Brian Hand


Lecturer and Head of Sculpture and Expanded Practice Department

Brian Hand’s art practice is broadly concerned with creatively exploring and researching events in the past. Brian makes temporary public work and time-based installations often in site-specific locations. Brian has a deep interest in post-colonial historiography and the limits of historical representation. In the past, he believes, we can find alternative images that disrupt the naturalness of the present. He has made work addressing art and politics through researching secret societies, prisons, suffragettes, the archive, the great famine and the invention of the Irish Wolfhound.

Brian Hand studied Sculpture at NCAD and Media at the Slade School of Art, London. He also has an MA in Third Level Learning and Teaching from DIT. Events of note in his career include artist-in residence at Kilmainham Gaol Museum (1990), museum concept and design for the Famine Museum in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, (1990-94) the PS1 International Studio Award in 1995, and the critical writing bursary from the Arts Council in 1999. In 2003, Hand was selected as curator of the Arts Council’s Critical Voices programme. Before coming to NCAD Hand lectured in art at IT Carlow Wexford Campus School of Art and Design and before that at DIT. Hand was a founding member of collaborative art groups: Blue Funk, The Fire Dept.,147, Entre Chien et Loup and most recently Stormy Petrel/ Guairdeall.

Solo Exhibitions:

2011                Anachrony The Dock, Carrick-on Shannon, Co Leitrim.

2008              Little War The Butler Gallery and Kilkenny Arts Festival, Kilkenny.

2007               A Decision to Love Stephen Lawrence Gallery Greenwich University,

2001              The Car Called The Manager, site specific temporary public art
                      commission in Carlow, curated by Valerie Connor and Fiach

1997               ‘Threefold Prediction’, Project Arts Centre, Dublin.

1990               'Kilmainham Gaol; A Secret Society Derailed by Stages', Kilmainham
                       Gaol Artist in Residence Exhibition, Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin.

Group Exhibitions:

2017               The Wolf O’Brien with Orla Ryan, temporary public art commission for
                       Carlow Arts Festival, Carlow.

2017               Stormy Petrel/ Guairdeall with Orla Ryan and Alanna O Kelly, as part of
                       Crinniú na Cásca, Rua Red, Tallaght, Dublin.

2016-17          Stormy Petrel/ Guairdeall with Orla Ryan and Alanna O Kelly, Visual,

2016               Stormy Petrel/ Guairdeall with Orla Ryan and Alanna O Kelly,
                       Vietnamese Women's Museum, Hanoi.

2016               Stormy Petrel/ Guairdeall with Orla Ryan and Alanna O Kelly GPO An
                       Post public art commission, GPO Dublin. Curated by Valerie Connor
                       and Ruairí Ó Cuiv.           

2015               Horse, Void Art Gallery, Curated by Mark Wallanger and Maolíosa

2013-2015     Imaginary Archive, Group Show curated by Gregory Sholette tours to
                     Graz, Austria and Kiev, Ukraine and ICA Philadelphia USA.

2012               Invited guest artist by Nine Stones Artists Group at Eigse Carlow.

2011               Imaginary Archive  at Tulca curated by Gregory Sholette  at Gallery 126,

2006               I Confess I was There An Interface project at the Switch Room, Belfast.

2003               Dearcadh: Visionaries of 1798, Kilmainham Gaol Museum, Dublin.

2002              The Persistence of Gothic, group exhibition curated by Mairead
                       McClean Greenwich University,  London.
                       The Captain's Road, group exhibition curated by TV Project, Dublin.

2001               Visual Art is Disposable, ( a 147 project) Liberty Hall, Dublin.

2000              If I Ruled the World, (with Orla Ryan and Rose Thomas) CCA Glasgow,
                      curated by Ross Sinclair and Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir.

                      Circulation, A RepoHistory project, my work existed as part of the
                      web site ( and postcard at various sites in
                      New York including Exit Art: The First World,
                      and Printed Matter Bookstore.

