J. DEAN Victoria

« The Fortified Coastline »


2014 - Sélection du jury et de Fetart

This series explores the built environment of the Irish coastline, surveying the architecture of recreational space that exists, often in discord with the purpose of the space and the unrestrained natural environment.

A linear interface between nature and the encroachment of human development, the coastline reflects a space of contradictions. By establishing a series of fortifications these recreational spaces reflect systems adopted by societies and authorities, the boundaries of which may be physical or psychological. Fluctuating between utilitarian and recreational, functional and ornate, these artificial structures and buildings of current and former use jar with the fluidity of the surrounding environment. Nature is often portrayed as a threat as various coastal reinforcements are implemented to guide persons away from perceived risks. Multiple fortifications including urban furniture encourage us to observe the natural environment from the safety of the man-made, be it from behind a wall, or a bench, beyond which lies a configuration of warnings. When viewed collectively, patterns become evident demonstrating a culture of coastal space of repetition, each varying only in aesthetics.

About the artist

Victoria J. Dean (b. Belfast, 1980) graduated from Blackpool and the Fylde College in 2003 with a BA (Hons) in Photography. Her work has been exhibited throughout the UK and Ireland in a number of group and solo exhibitions, including Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography at Belfast Exposed and The Mac in Belfast, 2013, and in the accompanying book by Colin Graham. Awarded Honourable Mention in 2007 and Selected Winner in 2013 in the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward, Victoria was also commended by New York’s PDN in their 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch for 2007. Represented by the Golden Thread Gallery (Belfast), Dean was featured in 2010 at SCOPE New York and in Elective Perspective at Galeria Arsenale in Bialystok, Poland. Solo exhibitions have included the Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown in 2012, and the Naughton Gallery at Queens University, Belfast in 2013. Her work is held in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Collection and a number of private collections in the UK and Ireland.