Celebrating IWD at the GTG

Happy International Women’s Day! We are celebrating by looking back at some of the exceptional women artists who have exhibited at Golden Thread Gallery in the past. We’re proud to have ensured that 50% of our exhibitions over our history have been by women, and glad to play our part in the improving representation of female artists.

Our brilliant volunteers have written about a few selected women whose exhibitions here in Belfast at the GTG directly challenged sexism and patriarchal values. Starting with the extraordinary Barbara Hammer, as chosen by Katharine Paisley.

“Hammer is considered the foremost pioneer of queer feminist cinema. For over 40 years her work has been challenging the straight, male-dominated iconography of the female body and sexuality. Through her films, performances, photography and installations Hammer rejects the male definitions and representations of women in film and photography. She negates the male gaze and celebrates lesbian desire through the active participation of women, countering the passive roles afforded to them in traditional cinema. Other past works have explored queer histories, such as the biographies of the artists Hannah Hoch and Claude Cahun.

Barbara Hammer exhibited 3 film works in the Golden Thread in November 2018 as part of Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Dyketactics! (1974), No No Nooky TV (1987) and Bedtime Stories I, II, III (1988).”

The newest member of the GTG team, Chiara Matteuci, has written about two radical women we were thrilled to welcome to the GTG: Sarah Maple and Margaret Harrison.

“Margaret Harrison is an engaged artist, always in the forefront of addressing social concerns and political controversy. She’s one of the founders of the London Women’s Liberation Art Group and she’s probably best known for the closing of her exhibition in 1971 by the police due to her sexually charged works.

In 2015 the Golden Thread Gallery hosted Harrison’s first solo exhibition on the island of Ireland. We are them, they are us included several seminal works, created at various stages of her career, alongside a number of more recent pieces. This exhibition explored many of the themes common in Harrison’s work, like her concern with the property rights and land ownership, and the issues of gender inequality and the objectification of women in popular culture.

Harrison has always explored the transformations of our age, from the women’s labour within the installation Greenham Common (1989), where she recreates a portion of the perimeter fence from Greenham Common military base, to the consideration of female gender in the contemporary society. In Scents of Identity (1993) young, often ethic minority, cosmetics salesgirls are depicted in polished, glossy department store surroundings.

Meanwhile, in He’s Only a Bunny Boy (1971), she draws Hugh Hefner posing proactively in a corset, stockings and bunny ears.

This hilarious artwork was part of her first solo exhibition, the one which the police closed after only one day. Things have changed since then, but not the way Harrison question the world, always with humour and a rebel gaze. 

And speaking of rebels… Sarah Maple is a visual artist based in the UK. Her mixed identity (half Britannic and half Islamic) is one of the major themes investigated by the artist, always with a wonderful (for someone outrageous) spontaneity. She’s currently taking part at the exhibition “Don’t ask me where I’m from” at Aga Khan Toronto dedicated to migration.

Your Body (2007)

In 2014 her artworks were exhibited at the Golden Thread Gallery. God is a Feminist was a journey through Maple’s diverse, engaging, challenging and sometimes controversial practice.

Her artworks are very current and avant garde, especially those related to the subject of feminism: just have a look at the painting “Menstruate with pride” from 2010-11, and think about the current issue of the tampon tax! “

Menstruate With Pride (2010-11)

We’re looking forward to presenting our audiences with more outstanding exhibitions by women artists in 2020/21, including Joy Gerrard‘s first major solo exhibition in Belfast, ‘A Crowd Exists’, coming up in May.

Discover the GTG Bookshop with our team’s top picks

Did you know the GTG has one of the best art bookshops in Northern Ireland? Our shop features beautiful art hardcovers, rare exhibition catalogues, archive and current magazines and definitive texts on Northern Irish art and artists, like our ‘Collective Histories‘ series. Sales from the bookshop all go to support the Gallery, and many of the books are available in our online shop too.

To help you choose your next buy, each week we’ll highlight one of our GTG Team favourites. Starting this week with ‘Are You Adult?’ by Whitenoise, as chosen and reviewed by our awesome volunteer Katharine Paisley.


“Flicking through the vast array of books on offer in the gallery’s library, my attention is grabbed by one title in particular, ‘Are You Adult?’. Quite appropriate timing seeing as tomorrow I will be turning twenty four. A figure which sounds a lot more daunting to me than twenty three. No longer within the catchment for a Translink ylink card, adulthood seems to be cementing itself around me.

However, I am not alone in my horror; raising a smile and an eyebrow the odd time, ‘Are you Adult?’ takes you on a joyous and sometimes satirical jaunt through the the exciting and occasionally hazardous journey into adulthood. With a mix of bold colourful fonts, humorous quotes and delicately illustrated pages, not only is it the epitome of Instagram aesthetic but also incredibly relatable.

Coming into their 18th year, Whitenoise paused to look back at how it matured from a start up to a fully fledged studio. Hand-drawn illustrations, photography, 3D-modelling and intricately layered Photoshop files produced by the Whitenoise studio team, take us on a journey through the transition into adulthood; delving into the highs, the lows and everything in between. 