1999               Five29Ninety9, St Ann’s Church Brooklyn, New York.

                       Screening of C oblique O at the Irish Film Centre, Dublin.

1998               EV+A City Gallery, Limerick curated by Paul O'Reilly.

1996               ‘In The Ruins of The Twentieth Century’, PS1 Group Show curated by
                       Jean-Michel Ribettes , Disused Commercial Space, Manhattan, New

1994               EV+A City Gallery, Limerick curated by Jan Hoet.

1993               Sonsbeek’93, Arnhem, The Netherlands (With Blue Funk), curated by
                       Valerie Smith. 

                       Other Borders, The Grey Art Gallery, New York (With
                       Blue Funk) curated by Tom Weir.

                        EV+A City Gallery, Limerick, curated by Gloria Moure.

1992               PostGraduate Show, The Slade School of Art, London.

                       Space Plenitude, Brisbane, (With Blue Funk).

                       ‘A State of Great Terror’, The Douglas Hyde Gallery,
                       Dublin (With BlueFunk).

1991               Ekker, The City Arts Centre, Dublin and PICA, Perth, Australia.

1990               Video ’90, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork.                                                     

1989               The Limerick Soviet Commemorative Exhibition, City Gallery, Limerick. 

                        The National Review of Live Art, The Third Eye Centre, Glasgow,
                        invited platform artist.

                        NCAD Degree Show NCAD, Dublin

1988                A Subversive Sketch, Trinity College, Dublin.

                        NCAD Diploma Show NCAD, Dublin

1987               Irish Exhibition of Living Art, Guinness Hops Store, Dublin.

1986               Group show with Rachel Joynt and Olwen Weakes.
                       The Onion Field Resturant, Ranelagh, Dublin.

Catalogue publications:

2016               Thug siad oiche ar guairdeall dom, They left me wandering all night,
Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall published by Folded Leaf.

                       Stormy Petrel/ Guairdeall /Bai Ca Chim Bao Bao Catalogue in Irish and
                       Vietnamese for exhibition at the Women’s Museum in Hanoi,
                       Supported by IT Carlow, Culture Ireland and the Embassy of Ireland,

2002              Visualise, Documentation of temporary public art projects edition 1,
                       Carlow County Council.

2000              If I Ruled the World CCA Glasgow.

1998               EV+A `98, Catalogue, City Gallery Limerick.

1996               In the Ruins of the Twentieth Century, Catalogue, PS1 Museum, New

1993              Sonsbeek’93, Catalogue, Arnhem, The Netherlands.

1991               Ekker, Catalogue, The City Arts Centre, Dublin and Perth Institute of
                       Contemporary Art, Australia.


Essays or Lectures Related to Exhibitions/ Projects:


2012              Luke Gibbons lecture, Anachrony and the Celtic Tiger as part of the
                      exhibition Anachrony at the Dock,  Carrick On Shannon, Co-Leitrim.


Reviews of exhibitions and projects:


2016               Visual Artists Ireland News Sheet article on Stormy Petrel Project
                       edited by Joanne Laws.

                        The Examiner Richard Collins review of GPO project and publication.

2013               The Irish Times 20/4/2013Feature Article by Manchan Magan on my
                       research into the Irish Tricolour.

2011               The Irish Times 18/4/2011 Review of Anachrony by Aidan Dunne.

                       Billion Art Journal July 2011 (online pdf) Sean Lynch and Brian Hand
                       review of show in the Dock by Joanne Laws.

2007               CIRCA 119 Review of A Decision to Love by Isobel Harbison.

2003               CIRCA 106 review of Dearcadh by Luke Clancy.

                        Nationwide, RTE Television, interviewed about Dearcadh show.

2002               Art Monthly March 'High and Dry' report article on The Car Called The
                       Manager by Ian Hunt, pp. 33-35.

2001               Art Bulletin August , Artist -led Initiative, review of 147s Visual Art is

                       CIRCA 98, review of 147s Until That Time.

