artist bio
some words


Edwart & Arlette, 2014
HD video, 14:52 minutes duration

Video available to view on Vimeo here

Andrew Bennett
Stella Godmet
Stephen Mullins
Mikel Murphy
Mikel Murphy
Install at Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, 2014
Install at Mammoth, Treignac Projet, France, 2014
Install at Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, 2015


“Edwart & Arlette” is an adaptation of the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box", published in 1892. With characters, dialogue and settings all reworked, this stylish whodunit hands over the detective work to the audience, since Sherlock himself has been removed from the narrative. The central characters are modelled on a photograph of a French art critic and museum curator which is where the film shifts into a different range of references. The shots are all designed from a collection of hand photographs which Phelan used to determine the framing and dialogue. Some 1,400 hand images were amassed over a year mostly via social media. The words and sentence fragments found on these images were developed into dialogue and remain in the order they were found, forcing the narrative to take some unexpected turns. The film has been made for a video installation but also functions in the festival setting with it sharp narrative and smooth styling. Just as Conan Doyle was inspired by Giovanni Moreilli in his construction of the Holmes character, so too is Phelan, in demanding that we look at the small detail for clues. The Moreilli technique was a mid nineteenth century identification technique for paintings – by following the unconscious traces left behind by the artist, in this instance the rendering of ears or hands, which tend to have a unique identity, a lot like fingerprints at a crime scene. But as grand narratives and notions of authorship have been shattered and moreover diffused, the shifting parameters of meaning are now mandated to embrace chance and intuition in connecting to a real world of possibilities where meaning is not so pre-determined.


Edwart & Arlette, 2014

Written, directed and produced by
Alan Phelan

Andrew Bennett
Mikel Murfi
Stella Godmet
Stephen Mullen

Michael Fleming

Luca Rocchini

Alan Phelan

Maureen Hughes

Gina Moxley

Grace O'Hara

Hair and Make-up
Bridge Lucey

Hair and Make-up Assistant
Anna-Leah Rackard

Production Co-ordinator
Paul Hallahan

Production Assistant
Cormac O'Brien

Focus Puller and Camera Assistant
Tommy Fitzgerald

Ela Gas

Lighting Assistant
Ultan O'Conner

Hugh Fox

Oisín Callinan

Emily Strong

Post-production co-ordination
John Beattie

Michael Higgins

Locations thanks to:
Office of Public Works
National Concert Hall, Dublin
Irish Architecture Foundation
Broadstone Studios, Dublin
Justin Kinsella

With special thanks to:
Noel Kelly, Brenda Moore-McCann Anna Rachard, Wendy Judge, Gabhann Dunne, Stephen Loughman, Molloy & Dowling, Patricia Kelly, Liam O'Callaghan, Sarah Jones; Jimmy Eadie; Clodagh Kenny, Trish Perrott, Jerry Organ, Gallahad Goulet , Con Dempsey, Ken O'Shea, Sean Lawlor, Gareth Ball; Nathalie Weadick, Jacinta Lynch, Angela Rolf, Hugh Bonar, Barry Walsh, Ronan Fogarty; Oonagh Young, Peter Richards, Deirdre McKenna, Matt Packer, Sam Basu, Charlotte Bari

Funded by a Project Award from The Arts Council/A n Chomhairle Ealaíon