Gerry Devlin

Floating, 2014

Oil on canvas

154cm x 145cm

Courtesy of the artist

Gerry Devlin is a visual artist from Belfast, who works and teaches in the city. In 1977, he graduated from the University of Ulster with a BA Hons in Fine Art and completed an Advanced Diploma in Fine Art there the following year. He then moved to New York, where he undertook a Master’s in Fine Art, specialising in studio arts at Syracuse University. He is currently a full-time lecturer of Foundation Studies in Art and Design at the University of Ulster. Devlin has exhibited extensively, with recent solo shows at the Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast (2020), Engine Room Gallery, Belfast (2017) and Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast (2016). Devlin’s work has also been shown extensively in the USA, where it has also been awarded several prizes, including, among many others, the Strictly Painting 11, McClean Project for the Arts, Vancouver and the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Arts Award. His work is held in private and public collections in Northern Ireland and further afield, including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Queens University Belfast, the Office of Public Works, and Utica New York.

Devlin’s work operates in a space between formal abstract concerns and a psychologically charged visual enquiry. Essentially self-referential, his paintings nonetheless incorporate a visual narrative in deploying images of fragments, objects and motifs from the commonplace to the museum artefact. Devlin explores the transformative impact of time on everyday items. He considers how objects which were originally made to serve a basic function are transformed by the passing of time and the context of the museum into precious artefacts that carry meaning and reflections on the past. Devlin’s paintings explore notions of individual and collective memories. Though devoid of the human figure, they endeavour to infuse inanimate forms with a sense of human loss, fragility and resilience.