                       CIRCA 98, review of The Car Called The Manager by Stephanie

                       CIRCA 98, Feature article on Repohistory by Michael Wilson.

                       Irish Examiner 03/10/01 review of The Car Called The Manager by
                       Patrick Brennan.

                      The Nationalist and Leinster Times 28/10/01 review of The Car Called
                      The Manager by Michael Godfrey.

2000              Art Journal Vol.59, No. 4,  Winter 2000, feature article on
                       REPOhistory's Circulation by Jim Costanzo and Gregory Sholette

                       Afterimage, Vol. 28, No. 3, review of REPOhistory's, Circulation and
                       public art by Philip Glahn.

                      Frieze, Issue 54, review of If I Ruled the World, by Neil Mulholland.

                      CIRCA 93, review of If I Ruled the World, by Leigh French.

1999              New Art Examiner, November,  extended article on Repohistory and
                      Circulation exhibition by Gregory Sholette.

                      Afterimage Vol 27 article on collaborative practice by Greg Sholette.

                       CIRCA 89, ‘A constructive lack of agenda’, review article of
                       Five29Ninety9 by Maeve Connolly.

1998               CIRCA  86, review of EV+A 1998 by Annie Fletcher.

                       Variant Vol. 2, No.7, review article of EV+A 1998 by Orla Ryan.

1997               The Sunday Tribune, 16/11/1997, review of Threefold Prediction by
                       Aidan  Dunne.

                       The Irish Times, 31/10/1997, review of Threefold Prediction by
                       Luke Clancy.

1996               Art in America, April, ‘Art from the Edge’, by Judith Higgins.

1994               CIRCA 68, ‘Hungry Grass’, by Niall Ó Ciosáin.

                       The Sunday Times, 20/3/1994 'EV+A 1994’, by Medb Ruane.        

1993               Art Forum, November, ‘Sculpting the Town... Sonsbeek`93 ’, by 
                       Dan Cameron.

                        The Irish Times, 5/6/1993 ‘Sonsbeek`93 ’ by Jobst Graeve.

                        Frieze, issue 12 Sept/Oct  ‘Into the Trees’, by Stuart Morgan.

                       CIRCA 64, ‘Irish Art in New York’, by Anna O’Sullivan.

                       CIRCA 63, review of A State of Great Terror, by  Michael Wilson.

1991                The Sunday Tribune 23/6/91, ‘A shared belief that things are not as
                       they seem’ review of Ekker, by  Aidan Dunne.

1990               Portfolio, Vol. 1, article on Blue Funk by Elizabeth Hartigan pp. 108-109.

                       Radio interview, The Rodney Rice Show, RTE 1, 29/8/90.

As a writer Hand has published essays for artists such as Anne Tallentire, Noel Sheridan, Daphne Wright, Dennis McNulty, Colin Darke, and Dorothy Cross. Hand's most recent writing has appeared in essays commissioned for Making 1916: Material and Visual Culture of the Easter Rising edited by Lisa Godson and Joanna Bruck see as well as Creative Ireland, The Abbey Theatre and IMMA's What is... series. With Orla Ryan he has contributed to Between a Dog and a Wolf an Animal Empathy Workbook Edited by Sarah Browne, Published by CCA Derry-Londonderry. ISBN: 978-0-9541549-6-7. Also Thug siad oíche ar guairdeall dom / They left me wandering all night. Limited edition book of 500 signed copies.  By Stormy Petrel /Guairdeall (Alanna O'Kelly, Brian Hand, Orla Ryan) Published by Folded Leaf. ISBN: 978-0-9935770-0-0.


1. Contributions to Books/Pamphlets

2016               Thug siad oiche ar guairdeall dom, They left me wandering all night,
Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall published by Folded Leaf.

2015               Between a Dog and a Wolf An Animal Empathy Workbook edited by
                       Sara Greavu and Sarah Browne. Excerpt text from performance lecture
                       with Orla Ryan at CCA Derry

2014               Making 1916 Material and Visual Culture of the 1916 Rising, edited by
                       Lisa Godson and Joanna Bruck, Liverpool University Press, Chapter 1
                       The fabric of a deathless dream:A short introduction to the origins
                       and meanings of the 1916 tricolour flag.

