Opening at Shankill Library 1-3pm Thursday 21st March 2024

Shankill Library | Ardoyne Library | Linenhall Library | Threshold Gallery

Gail Prentice, Brendan Jamison, Shiro Masuyama, Edy Fung, Elvira Santamaría Torrés, Martin Boyle, Jack Pakenham, Robin Price, Lorraine Burrell, Susan MacWilliam, Clement McAleer, Megan Doherty, John Carson and Gerry Gleason.

The Golden Thread Gallery is preparing to move to our new home in Belfast city centre with bespoke gallery spaces for our exhibitions and a participation and engagement hub (supported by our Calouste Gulbenkian Civic Arts Organisation of the Year runner’s up win and Ampersand Foundation) for the vital work that we do connecting communities to culture and arts.

This wonderful new space has opened up opportunities for us to expand and grow, but it has also reminded us of our past, our successes, and what we’ve already achieved. As we await our new premises, we want to take this time to reflect on what we have accomplished from our first exhibition at Brookfield Mill, to our fifteen years at Great Patrick Street and to share these successes with audiences.

A selection of artists were asked to respond to their past encounters with GTG and provide a small work that can be part of a touring exhibition. Golden Thread Gallery has a rich history of delivering diverse artistic programming. From the very beginning, we have worked to create links with our local communities and we want to celebrate this by using local libraries and public space on a route down from North Belfast to our future new home on Queen Street.

Work exhibited in How We Got To… will then enter our permanent collection, a key part of our future growth.

Nature, identity, our place in the world, how we got here and what our future looks like are all themes that will be explored throughout our new programme to help us achieve our aim of making visual art accessible to as many people as possible.

We are incredibly excited about the future of the Golden Thread Gallery, and this touring exhibition is just the beginning!

About the Artists

Gail Prentice

Gail Prentice is an artist from Belfast. She has been Managing Director of Flax Art Studios since 2012 and is responsible for the artistic vision for the studio, its strategic direction and development. Gail gained a BA (Hons) Fine Craft Design from University of Ulster in 1997, and an MA Irish Visual Culture in 2008. Prentice was the Founding Director of the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast in 1998. She then went on to work as Arts Officer for North Down Borough Council from 2001 to 2012. She was Director of the established and critically acclaimed Aspects Irish Literature Festival from 2001-2012. She has contributed as a writer to publications such as Visual Artists Ireland and Art Monthly. Since 2012, she has been Chair of Hard Rain Contemporary Music Ensemble. She is a Steering Group member of the Belfast Visual Arts Forum.

Brendan Jamison

Born in 1979 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Brendan Jamison studied at the University of Ulster in 2002 and then a Master of Fine Art in 2004. In 2015, he completed a certificate course in the history of Western architecture at the University of Oxford. Over the past 16 years, his artworks have been widely exhibited throughout the world with shows in Scotland, Wales, England, France, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Italy, America, Canada, New Zealand, India and China. He has also been awarded residencies in New Delhi, New York, Beijing and Berlin.

Shiro Masuyama

Shiro Masuyama is a Belfast based Japanese artist. Shiro has developed his artistic practice through participating in numerous international residencies all around the world since 2002. After attending international residencies in IMMA – Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 2006 and Flax Art Studios, Belfast, in 2009, he settled in Belfast. He occupies an interesting space as a minority Asian artist working in Northern Ireland and often acts as an international ambassador hosting visiting artists, instigating international exchange opportunities, developing international networks and introducing art from the North of Ireland to new audiences around the globe. Shiro has won multiple artist awards and exhibited internationally.

Edy Fung

Edy Fung was born in Los Angeles, raised in British Hong Kong and is currently based Ireland. In her practice she seeks to understand how our material world is conditioned through her intermedia art practice. Her multidisciplinary work includes site specific installation, web-based audiovisual projects, archival materials and exhibition-making. Selected exhibitions, projects & performances include: FACT, Liverpool (2021); STATIC Trading (2021) Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2021) Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2021) MUTEK ES+AR Hybrid (2021) Somerset House Studios, London (2020).

 Elvira Santamaría Torrés

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. She had a major solo show of her work in 2022 at the Golden Thread Gallery, NI.

Martin Boyle

Boyle lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He completed a Masters of Fine Art in 2008 at the University Of Ulster, Belfast, and a BA in Sculpture from the Limerick School of Art and Design. Recent Solo exhibitions include NO:TIME, MCAC, Portadown, Northern Ireland (2020); Snap!, Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Ireland (2016); Human body accident, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast (2015); Everything’s Connected, Art Centre Ongoing, Tokyo, Japan (2014); Genuine Replica, Ulster Museum, Belfast (2013).

Jack Pakenham

Irish artist Jack Pakenham studied French, Spanish and Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast and taught at Ashfield’s Boy’s Secondary School, Belfast from 1961. In 1990 he turned to painting full time. Pakenham was elected an Academician of the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts in 1987. He has exhibited extensively since the early 1960s and his work can be found in numerous collections including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; the Office of Public Works and The Model, Sligo.

Robin Price

Robin Price is an artist-inventor, trans-disciplinary physicist, musician and cat enthusiast. He holds an MPhys in Theoretical Physics from the University of Wales, Swansea and a PhD in Composition and Creative Practice from Queen’s University, Belfast. Recent solo exhibitions include Escape Sequence at CCA, Derry~Londonderry, Lambent Ambient, R-Space, Lisburn and Air of the Anthropocene at University of Atypical, Belfast. His work is held in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s public collection and has been covered in Source Magazine, New Scientist and the Guardian. He is a founder member and ex-director of Vault Artist Studios in East Belfast.

Lorraine Burrell

Burrell is from Belfast where she lives and works.  She completed an MFA at the University of Ulster in 2005. Burrell’s practice is concerned with documenting the female body in a variety of spaces. Photographing herself has always been challenging in the context of revealing her own identity.  As a consequence of this tug between what to expose and what to hide, Burrell constructs props to use as covers. Susan MacWilliam

Clement McAleer

The focus of McAleer’s paintings is landscape; not the particularities of place, but the restless, shifting aspects of nature where cloud or water, land or sea, meet and merge. The Irish coast is an enduring theme and travels in Europe and America have also inspired his work, particularly the series of railway paintings in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. McAleer has exhibited extensively in Dublin, Belfast, London and his work is included in public and corporate collections including Irish Museum of Modern Art, Ulster Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, the Arts Councils of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the European Parliament, Brussels. 

Megan Doherty

Doherty is a photographic artist based in Derry, Northern Ireland. She studied photography at the University of Ulster in Belfast before graduating in June 2016. Over the past few years she has been building a body of work exploring Derry’s youth against a hazy urban backdrop. Her work stands for youth, subculture and freedom.

John Carson

Carson’s work has explored various media, contexts and strategies. He has presented live performances, made sound works and CDs, broadcast work on television and radio, created installations, and both as a curator and artist, been involved in many types of public art project. He has exhibited in Ulster Museum in Belfast, Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin, the ICA in London, CCA in Glasgow, IKON Gallery in Birmingham, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art in Australia, The Aine Art Museum in Tornio Finland, PS1 in New York, New Langton Arts in San Francisco and The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh.

Gerry Gleason

Painter, sculptural installation and mixed-media artist, Gleason’s work responds to social, political and historical conflict, as in The Ulster Saga 1994-5. His Monumental Head was used as the image for the 1990 Yeats Theatre Festival at Abbey Theatre, Dublin and in the same year he received awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin. A founder member of Queen Street Studios, Gleason’s work has been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Europe and the USA.

Golden Thread Gallery is supported by: