Doran, Denis (2005) Common Ground Street Level Gallery, Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.
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'Common Ground' was first exhibited as a solo exhibition at the Street Level Gallery (Glasgow 2005)(www.streetlevelphotoworks.org), promoter of the creative use of photomedia and recognised for its interdisciplinary exhibition programme. Street Level published the acompanying ‘minigraph’ Earth Space History: The Recent Work of Denis Doran containing an essay written by David Chandler, Director of Photoworks, with additional work made in Japan, funded by the Daiwa Anglo Foundation. 'Common Ground' was shown at two linked galleries Globe ‘City’ and Globe ‘Hub’ in 2007. Selected pieces from this series were shown at 'Crossing the Atlantic: Uneasy Spaces', a curated exhibition bringing together leading practitioners from the UK and New York, all investigating ‘notions of space, place and identity’ (80 Washington Square East Galleries, new York). The catalogue contained an essay by prominent theoretician Liz Wells. Engaging with autobiography and narrative, Doran’s research explores connections, geographic and autobiographical, in the peopled and productive landscape, most specifically the suburban environment of the allotment. His method is that of a collector of the ephemera of places, influenced by the artists Schwitters and Rauchenberg. These marginal landscapes are rooted in images of North Eastern working-class culture (his background). 'Common Ground' encompasses its shared experience across cultural and geographic boundaries: the UK and Japan. Physically bounded, the allotment affords space for reflection as well as physical work. Doran’s imagery reflects the dual nature of this local landscape. Using a flat bed scanner to record the ground on which he stood, he creates ‘virtual’ casts that are combined with worked photographic fragments to address cyclical change and that acknowledges the temporality of such territory. The work captures human traces just as previous tenants are present through the way the land has been worked and modified, echoing a history of shared experience.
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