The Soil Became Scandinavian - VISUAL

VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art &
The George Bernard Shaw Theatre

The Soil Became Scandinavian

Adrian Duncan and Feargal Ward

03 Dec 2020 - 30 Apr 2021 |

The Soil Became Scandinavian, is a film/sculptural installation by Adrian Duncan and Feargal Ward. It traces the steps of Irish forester Dermot Mangan who was sent to rural Finland in 1946 to find trees in sufficient size and number to be used as Rural-Electricity-Scheme poles in Ireland. The Rural Electrification Scheme impacted the social, economic, and industrial development of the country, and transformed both urban and rural life beyond recognition. Alongside the film, discarded ESB poles rest as objects in the space, the smell is of creosote.

In addition to the exhibition in the space, Finnish Journey, an essay by Adrian Duncan is available below. The story is read by Irish actor Barry Ward and charts the artists' journey to Finland to research and make the film. Kindly supported by Carlow Library Services.

About the Artists:

Adrian Duncan is an artist and writer based in Ireland and Berlin. His debut novel Love Notes from a German Building Site was published by The Lilliput Press in 2019. It won the 2019 John McGahern Book Prize. Duncan's second novel A Sabbatical in Leipzig was published by The Lilliput Press in 2020. In 2018 he exhibited, in collaboration with Feargal Ward, a large-scale film/sculptural installation work titled The Soil Became Scandinavian, as part of EVA 2018, curated by Inti Guerrero. In 2019 they co-directed a music video for Joy Division's Day of the Lords as part of the Unknown Pleasures Reimagined project. In 2020 his and Ward's film Tension Structures received its North American premier at Hot Docs, Toronto.

Feargal Ward is an artist and filmmaker based in Dublin and Berlin. His most recent film Tension Structures (co-directed with Adrian Duncan) premiered at IDFA 2019, before screening at HotDocs (Toronto) in 2020. The film will also be screened in the Centre Pompidou, Paris in 2021. His previous feature The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid premiered in the main competition at IDFA in 2017 before screening at multiple festivals worldwide including the Moscow International film festival, Sheffield Doc Fest, HotDocs, after which it was broadcast on German, Irish and Finnish television. His debut feature Yximalloo (co-directed with Tadhg O’Sullivan) premiered at FID Marseille where it won the Prix Premier in 2014. He was a co-founder/director of The Joinery in Dublin from 2007-2014 with Miranda Driscoll.

This audiobook project is supported by Carlow County Library and VISUAL.
Voice actor: Barry Ward
Sound recording: Seamus Fogarty
Finnish Journey an essay by Adrian Duncan first published by Fallow Media, 2018.

Follow the link to listen to 'Finnish Journey' by Adrian Duncan: Finnish Journey by Adrian Duncan

Film credits
Directed by Adrian Duncan & Feargal Ward
Actor: Barry Ward
Cinematography: Feargal Ward and Jonathan Sammon
Score: Declan Synnott
Sound recording: Adrian Duncan and Jonathan Sammon
Produced and edited: Feargal Ward
(c) 2018 Adrian Duncan & Feargal Ward

Exhibition design: Adrian Duncan & Feargal Ward
VISUAL Production team: Anthony Walsh, Tadhg McSweeney, Michael Lonergan, Jimmy Snoddy.
Preview video: Ros Kavanagh

Funded by The Arts Council