2011               Creative Ireland The Visual Arts Published by Visual Artists Ireland,
                      essay titled Playing smart and not being clever.

2010               What is Participatory and Relational Art IMMA pamphlet essay titled
                       A struggle at the roots of the mind: service and solidarity in dialogical,
                       relational and collaborative perspectives within contemporary art.

2006              Croon:A Cross Disciplinary Project by Daphne Wright and Johnnny
(Cork: Gandon Press) essay titled
                       Dream Filled Determination.

2001               ' This is not art, this is a dog barking' essay for Noel Sheridan On
(Dublin: Four Courts Press).

2000               Pipelines, Anne Bevan and Janice Galloway, essay titled
                       'Interpretation and Disinternment', (Edinburgh: Friuitmarket Gallery).

2. Essays in periodicals

2016               Mosquito Press a poster newspaper by Stormy Petrel/ Guairdeall.

2010               Studentszine online publication issue 1 re publishing
                       of IMMA Pamphlet on What is Participatory Art?

2006               Remembering Noel Sheridan VAN  September.

2005               ‘Mining a Quarry; Stabat Mater by Dorothy Cross’ Circa 112, Dublin.

2003               'Flatley on our Backs' CIRCA 104, Dublin.

                        'What's left of Process?', SSI Newsletter April /May , Dublin.

2001               ‘Uncertainty Principles: Roundtable on Art and Science’
                       (with Michael Cronin, Mick Wilson and Catherine Fitzgerald)
                       CIRCA 96, Dublin.

2000             'The Audience as Producers', CIRCA 94, Dublin.

                      'Looking for Attention', CIRCA 93, Dublin.

                      'Audience to Ourselves', CIRCA 92, Dublin.

                       'Public Misrecognition', CIRCA 91, Dublin.

1999               'Public Art Indoors', CIRCA 88, Dublin.

1998               'Twin Citizens', Super Umbau, Spring Edition, Hamburg.

1997               'Mangan’s Cain: Notes on Criminal Urbanity', Spring Edition, New York.

1996 .            'Swerved in Naught' CIRCA 76, Dublin.

3. Catalogue essays

2011               ‘Sixty Four Arrah-na Pogue’Programme Note Abbey Theatre for
                       Arrah-na Pogue 15 December 2010 –5 February 2011.

2007              ‘Bloody negotiations with the world’ Catalogue essay for
                       Seán Ó Flaithearta.

2001              'From hand to mind' Catalogue essay for Colin Darke's exhibition
                      Elementary Forms at The Orchard Gallery, Derry .

2000               'Thomas Hirschorn: On the Altar of Art' Catalogue essay for
                        VIVRE SA VIE Glasgow.

1999               'At the museum all that is seen is not heard' Catalogue essay for
                       Shirley MacWilliam's installation Ear piece at
                       The Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, Lancashire.

                        Instances Anne Tallentire, (La Biennale di Venezia, 1999).

                        catalogue essay 'Unseen Unsaid", (Dublin: CRC).

4.   Research texts

2000               The Spark of Contingency research essay on the relationship
                       between art and science for An Chomhairle Ealaíon
                       and The Irish Science Council.

1999               The Audience research report for The Centre for
                       Creative Performance/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

5.   Reviews

2010               Review of Linda Benglis at IMMA commissioned by CIRCA
                       but unpublished.

2007               Review of Tactically Yours by Hegarty and Stone at
                       The Butler Gallery Kilkenny for CIRCA 120.

2005               Reviewer for Cork Caucus project Exit Cork curated by
                        Static published in Cork Evening Echo during Cork Caucus.

2004               Regional update on art in Co Carlow Visual Artists News Sheet.

1990               Elizabeth Magill, CIRCA 53, Dublin.