Wes, “Called on the carpet,” FFWD, Calgary, December 16 2003                 

                   Buckman, David, The Dictionary of Artists in Britain Since 1945, England

                   ev+a: 2003 – on the border of each other, Limerick, March

                   Naclia, Janet, “See”, CIRCA, Dublin Spring 2003

2002          Goddard, Peter, “Week in Reviews”, The Toronto Star, Toronto, January 20

                   Hill, Ian, “Review: [two/four (eh!)]”, Belfast News Letter, Belfast, August 14

                   “Review: [two/four (eh!)]”, Northern Visions Radio, Belfast, August 8

                   Roddy, Margaret, “Brian’s Bellurgan painting shortlisted for major prize”, The Argus, Dundalk, January 1

2001          Davey, Gina, “Shredders: The final reckoning”, CIRCA, Dublin, Autumn 2001

                   Naclia, Janet, “Northeast…”, CIRCA, Dublin, Winter 2001

                   O’Mera, Fionnula, “Interview with Brian Flynn,” LMFM Radio, Dundalk, September

1999          “Fast Forward”, Canadian Art, Toronto, Summer

                   Dault, Gary Michael, “Resistance is not entirely futile,” Gallery Going, Globe & Mail, Toronto

                   Ettedgui, Perlita, “Latest Lonsdale Gallery Show is Hard to Resist,” Village Post, TO, July

                    Jordan, Betty Ann, “Diversity Revealed,” Where Toronto, Toronto, June

                   Sealey, Katharine, “Yesterday’s junk is today’s art,” Mississauga News, Mississauga, September

1997          Northcott, John, “Inheritance at the Faktorie Gallery,” CBC News, Toronto, July


Related Experience

2011          Community Learning and the Humanities (Goal of CLH is to provide free and open access to a challenging learning  environment) Calgary Public Library, visual art talks with the homeless community

2007-08    Board member of the Art Gallery of Calgary, Canada

2006          Artist in Residence, University of Calgary, Canada

2005-06    Board member of Truck Gallery, Calgary, Canada

2003          Shortlisted for the Hunting Art Prizes 2002, Royal College of Art, London, England

2002          Interviewed for Documentary “20 Feet Over Belfast: The War of Art in Northern Ireland” Produced and Directed by Paul                               Goudreau and Christine Hurson. Belfast, Northern Ireland

1998         Artist Residency, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, County Monaghan, Newbliss, Ireland

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