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Duncan Mckellar

Esperanza - A 2m circular mirror attached to the U.S/Mexico border wall in Douglas, Arizona / Agua Prieta Sonora. The positioning of the mirror created the illusion of a hole in the wall. A selection of photographs documenting this piece is attached to this application.

Ray of Hope - A one-kilometre-long line of people spanning the U.S/Mexico border. Each participant wore a mirrored mask. The masks reflected the sun, creating a 1000m line of light bisecting the border wall. The event was filmed by a drone and multiple photographers resulting in a large amount of portraiture and other documentation. These photographs are attached to this application, and more can be seen on my website. A short documentary was also produced recording the production of this piece.

The video can be watched here:

May Day - 500+ people with mirrors standing on the White Cliffs in Saltdean East Sussex. Participants were invited to bring their own mirrors and together, we sent a symbolic SOS signal across the channel to mainland Europe. The Artwork took place on the 30th of March 2019, the day the U.K was scheduled to leave the European Union. This event was filmed by a drone and documented by multiple photographers. Interviews were recorded with participants who described what the E.U meant for them.

The video can be watched here:

Artist's Bio

I am a multidisciplinary Artist working in installation, film and assemblage.

My work addresses social interaction, global interconnectivity, the environment, borders and a sense of place. My work recently has focused on large-scale interventions involving the public and mirrors. These pieces have been activist in their nature and mostly responding to political events - including immigration and civil rights.

Relevant previous experience

Previous pieces involving mirrors and the public include an Artwork called Ray of Hope which

involved a kilometre long line of people spanning the U.S/Mexican border. Each participant wore a mirrored mask which reflected the sun to create a 1000 metre line of dazzling light bisecting the border wall. This artwork was recorded by a drone and represents a show of community strength and unity in the face of division.

Another significant mirror piece was called May Day and involved over 500 people with mirrors sending a symbolic SOS call across the English Channel to mainland Europe. (This piece took place on the 29th of March 2019 the day which Brexit was first meant to happen.) The event was located on the White Cliffs near Brighton, an area situated between Leave and Remain counties. Along with providing an outlet for residents to show their frustration and pain at leaving the E.U it provided an opportunity to present the alternative views of the 48% who’s voices have now been consigned to history and who’s message is no longer encouraged to be heard.

A third piece in this series called ONE involved an 80-metre circle of people with mirrors on the Northern Irish border in Killea Co. Donegal. This piece took place as a show of unity in the face of potential border disruption leading up to the second Brexit date. These issues, unfortunately continue to this day. During 2020 I returned to the U.S/Mexico border to create an installation on the wall itself. This piece is called Esperanza and involved mounting a 2m circular mirror to the wall to create the illusion

of a hole in the wall.

Duncan Mckellar is based in Bristol and has exhibited in the Chicago Art Institute, the Hermitage St. Petersburg and the 398 Arts District Beijing.

He has been selected for the Creekside open by Dexter Dalwood 2011, Lisa Milroy 2015 and was selected as winner in 2019 by Sacha Craddock.

Mckellar was a finalist for the 2020 Visual Ibero-American (VIA) Art Prize - Brazilian Embassy London.

Mckellar has won awards at 2020 - Chandler Film Festival, Arizona - Beeston Film Festival - A Show for A Change Festival.


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