Michael Mulvihill: !DRAW – Jenny, Reggie, Tony and Cleo

Long Gallery, Newcastle University
16 - 27 January 2018

This is an exhibition of new work that is emerging from doctoral research where through the process of drawing and art making hidden social and culture structures are revealed. Unwittingly these structures effect our day to day lives and maybe responsible for the way we live, feel and build our self-image.

The research has been carried out as an on going Artist in Residency at RAF Fylingdales on the North Yorkshire Moors. One of three Ballistic Missile Early Warning Stations situated around the North Pole operated by the Royal Air Force and USAF 21st Space Wing that provides warning of nuclear missile attack against the United States and United Kingdom. As well as providing shepherding service the myriad of satellites and space debris in Earth Orbit.

Through drawing practice emerge trajectories from points where the exceptional spaces of the nuclear and military intersect with objects and activities that are taken for granted. For example the film MM-AV76-RCA-pp00042017-15112017 (2017) constructs commonalities between modes of production in used sculpture and those for nuclear weapon production. These relationships are embodied by the films soundtrack made from a playlist of songs released by Radio Corporation of America (RCA) records. RCA built and operated RAF Fylingdales but is commonly known for releasing the records of David Bowie

While the exhibition draws its’ title from British code names for the parts of thermonuclear weapons, which also evoke names of characters from 1970s Television such as The Good Life and Abigail’s Party; disrupting the delineation between the exceptional worlds of nuclear war fighting and day to day social and cultural life.

Michael Mulvihill is an artist, currently doing practice led research through AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership at Newcastle University producing art work that considers the way nuclear weapons have influenced and structure the way we experience our social and cultural environment. This working is being realised through an artist residency at RAF Fylingdales.


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