Ulster Iron Way

Daniel Shipsides, Neal Beggs

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


Ulster Iron WayOver the last eighteen months, Shipsides and Beggs have been working on an open-ended and on-going research project in the Italian Dolomites based around a type of mountaineering called via ferrata (the “iron way” developed during WW1). A small snippet of this research, involving a close encounter with lightning in June of this year on the summit of Marmolada, (the highest mountain in the Dolomites) is the basis for the work in progress presented in this show and includes ‘Every Metallic Thing is Being Beckoned' a drawing based on the experience. It also seems appropriate with respect to the title of the Delawab show.Ulster Iron Way develops this research by creatively working with ideas of the actual in relation to the account of the experiential. UIW creates a lightening conductor from a brass pole extended out of and on the roof of the gallery then moving down through the gallery floors via a scaffold structure which on one landing spells out UVF. It relates to a close encounter with a lightening strike whilst climbing Via Ferrata in the Dolomites - quite a dangerous situation. That Via Ferrata is poetically and significantly associated with European history and cultural flux of the upheavals WW1. The project aims to creatively re-imagine some of these associations and histories. Could there have been (was there) an Ulster Futurist movement? The Via Ferrata project:Establishing a new frame offered through experiential and creative research through which to re-imagine the cultural significance of WW1 to contemporary notions of nationhood, culture and the environment. Expanding previous work (two AHRC awards) on new creative methodologies (cross contextualization) employing strategies and cultural contexts of rock climbing / mountaineering activity.Experiential climbing trips to Marmolada and Grappa in the Dolomites to research Via Ferrata making drawings, texts and lens based footage. Desk based research into The Italian Front in WW1 and the development of Via Ferrata in the wider context of Modernism, Fascism and Futurism. Research made around the UVF and the Ulster divisions in WW1 in relation to contemporary NI Loyalism.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOrchid Studios Belfast
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 11 Jul 2010

Bibliographical note

Reference text: Shipsides and Beggs Projects
Delawab Art Space
Outputmediatype: Installation - scaffold, hardware, rope


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