The book launch coincided with Belfast Culture Night, 2018, within an exhibition at Belfast Exposed displaying work created on the theme of growing up.

According to the studio’s founders the Two Marks, ‘…with this book we set ourselves the task of visualising what it was like to transition from childhood to the world of grown ups. Taking in the whole spread of emotions, be they positive, negative or ‘whatever’, in these pages you’ll find things that may spark your own memories, challenge your thinking and hopefully even raise a smile.’

It certainly did that for me.”


GTG awarded Black Santa Good Samaritan grant at St Anne’s Cathedral.

The GTG was honoured and thrilled to be one of the charities awarded Good Samaritan funding at a service in St Anne’s Cathedral last weekend. Our Exhibitions Officer Mary Stevens represented the team and attended the wonderful service in the Cathedral on Sunday 9th February. She was presented with the grant cheque by Tim McGarry and Olivia Nash.

The ‘Black Santa’ tradition at Belfast Cathedral was started more than 41 years ago by Dean Sammy Crooks.

Every year the annual Black Santa Sit-out takes place on the steps of St Anne’s Cathedral throughout the week before Christmas. All the money gathered is donated to a wide range of local charities who do important work for communities.

We’d like to thank Dean Stephen Forde and everyone at St Anne’s Cathedral so much for their generous support of our work!

GTG is closed for 3 days next week, 5th to 7th February

The Golden Thread Gallery will be closed to the public from Wednesday 5th to Friday 7th Feb, for a private event. We won’t be taking part in Late Night Art this month.

We’ll be back open as usual on Saturday 8th Feb from 11.00 to 16.00 with Sharon Kelly’s stunning exhibition ‘The Salt House’. See you then!

Gallery Assistant Job

Gallery Assistant – closing date 28th February 2020

The Golden Thread Gallery is seeking an enthusiastic and reliable Gallery Assistant to provide assistance and support across the Gallery’s programme and range of activities. Responsible to the Senior Management, this role will include liaising with artists, institutions and funders, general administration including daily financial procedures, exhibition assistance including condition reporting and visitor experience. This role offers a fantastic opportunity for an early-career Arts professional in one of Northern Ireland’s leading contemporary visual art galleries.

Working Hours: Part-time, 24hpw (more hours may be available at peak times).

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday. Hours determined by a monthly rota and will include evenings and weekends. Applicants must be flexible to the needs of the organisation.

Salary: £8.75ph (full time equivalent £18,200)

Leave: 28 days annual holiday pro rata (including Bank Holidays)

Contract: This is a 12-month contract position, with possible extension up to a maximum of 23 months. A probationary period will apply. Please note that this appointment is subject to continuing funding/grant aid. Employment is subject to funding and the contract may terminate earlier if funding is withdrawn.

Closing date for applications is midnight on Friday 28th February 2020. Applications must be emailed to info@gtgallery.co.uk

Application Packs and Monitoring Form can be downloaded below, or emailed on request.

Disclaimer: This document does not constitute an offer of employment nor forms any part of any contract.

Exhibition Launch: The Salt House by Sharon Kelly

Thursday 9th January 2020 5pm – 8pm

Start off your year in art with us at the launch of our latest exhibition in the Project Space on Thursday 9th January from 5pm to 8pm, part of the first Late Night Art Belfast of 2020.

The Salt House is an exhibition of new work by Sharon Kelly which grew from her discovery of a box of small black & white photographs taken by her parents in the early 1960’s.

The title image offers multiple versions of an out-of-bounds building housing piles of salt, situated at a railway track across the field from where the artist grew up in the West Country, England. Memories of the salt house became the catalyst for pondering the past. Kelly has drawn on memories and recollections to explore ideas around the nature of personal memory, space and childhood.

Filmmaker Éanna Mac Cana created this short documentary about the artist and the creation of The Salt House.

Kelly’s practice focuses and gravitates around drawing, incorporating moving image, stop-motion animation, painting and print. She often explores themes relating to the human condition; experience, memory, presence, absence and loss in her work. The idea of how we remember as we age and the intimate associations of daily toil, processes and structures is explored through everyday objects such as the clothes horse / airer and the fabric surface of a tea towel.  

Golden Thread Gallery’s Project Space

Our Project Space is a unique exhibition space in Northern Ireland, created to be responsive to current needs of artists and to support emerging artists and experimental work. Over the past few years the space has evolved to become a significant stepping stone for artists and curators as they transition to the next level of their careers. In 2020 we’ll continue to present challenging and exciting work by a diverse range of artists in the space, and we are delighted that this compelling exhibition by Sharon Kelly begins our programme.

GTG AWARDED ARTS COUNCIL NI ARTS & OLDER PEOPLE FUNDING

We are delighted to announce that the Golden Thread Gallery will be leading a new Arts Council of Northern Ireland Arts & Older People Project in partnership with Flowerfield Arts Centre in Portstewart, Roe Valley Arts Centre in Limavady and The Over the Hill Collective in Belfast.

