24 September – 5 November 2022

Elvira Santamaría Torres is an internationally acclaimed performance artist whose work has resonated with audiences around the world. Born in 1967 in Mexico City, she has been based in Northern Ireland since 2011. The Golden Thread Gallery is delighted to present this seminal exhibition Artefacts and Encounters as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival.

Using public actions, durational performance and installation, her practice has been focused on drawing attention to the changeable, fragile and ephemeral aspects of life. She looks at fundamental aspects of human behaviour, such as: mental suffering; love; death; mourning; resilience; and consciousness. Her work has evolved through several ‘action’ art forms e.g. public interventions and performance-installation.

Artefacts and Encounters emerged from conversations and dialogue between Santamaría Torres and curators Sarah McAvera and Peter Richards. Questioning how do we engage with performance art, after the performance has taken place? How can a career of performed actions, of moments, be shown in a gallery space? Within the exhibition, Santamaría Torres revisits objects of her past performances. These objects now act as ‘humble prompts’ to re-engage and revisit her performative work.  

I  have  accepted  that  the  past, and  everything I have made, eventually dissolves into  the  present, even if documentation, or the objects themselves, remain.

The Golden Thread Gallery has invited me to create an exhibition of my work focused on memory and reflection. I therefore embrace this opportunity to compost the experience of the past, and to do this in a public sphere at the Golden Thread. To feed my thoughts with a renewed enthusiasm for the present –

We still have to live, creating art.

E. Santamaría Torres July 2022

Elvira Santamaría Torres studied at the Antigua Esmeralda and the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. Santamaría Torres has presented her work in festivals, galleries, museums and public spaces in Mexico, Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America. Her most recent public projects include: Encounter with Reconciliation and Corpology of Performative Resilience: Process Art 2019, 2020. In 2013 she was nominated for the ARTRAKER award, which awards creativity in art and conflict in London. Her work has been published internationally.

There will be a series of activities, workshops and performances taking place during the exhibition.


Exhibition Events:

24th Sept                            1.30pm Opening event and Chamber performance (20mins)

12th-14th Oct                    Performance 12-4 pm,

Salt Cartographies III, Ireland – England.  *See info below

18th – 21st Oct                  Workshops 1pm-4pm Each Day

Workshop participants will work on the ideas, concerns or intuitions that that they want to develop into a performance artwork. From experiential and conceptual material, we will discuss aspects and principles of performance art. £100 full rate, £50 Concession (Booking via [email protected])

22nd Oct                              1pm Workshop Showcase Event. Workshop participants will present their work

27th Oct                                Artist/ Curator roundtable. Peter Richards, Sarah McAvera and Elvira Santamaria Torres. Artefacts and Encounters

1st – 5th Nov                     Elvira Santamaria Torres Durational Process Art Performance. Amorphous Artefact

*About Salt Cartographies III, N Ireland/Ireland/England

Process art / Durational performance. Salt is an essential mineral for life, salt as a currency, salt as a gift, a salary, salt as punishment and destruction, or using salt for a poetic and reflective art process. By physically breathing and blowing over the salt, Santamaria will generate a unique map in the gallery space. 

Golden Thread Gallery is supported by: