Artist’s Statement

Since 1993, when I was introduced to the music of John Tavener, I have had the great privilege and pleasure of working in collaboration with two wonderful composers.

Tavener’s “Protecting Veil” – played at the Royal Northern College of Music was followed by “The Still Dancers”, a work in three movements by Piers Hellawell. In both of these my computerised images were projected on to a screen behind the quartets during live performances. The Still Dancers was performed in Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Oxford. A video was made of the work and also a film showing the making of the project.

In The Still Dancers the computer was “played” by Deirdre McKay, a young composer with whom I went on to collaborate in “The Fly”. This poem by William Blake inspired Deirdre McKay to compose a piece for clarinet and voice. I created an exhibition on the same theme using suspended etchings on perspex with moving light following the music.

This introduction of verse led to “A Pale Yellow Sky” a series of work based on seven Haiku poems, with music again by Deirdre McKay written for the harp, an instrument which is both Irish and eastern. I made a DVD using my images and the music which was performed by Cliona Doris, the renowned Irish harpist. A Pale Yellow Sky was shown in Belfast and again in Dublin, where it was accompanied by an exhibition of my work based on a visit to Japan. The exhibition was opened by the Japanese Ambassador to Ireland

In 2010 I moved to France where I continued to work with Deirdre on a joint theme “The West”, endeavouring to capture the moody magic of the West of Ireland. This work is on-going, although interrupted by my move back from France to York in 2014.

Curriculum Vitae

A graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, Jean Duncan studied printmaking at Ulster Polytechnic Art and Design Centre. Her paintings and prints have been widely exhibited in Ireland, the UK and internationally. She is represented in many private and public collections including AIB Bank, Bank of Ireland, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Dundee City Art Gallery, and the Department of Culture, Arts and the Gaeltacht. Elected to the Royal Ulster Academy in 1994, Duncan has been involved in the foundation of several of Northern Ireland’s key cultural institutions.

In 1994 The Protecting Veil, her series of etchings and projected images based on the music by John Taverner, was commissioned by the Goldberg Ensemble and presented and performed at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. This was followed by Still Dancers, based on Piers Hellawell’s music The Still Dancers.

In 2002 Duncan and the com poser, Deirdre McKay, worked in collaboration on “The Fly” at the Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast, based on William Blake’s Songs of Experience.

In 2005 they have collaborated again on “A Pale Yellow Sky” at The Naughton Gallery, Queen’s University, Belfast.

Trained at Edinburgh College of Art, DA (Edin.) and Ulster Polytechnic, Art & Design Centre (Advanced Diploma in Printmaking). Co-founder and Honorary Trustee of Seacourt Print Workshop, Bangor, Co. Down.
Elected R.U.A. 1994, elected U.S.W. 1987


One Person

Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin – “a pale yellow sky” and Reflections on a Visit to Japan.

The Guiness Gallery, Foxrock, Co. Dublin.

“A Pale yellow Sky” in collaboration with composer, Deirdre McKay – The Naughton Gallery, Queen’s University, Belfast.

“Beyond the High Atlas” – The Guinness Gallery, Foxrock, Dublin.

“Compulsion Doth in Music Lie” – exhibition of original prints.
The Arts Centre, Wexford as part of the Wexford Opera Festival.
“The Fly” – installation & exhibition – Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast.

“In Stillness and Heat” – The Guinness Gallery, Dublin.

“Still Dancers” – Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin.
Performances with Vanburgh Quartet at Oxford, Dublin and Cork.

“Still Dancers” – a performance of projected images with music by the Nossek.
Quartet, Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
“Still Dancers” – an exhibition of paintings and prints, Waterfront Hall, Belfast.

“A Sense of Time” – paintings based on the environs of the River Lot, Elizabeth Guinness Gallery, Dublin.

One Oxford Street Gallery, Belfast.

Group Shows

2014 Apollo 14 York

2005 Invited artist GRAVURA Biennal Internacional Douro Portugal.
Tokyo International mini-print Triennial, Japan.

2004 Seacourt Print workshop annualshow selected by Micky Donnelly {touring}
Hillsboro Fine Art Dublin.

IONTAS Small Works – Sligo and touring Ireland
Invited artist, 3rd International Small Engraving Exhibition Cremona 2003, Italy.
Invited artist, 2nd Biennial Internacional, Douro, Portugal.

A Celebration Exhibition from Seacourt Print Workshop – 21 Years of Printmaking,
Belfast and Dublin
Spring Award 2002 – Gallery Slovenijales, Ljubljana
Tokyo International Mini Print Triennial.

Gravura – 1st International Biennial, Douro, Portugal.

5th Triennale Mondiale – Chamalieres 2000, France.
Chong Print Festival, China.

“Genitor” – two-person show – Ards Arts Centre, Newtownards, Co. Down
New Art of the Irish – Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart, Co. Derry
Printmakers Council Open Biennale – London
IV Graphic Art Biennale Drypoint International – Uzice, Yugoslovia
Paper Works – Department of the Environment NI & Office of Public Works, Dublin.

“Aisling an Cheoil” – Original Print Gallery, Dublin
Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
Original Print Fair, London
Five French and British Painters, Martel, France
Exhibits Royal Ulster Academy regularly – elected R.U.A. 1994; Founder member of the Octagon Gallery, Belfast; Co-founder and Director, Seacourt Print Workshop, Bangor, Co. Down; Founder member, Artists’ Collective of Northern Ireland and CIRCA Art Magazine, Belfast; Elected to the Ulster Society of Painters in Watercolour 1987.

Queen’s University, Belfast, Arts Council of Northern Ireland; University College, Dublin; Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Dublin; Office of Public Works, Dublin; Irish National Self-Portrait Collection, Limerick University; Irish Intercontinental Bank; AIB Bank; First Trust Bank; Dundee City Art Gallery; Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland; Belfast City Hospital; Hastings Hotel Group; UTV, Belfast; Northern Bank; Royal Ulster Academy Diploma Collection.


2005 Jury Award Tokyo International mini-print Triennal Japan
2004 Cillrialaig Project Residency
1988 Award winner Mini Print International, Cadaques, Spain
1990, 1997, 2007 Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
1994, 1996, 1997 Artist Residency – Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland.