Fergal McCarthy is a 39 year old Irish visual artist from Co. Limerick, now living in Dublin. He was originally a painter, and for many years explored the concept of memory, both in his paintings and in site-specific installations.
After moving to Dublin in 2000, he developed an interest in the Liffey, which manifested in a series of durational performances taking the form of weekly swims in the river. He documented this practice with a photographer and film maker culminating in an exhibition commissioned by the OPW at Castletown House in 2007.
A study of national character led to a residency and exhibition in Reykjavik contrasting Ireland and Iceland’s differing relationship with myth and saga and their collective impact on identity.
The economic collapse and the property crash were the subject of an installation of Monopoly style, red and green houses on the Liffey in 2010.
Liffeytown was followed by No Man’s Land, a man-made desert island moored in the middle of the Liffey which became the location for a two week long performance in September 2011.
An enduring fascination with The Swimmer, the 1968 film starring Burt Lancaster became the focus of a short film commissioned by The Science Gallery in 2011 also exhibited in New York and Canada.
This year McCarthy plans to complete his Liffey trilogy with Word River, a 1km long text based intervention located on the quay walls of the Liffey referencing Joyce.
Welcome to Drogheda, a performance and exhibition will be created for The High Lanes Gallery in Drogheda in August 2013.