Tears in Rain/Deora san Fhearthainn
Curated by Máirtín Ó Muilleoir; featuring artists: Conrad Atkinson; Robert Ballagh; Keith Drury; Rita Duffy; Michael Farrell; F.E. McWilliam; Joseph McWilliams; Locky Morris; Aisling O’Beirn; Brian O’Doherty; and Dermot Seymour.
Tears in Rain/Deora san Fhearthainn, curated by Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, “commends to you works by artistic alchemists who turned the coal of broken hearts into diamonds of unspeakable beauty”. The exhibition concentrates on the role art plays in keeping hope alive through the darkest of times and conveying a sense of a shared humanity, featuring works by Conrad Atkinson; Robert Ballagh; Keith Drury; Rita Duffy; Michael Farrell; F.E. McWilliam; Joseph McWilliams; Locky Morris; Aisling O’Beirn; Brian O’Doherty; and Dermot Seymour.
Starting with a questioning of why his “family stayed in Andersonstown in the midst of revolution”, Máirtín shares his journey from childhood naturalist, exploring the wonders of nature that engulf the city of Belfast, through to early experiments with ‘action-art’ (paint bombing and agit-prop) and on into a direct engagement with the political arena.
Máirtín Ó Muilleoir is a civic leader and entrepreneur whose longstanding promotion of and involvement with politically engaged contemporary art, as a commissioner, collector and author, combines to provide a unique insight into the period’s complexities and contradictions.
For those of you who are new to the Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art series, it is a project that consists of up to twelve instalments, each taking the form of an individual exhibition and accompanying publication. The aim of the project is to form a significant archive of Northern Irish Art from 1945 to the present through multiple narratives, each examining different aspects of the period. Each instalment features a guest curator – selected to make their particular specialist knowledge and lived experience accessible to audiences through their exhibition and accompanying publication.
The project set outs, in the absence of any relevant permanent public collection, to create a useful historical context from which audiences and educators can engage with the stories of this place through the art of our time. Central to the project is an acknowledgement that there are many versions of history. To date, the Golden Thread Gallery has realised seven instalments: Post-War – Pre Troubles; Icons of the North; Art and the Disembodied Eye; The Double Image; A Shout in the Street; The Visual Force; and Art Beyond Ulster. In doing so, we have had the privilege of working with , and have gained a valuable insight into each of their areas of expertise.
Peter Richards, Gallery Director