Futures Exhibition. RHA Gallery


On the 19th of November, the class of HND1 Graphic Design made a visit to the Royal Hibernian Academy. We were brought on a tour of the galleries by the director and curator Patrick T. Murphy. The assignment was for us to pick two artists who are exhibiting at the second series of Futures, anthology 2011-2014. Among 21 artists that exhibited their work, two of the artists that appealed to me were Jim Ricks and Peter Burns.

Jim Ricks

Jim Ricks is originally from California. He is a conceptual artist, curator, and writer. He has lived in Ireland for 10 years. He is a long time graffiti artist and a subversive.

He received a Masters of Fine Art from the National University of Ireland Galway and Burren College of Art programme. He earned an undergraduate degree in Photography from the California College of the Arts.

Alongside a number of group shows (Rua Red, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Royal Hibernian Academy, Galway Arts Festival, Tulca, Art Basel Miami Art Public), and solo shows at Pallas Projects, The Black Mariah, 126 Artist-run Gallery, the Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane, Onomatopee (NL), Jim Ricks has commissioned an Ed Ruscha knock-off in Kabul, worked with the Dublin City Gallery showing bizarre chatchkas alongside their permanent collection, created a bouncy megalithic sculpture (2 years before Jeremy Deller’s ‘Sacrilege’) with the Galway County Council, created an unauthorised McDonald’s seating area at Temple Bar Gallery & Studio across from a new McDonald’s, gave out Free ‘Wu Tang Clan’ tattoos (actual tattoos) in London with the Sluice Art Fair, broadcast women’s laughter for 24 hours on pirate radio, made a giant drone ‘war rug’ in Afghanistan for Rua Red.

Ricks was a member of the Temple Bar Gallery & Studios Curatorial Panel from 2012-15, and has curated exhibitions in Dublin, London, Cork, Madrid, Galway, Oakland, San Francisco with the support of Culture Ireland, The Volvo Ocean Race, 126 Artist-run Gallery, The Dublin City Gallery.

His predisposition for travel and trouble has informed his radical political perspective and heightened his love of the vernacular aesthetic. His work, characterized by urgent statements against imperialism, questions conventional notions of ‘fine art’ and aims to debunk capitalist mythologies. He appropriates disparate found objects from popular culture, sampling everything from The Economist to the developing world bazaar, and draws attention to the gap between real stories and ‘manufactured’ identity. Jim’s installations are informed by his background as street artist, agitprop designer and muralist. Other influences include back alleys, Dada, construction sites, poorly painted signs, abandoned factories and the aesthetic of the ‘dollar store’ display.

Samples of his work

Ducati Model 271
with The Black Mariah at Terminal Convention
Cork International Airport
March 2011

A reproduction of the inscription on a removed public sculpture in Tikrit, Iraq. It says: “Muntazer: fasting until the sword breaks its fast with blood; silent until our mouths speak the truth.” It is in honor of journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at Bush and called him a “dog” at a news conference during the former president’s final visit to Iraq. Ducati Model 271 is the type of shoe that was thrown.

jim ricks


Images of the monument


A Monument to Speaking Your Mind

Áras na Mac Léinn
National University of Ireland, Galway
2007 – 2008

Public kiosk located at the National University of Ireland, Galway during the winter 2007–2008. The work is a tribute to an unidentified Chinese protester. A watercolour reproduction of his sign, the Guardian newspaper article, and postcards with his image were on display. The computer ran on Xubuntu, an open source operating system, and offered it for download.

jim ricks

The article that inspired ‘A Monument to Speaking your mind’

jim ricks

The piece that was at the Royal Hibernian Academy:

“Carpet Bombing”
Telling Lies, with Terry Atkinson, Alan Butler, Cliona Harmey, Eva & Franco Mattes, Theresa Nanigian, Jane Queally, Jim Ricks, Martha Rosler, Sean Synder, Suzanne Treister.
April – May 2015

5m x 3.5m Wool carpet, handmade in Afghanistan. Carpet produced with Haji Naseer Ahmad & Sons Carpet Shop, Kabul; Design: Ruben Pater, Amsterdam. Commissioned by Rua Red. Very special thanks to Amir Shah.

The piece considers the difference between ‘truths’. There is the day to day truth of Afghans, and the historical function of the carpet in social life e.g. where one sits to relax, smoke, eat. Then there is of course the official ‘truths’. These of course contradict. One purports a scientific precision to the US drone strikes, another that these cause countless civilian deaths and is inhumane. That said, this work is less direct, perhaps even ambivalent to these official narratives. Having travelled two times to Afghanistan, it is clear that the reality of Afghan’s views are somewhere totally different. And somewhere far more complex than is thought on the outside.

I think of the central market place: The Bush Bazaar, as an example. George Bush is regarded highly in Kabul as he rid the place of the much despised Taliban. Another example: the Pakistani locals in Waziristan (not the militants) quite like US drones because they kill the outsiders who have turned their villages into terrorist encampments. But this remains a private opinion, because it’s not the approved Pakistani version of events.

The carpet makers:  Haji Naseer Ahmad & Sons. The blueprint was enlarged to scale and the carpet was made out of wool.

Carpet in the making

Jim Ricks and the carpet.

Link to his website: http://www.jimricks.info/

Peter Burns

Peter Burns is an Irish artist based in Belfast. He has a Masters in Fine Art and Bachelor of Arts Degree, Sculpture from the National College of Art and Design. He has exhibited all over Ireland as a solo artist or in a group. He mostly uses oil paints which has multiple layers and applied on generously. He used a variety of techniques to enliven the surfaces of the paintings. Chinks of old dried paint from the palette are attached to the canvas in places, while on other parts of the canvas, paint is scraped off to reveal underlying layers. At the Futures Exhibition, the works he displayed were inspired by fantasy and surrealistic landscapes along with little human figures.

Photos I took at the gallery:


Samples of his work:




Link to his website:


I came up with three works inspired by Jim Ricks & Peter Burns’s style.

One is titled Peace (based on Jim Rick’s Ducati Model 271) 

It was done with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Here is the finished piece:



Finished pieces based on Peter Burn’s artworks: I used oil pastels and oil paints on canvas board: Used the first artwork titled ‘Girl in room’ as a cover for the essay.


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