The True Confessions project will explore the links between music, memory, art and lyrics, taking the simple starting point that every participant will have a lifetime of stories to tell. Our artist facilitators will work with them using visual arts, music and poetry to unlock and share memories, reminiscences and stories.

Some participants may prefer to make a visual representation of their story using clay, collage, paint or drawing; others may choose to write a poem; while other may perform a self-written song. Each participant will be supported and encouraged to develop their own “voice”. The project will promote friendship and understanding through the shared experiences that are sure to be uncovered throughout.

Peter Richards, Gallery Director at the Golden Thread Gallery, says, ‘The processes of collaboration and uncovering yet-to-be discovered talents challenges and inspires us to see the world around us from fresh perspectives. We eagerly await the unexpected in the project’s final exhibition, formed through the juxtaposition of works yet to be created being shown alongside works well established.’

Desima Connolly, Cultural Facilities Development Manager for Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council, commented, ‘We are delighted to be working on this project with the Golden Thread Gallery and to develop this partnership providing such a valuable creative project to the local  Causeway Coast and Glens region, particularly one that innovatively engages with senior citizens across the borough.’

Paul Kane, founder of The Over the Hill Music Collective said, ‘The links between music and memory are profound and working with older people in the community, especially those with dementia, really is beneficial to their wellbeing and quality of life. Coupled with the artistic element to the project, and it really is a win/win combination.

The project will be working with a number of groups from the Causeway Coast and Glens Council area including the West Bann Development, Coleraine and the Limavady Community Development Initiative.

Musician Paul Kane, ceramicist Fiona Shannon and artist Corrina Askin will lead the workshops which will be held at Flowerfield Art Centre and out in the community.

The project will culminate in a showcase concert featuring some of the participants own poems, stories and music as well as an exhibition curated by Peter Richards, Director of the Golden Thread Gallery, in which the older people’s work will be displayed alongside artworks from the ACNI Collection.

The exhibition will be held at Flowerfield Arts Centre in May 2020.

The project starts in January 2020. For more information please contact the Golden Thread Gallery on info@gtgallery.co.uk

Reading Round returns!

Every Friday starting September 13th 2019

12pm to 2pm

Our Reading Round weekly sessions return this September, led by author and critic Brian McAvera, former Fellow and lector of the Royal Literary Fund.

Sessions will run every Friday starting September 13th (with breaks on national holidays) at the Golden Thread Gallery.

As always, it’s free of charge and complimentary refreshments are provided.

There is no preparation or homework required – it’s simply for the pure enjoyment of reading.

Handouts of the stories, extracts and articles will be provided each week, which the group reads together and then discusses in depth. Guided by McAvera, the group will explore the layers of each text, from the literary techniques used by the writers to genre and style.

The Royal Literary Fund Reading Rounds are a network of reading groups across the UK. Each group is run by former RLF Fellows, all published authors of literary merit who offer a unique, writerly perspective on the texts under discussion. Read more about the Royal Literary Fund here.

How do I sign up?

  • Email info@gtgallery.co.uk marking it ‘Reading Round for the attention of Lisa.’
  • Confirm that you are happy to sign up for thirty 90-minute sessions.
  • Give us a contact address, phone number and email.

Applicants will be sent further information once they confirm their interest in the scheme.

Places are limited, so sign up today! Happy reading!

Corporate Fundraiser P/T Golden Thread Gallery

The Golden Thread Gallery is seeking an experienced Corporate Fundraiser to add to the strategic development of the gallery. This post is not responsible for core funding, but rather has responsibility to generate income for plans linked to future development and increase reserves to support this. A key element of the job is to develop sponsorship and corporate donation opportunities as well as diversifying funding streams through trusts and foundations.

The application pack is available for download in both word and pdf format below. This post has been funded by the FOYLE FOUNDATION main grants scheme.

application pack (word)

application pack (pdf.)

Please return completed application forms to info@gtgallery.co.uk


PLEASE DO NOT SEND A CV.

INCOMPLETE APPLICATION FORMS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

The closing date for return of applications for the above post is:

4pm Friday 10th May 2019

Applications received after the closing time and date will not be considered.

Development and Fundraising Officer Position Available!

 

Development and Fundraising Officer

If you are interested in applying to the position please download both documents below which include the job description, person specification, and core terms and conditions. An equal opportunities monitoring form is included below and it would be helpful if this could be completed and returned with your application.

To apply please send a full CV, including the names and contact details of two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer and email to info@gtgallery.co.uk. Please also enclose a statement, which sets out your interest in and suitability for the post, taking note to address separately each of the requirements of the essential and desirable skills and experience. Your statement should not exceed two sides of A4 paper.

Applications must be received by 4pm on Tuesday 4th December 2018. Interviews are anticipated to be held in the week commencing Monday 10th December. If you have any queries about the role please email Sarah McAvera at the address above.

Development and Fundraising Officer

GTG Monitoring-Form-2018