Drawn from the art collection at National Museums NI, the Troubles Art exhibition provides a broad representation of responses to the Troubles by a range of artists from Northern Ireland and beyond. The subjects, themes and meanings of the works are diverse and offer the perspectives of the artists themselves.
Some works are direct responses to violence inflicted on innocent victims. Some are shaped by the social and political outlook of the artists. Others capture visual aspects of conflict and division. Together they evoke a variety of experiences and emotions and reflect on the causes, impact and complexity of the Troubles.
The exhibition explores a range of themes which are universal to conflict – such as suffering and loss, violence and destruction, imprisonment, sectarianism, traditions, territory, and life in the midst of turmoil. The unique perspectives of artists themselves offer opportunities to consider the Troubles and their effects in ways other than through history and politics.
Rarely before seen archive materials and items from Fermanagh County Museum’s collections are alsoon show highlighting key moments in Fermanagh’s recent history. A pamphlet, ‘Fermanagh Facts’, issued by the Fermanagh Civil Rights Association c. 1969, highlights the infringements of Nationalist rights in County Fermanagh at the beginning of the Troubles. Among the items are a booklet, ‘Why I am a Protestant’ by Ian R.K. Paisley and a selection of Invitation Cards to the Royal Ulster Constabulary Passing out Parade in the RUC Training Centre in Enniskillen from the 1970s.
Running alongside the exhibition is a series of community engagement programmes enabling the public to respond to the exhibition and its themes through creative workshops, access to National Museums NI collections and artist led talks.
Troubles Art exhibition will also tour to The Market House, Venue and Gallery, Monaghan (January - February 2020) and Armagh County Museum (February - May 2020). Admission is free.
Fermanagh County Museum, Enniskillen Castle opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, 11am - 5pm.
Troubles Art deals with themes of violence and division and their impact on individuals and society. If you have been affected by any of the content in this exhibition please contact WAVE Trauma Centre, 028 7126 6655.