THE BOGSIDE ARTISTS

Until the passing of William in January 2017, the Bogside Artists comprised of three muralists: William Kelly, his brother Tom Kelly and their friend Kevin Hasson. All three were born and raised in the Bogside and experienced the Troubles first hand. Each of them lost family and friends, some of whom are depicted on the murals. While each held different political and religious views, they were united in the belief that, as William put it, ‘art is a means to objectify the past so that its unconscious hold is unravelled.’ This makes their work both commemorative and curative.

William Kelly (1948-2017) studied art in Belfast Art College in 1970 and went on to take an honours degree in painting at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 1977. He has had many one-man shows throughout Ireland. He wrote many articles on art and social history related to the Troubles. He lived for many years in Australia interspersed with periods working on the murals in the Bogside.

 

Kevin Hasson (b. 1958) has painted many murals in Northern Ireland and abroad, including Europe – he lived in Frankfurt for many years – and the United States. His experiences as a young member of The International Voluntary Service in Calcutta, India awakened him to the ubiquity and political and economic roots of social injustice.

Talks and Exhibitions

‘From Protest to Peace: Murals by The Bogside Artists of Northern Ireland' (USA travelling exhibition) 

  • Milwaukee Irish Festival (2018)

  • St. Bonaventure University, USA (2012)

  • Yager Museum of Art and Culture at Hartwick College, USA (2008)

  • American Conference for Irish Studies (2008) Davenport and Savannah, USA (2008)

  • Georgia Southern University Museum, USA (2008)

  • University of California, Berkeley, USA (2005)

  • The Kunstmuseum, Frankfurt (2003)

Other Locations:

  • The Horse Hospital, London (2003)

  • Villanova University Gallery,Philadelphia, USA (2001)

  • The Perth International Fringe Festival, Australia (2000)

  • The Boston State House (1999)

  • Boston College (1998)

  • The University of Sydney and College of Arts (1998)

  • Rockland Community College, NY (1998)

  • The Irish Arts Centre, Manhattan, New York (1998)

Documentaries

  • Bogside Story, Italian feature film by Rocco Forte and Pietro Laino, produced by Megapixel. Distributor Lulifilm. Premiered in Rome and Florence (2018) 

  • Open Air Stories, by Robin Jensen and Eileen Kennedy, Boston College, Boston (2014)

  • Free Derry, Press TV (2012)

  • The Last Mural, by Cyril Kelly, for RTE Television (2007)

  • What You See is What You Get, BBC Documentary (2004)

Tom Kelly (b. 1959) has a longstanding track record of cross-community work in the Bogside. In the 1980’s he organised art workshops for local youth at Derry’s Orchard Gallery. He leads a small independent house church, Wellspring, that draws on early Celtic sources of Christianity, including St. Columba, the founder of the Iona Community.

Awards

  • The Kurt Schwitters Merz Barn Fellowship (2014)

  • The Artists of Achievement Award, awarded by the Joseph Beuys and Richard Demarco European Art Foundation Fellowship (2010).

From left to right: Bishop Edward Daley, John Hume, Tom Kelly, William Kelly, Kevin Hasson 

© 2018 Art, Conflict & Remembering