Dan Shipsides (b.1972)

Capella Head Point 6a

Photographic print

34cm x 30cm

Courtesty of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland


Dan Shipsides was born in 1972 in Lancashire. He teaches Fine Art at the Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster and is a former Co-Director of Catalyst Arts. He was awarded an AHRC Landscape and Environment Award in 2006, Arts Council of Northern Ireland Major Artist Award in 2004 and in 2000 he won the Nissan Art Award, IMMA, Dublin.

He has exhibited nationally and internationally including ‘Another Fine Mess’ at American University Museum-Katzen Gallery, ‘Still not out of the woods’ L’Orangerie Bastogne, Belgium and ‘Desire Lines’ ACCA, Melbourne.

This work is from a series of ten works made after a mountaineering trip in the Echo Valley in Spain and climbing on a particular mountain called Capella. The drawings play with the form of a climbing route diagram and suggest fantastically circuitous routes. The actual route climbed is more direct than these propositions-but the circuitous nature of the drawing reflects the psychological journey and anxiety of the nature of climbing this fierce and massive cliff. They respond to the route finding tasks of making and remaking of decisions en-route whilst climbing. The term Head Point is used in climbing to describe a climb done from ground to top-but where several stops and practice attempts are made. The series also expands on Paul Klee’s idea of taking a line for a walk.