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Jean Duncan RUA, Artist Printmaker (1933 – 2018)

Thursday 4th October 2018 at 9am 0 Comments

Jean Duncan, ‘The Fly’. Part of a visual and aural installation incorporating William Blake's words and their musical interpretation by Co. Down composer Deirdre McKay Image: Jean Duncan, ‘The Fly’. Part of a visual and aural installation incorporating William Blake's words and their musical interpretation by Co. Down composer Deirdre McKay

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has learned with regret of the death on Tuesday 2nd October 2018 of Jean Duncan, artist, printmaker and joint founder of Seacourt Print Workshop in Bangor, Co. Down.

Jean Duncan was a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, completing an advanced diploma in printmaking at the Ulster Polytechnic Art and Design Centre. In 1981 she co-founded Seacourt Print Workshop in Bangor with fellow printmaker, Margaret Arthur, and in 1994 was elected to the Royal Ulster Academy.

Her paintings and prints have been widely exhibited in Ireland, the UK and internationally, notably at the 2001 International Biennial in Portugal and the 2005 Tokyo International mini-print Triennial. Most recently, in 2016, she exhibited alongside Paula Rego at the Lotte Inch Gallery in York. Her work is held in many private and public collections, including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Department of Culture, Arts and the Gaeltacht, and the UTV collection.

Music provided a constant source of inspiration throughout Jean Duncan’s life and much of her major work was produced in collaboration with composers and musicians. Following the 1994 commission by Manchester’s Goldberg Ensemble to produce images based on John Taverner’s ‘Protecting Veil’, she worked in Northern Ireland with composer Piers Hellawell to create images to accompany live performances of Hellawell’s ‘The Still Dancers’ and, in 2002 and 2005, she worked with Deirdre McKay to produce exhibitions in Belfast based on McKay’s musical compositions, ‘The Fly’ and ‘A Pale Yellow Sky’. The collaboration with McKay continued, even after Duncan’s relocation to France in 2010, where she lived for four years before moving to York.

Jean Duncan is survived by Jane, Anna, Simon and Alistair. Her husband, Roderick, who also played an important role alongside Jean in developing the cultural scene in Northern Ireland, died at the end of September 2018. The funeral is at York Crematorium on Friday 12th October.

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