Troubles Art, a major exhibition featuring artists' responses to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, will go on tour to venues in Lisburn, Fermanagh, Monaghan and Armagh, starting this month.
The exhibition, drawn from National Museums NI’s art collection, opened in the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum on Saturday 11 May following a successful show in the Nerve Visual Gallery, Derry~Londonderry. The Troubles Art touring exhibition 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 Jack Pakenham, 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.
Recognising the importance of the exhibition Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body said: “This exhibition is one of a series delivered by the Nerve Centre in partnership with National Museums NI, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Linen Hall Library. It will provide people with an opportunity to reflect upon and discuss events from the past. In doing so it will help to challenge misconceptions and give space for a fresh perspective, which can lead to greater levels of understanding and reconciliation; one of the core objectives of the EU’s PEACE IV Programme.”
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.
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.
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 Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn 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.”
Running alongside the exhibitions are 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 run in the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum until Saturday, June 29. It will then tour to Fermanagh County Museum (July - December 2019), 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.
Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5pm. For more information visit www.makingthefuture.eu.