The acclaimed National Museums NI exhibition, Troubles Art, will go on show in Fermanagh County Museum, Enniskillen Castle from Friday 5 July as part of an 18-month tour of cross border venues.
The major exhibition, featuring artists' responses to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, is part of the Making the Future project, a cross-border cultural heritage programme funded through the PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
The touring exhibition comprises over 24 works, including paintings, drawings and photographs, from renowned artists such as Geordie Morrow, Rita Duffy and Joseph McWilliams. It explores a broad 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 exhibition will include National Museums NI’s most recent acquisitions, including a series of images from acclaimed Magnum photographer, Donovan Wylie. Maze Demolition Series [Diptych], 2007 is Wylie’s record of the physical structure of the Maze prison over a six-year period, during its closure and eventual demolition. Other newly acquired works include Gladys Maccabe’s Funeral of Victim, 1969.
William Blair, Director of Collections at National Museums NI, said:
“National Museums NI is delighted to see Troubles Art tour to different museums and venues as part of the Making the Future project. It is great to share some of National Museums NI’s collections with the Fermanagh County Museum and to bring these thought-provoking works of art to an even wider audience.”
He added “Through the unique perspectives of artists, the exhibition offers opportunities to consider the Troubles and its effects and provide avenues for exploring the legacy of our past in new and engaging ways which we hope will better inform our future.”
Visitors will also be able to view artwork from artists Joseph McWilliams (Rendezvous with Rainbow, 1976) and Victor Sloan (Holding the Ring, Portadown), based on an image for Sloan’s 1991 Circus, Portadown series.
Rarely before seen archive materials and items from Fermanagh County Museum’s collections will also be on 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.
Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhán Currie, said:
“We are delighted to work with National Museums NI to host this major touring exhibition at Fermanagh County Museum, Enniskillen Castle.
“Fermanagh and Omagh District Council aims to create opportunities for people to explore our shared history to promote inclusion and understanding. This exhibition records our recent conflict through the artists' perspective and National Museums NI collections.”
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.
Match-funding for the Making the Future project has also been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.
Fermanagh County Museum, Enniskillen Castle opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, 11am - 5pm. For more information visit www.makingthefuture.eu.