TULCA Festival of Visual Arts

TACTICAL MAGIC curated by Kerry Guinan

1 - 17 November 2019, Galway

Location: Columban Hall



Bogeyman plays out within a space between historical conflict propaganda and practices of deviance. Identifying the unique links between art, magical (miss-) practice and the political. 


Influenced by recently released material surrounding some strange happenings that took place in the 1970’s during the Troubles in the north of Ireland. In particular, how British agents stoked supernatural fears in the paranormal in an attempt to connect evil and atrocity with paramilitaries. 


The Information Policy Group was a ‘psych-ops’ intelligence unit operating out of British military headquarters in Thiepval barracks, Lisburn, County Antrim. The agenda was to whip up fear and hysteria within various religious communities in an attempt to undermine the role paramilitaries played as their traditional defenders. Occult type scenarios were staged within disused buildings for the public to encounter. Site-specific arrangements of objects including altars, chalk drawings of esoteric symbols, blood painted surfaces and upside down crucifixes were displayed. Articles of Devil worshiping were leaked to the press and accompanied by stories of atrocities added to the manufactured hysteria. 


Bogeyman attempts to invoke an unorthodox experience between the paranormal and the paramilitary. Interlinking visual motifs related to the ‘Troubles’ within the realm of occult and esoteric symbolism. Influenced by the staging behind the underhanded military setups, the artwork exaggerates the theatrics so that new ‘evil’ forms emerge as aesthetic objects. Tapping into the superstitions of the past and bringing them up to date. Acknowledging current political fears, fear of identity and fear of the coming border in Ireland Bogeymenis also a play upon newer superstitions yet to unfold.

Bogeyman was commissioned by TULCA Festival of Visual Art 2019




Photography by Jonathan Sammon, courtesy of TULCA Festival of Visual Arts

Onsite Installation + Studio Experimentation