Dr. Kieran Lyons

Dr. Kieran Lyons, BA (Bath), MFA (Yale), PhD (Wales)
Transtechnology Research,
Room B321 Portland Square,
University of Plymouth,
Drake Circus,
PL4 8AA.

Originally trained as a sculptor, Kieran Lyons worked in performance and as an installation artist throughout the 70s and 80s creating interactive installations using video-targeting systems in the 90s most notably exhibited in 1997 and 2002, with Assigning Handlers to a Shadow(2000), in Afon/ River: Going(2001), in A470:Tax and Swerve(2002 & 2003) and No More Play at the Ffloc/ Flock Research Galleryat the University of Wales in January 2008. The PhD thesis ‘Conscripting the “Jura-Paris road”: military themes in the work of Marcel Duchamp’considered the implications of militarism in France and its influence on Marcel Duchamp, appearing first in his text ‘The Jura-Paris road’ and surfacing in his practice between 1912 – 1915 while continuing as a discernible preoccupation in his work until 1945. This has been the topic of papers and essays on related subjects since 2000. The thesis was supervised by Professor Roy Ascott (University of Wales/ University of Plymouth) and advised by Professor Linda Dalrymple Henderson (University of Texas). In the latter stages this process was continued by Michel Punt (University of Plymouth) and completed by Robert Pepperell (University of Wales Institute Cardiff). The examination was conducted by Gavin Parkinson (Department of Art History, Oxford University) and Jennifer Mundy (Head of Collections Research Tate Gallery.) His recent work signals a return to drawing practice. The works in the recent exhibition (2018) made since 2013 owe their existence in some way to his PhD research. This research can be seen in his paper for Tate Research, (2006) and appears (2019) in ‘François Dagognet, Philosophe, Épistémologue’ as the essay ‘The Beat of 5 Hearts: Dagognet, Duchamp, Marey and ‘the Jura-Paris road’ (French title: François Dagognet, Étienne-Jules Marey et Marcel Duchamp : Discours à la périphériede la route Jura-Paris).

He was awarded his PhD in August 2007.

Research Interests

Theory/ Publishing, Practice/ Exhibition: Research continues themes addressed in the PhD while seeking publishing and exhibition opportunities. The developing themes will continue to link associated ideas related to Duchamp’s practice between 1905 – 1915, for instance the readymades and experiments with language and chance. Needless to say this practical work will reflect the historical influences outlined above and will output, as before, into trans-disciplinary installations and drawings for public exhibitions. Inevitably, it will reflect, make adjustments to and draw new conclusions from conversations with artists and theoreticians in future situations to be encountered.

Image shows Ghost Gear: Turner's Burning Hulk, 2014/15

Ghost Gear: Turner’s Burning Hulk, 2014/15

Kieran Lyons OPEN HINGE 1 – 15 June 2018 The Sustainable Studio | Cardiff

Kieran Lyons ‘s exhibition OPEN HINGE brought together different projects unified by a technique of drawing with loosely clustered pencils. This method is always unpredictable and emphasises the vicissitudes of process over subject legibility. Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) might have recognized this process. He would have described it as a method of ‘démultiplication’; Duchamp’s way of reducing his moving subject into layers of competing parallel gestures. Duchamp has always been a wellspring for Kieran Lyons and most of these drawings in this show responded to different formulations of his. The use of the term ‘hinge’ in the title comes directly from Duchamp where he discusses the hinge’s potential as a device that can transform the aspect of things.

Subjects vary, in this exhibition, and are drawn from a childhood sketch by the six-year-old Duchamp, a seascape made by Turner in 1828, seven seated Buddhas from the 8thcentury Ellora caves in India and the fugitive beauty of the Wye valley drawn from an unpredictably drifting boat. Three evenings of drawing in the dark at the Welsh National Opera come to their conclusion here also.

Ghost Gear: Turner’s Burning Hulk, 2014/15

Turner painted his oil-sketch ‘Seascape with Burning Hulk’ in1828. It shows a derelict ship against a murky horizon with smoke pouring from it into an overcast sky. My work reconfigures Turner’s painting into an extended sequence on separate sheets of paper butted together in one array.

They were all drawn from memory, while sitting in my boat on the tidal river Wye. Incongruously, footballs floated by, some in extreme states of depletion, swept backwards and forwards on the endless tide.

The drawings are displayed in one array of 42 pictures and completed with a central horizon of depleted and mouldering footballs, all rescued from the river while I drew.


Rail-Settlement-Plan-00 ‘Rail Settlement Plan’, 2010