GTG Artists Present: Sinéad O’Donnell


We are very excited to bring you this unique film by acclaimed performance artist Sinéad O’Donnell, in which she looks back at three iconic performance pieces from across her career, exploring themes of isolation: ‘Prerequisite‘ (1999), ‘Headspace: White Cube‘ (2014) which was first performed in Northern Ireland in the GTG in 2015, and ‘Red Clay Twins‘ (2018).



About the Artist

Sinéad O’Donnell has worked in performance, installation, site and time-based art for the past 20 years. Originally from Dublin and based in Belfast, Sinéad studied sculpture at the University of Ulster, textiles in Dublin and visual performance and time-based practices at Dartington College of Arts, graduating with distinction in 2003. Her work has been presented at Art of the Lived Experiment, Bluecoat, Liverpool, UK, Voices Travel, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan (2014), Asiatopia, Bangkok Arts & Cultural Centre, Thailand (2013), Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia, (2013), Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland, (2012), Southbank Centre, London (2012).

Sinéad was the first performance artist to be awarded a Major Individual Artist award by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2017/18.  

Her work explores identity, borders and barriers through encounters with territory and the territorial. She sets up actions or situations that demonstrate complexities, contradictions or commonality between medium and discipline, timing and spontaneity, intuition and methodology, artist and audience. She uses photography, video, text and collage to record her performances which often reveals an ongoing interest in the co-existence of other women and systems of kinship and identity.

Sinead’s work with the GTG includes the remarkable CAUTION in 2012, the culmination of a two year project commissioned for the Cultural Olympiad to coincide with the London 2012 Paralympics; and ‘Headspace: White Cube’ performed for the first time in Northern Ireland at the GTG as part of the launch of Vanishing Futures: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art XII.

GTG Artists Present is funded by Community Foundation NI.


GTG Workshops: Make Your Own Nightlight with Sophie Daly


In this week’s online workshop, Sophie Daly has a fantastic project for young people aged 12 and up! Sophie was inspired by the the striking neon artwork Sign*Age (2019) by artist Liliane Puthod, which is part of our current exhibition Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence.



For a subtitled version of this tutorial, watch on our GTG YouTube channel.

The Dissolving Histories exhibition has been temporarily curtailed by lockdown, but while the gallery remains closed you can view the entire exhibition here, with stunning photos by Simon Mills.

GTG Workshops are funded by the Community Foundation NI.


New! More free GTG art activity sheets to download


Here are some more art activity sheets from our exhibitions for you to print off and colour in!

First up, some mixed-up bodies to imagine and draw, based on the ‘Exquisite Corpse‘ idea used by Surrealist artists like Frida Kahlo, Yves Tanguy and Marcel Duchamp, and more recently by Jake and Dinos Chapman.

Next, an activity sheet based on our exhibition ‘The Telepaths’ from last year, by renowned Northern Irish artist Susan MacWilliam. In the exhibition Susan used archive photographs of women in the early part of the 20th Century as part of her exploration of ideas and imagery related to historical investigations of telepathy and extra-sensory perception.

Finally an art activity that you need to do to music! Cheesy, cheerful pop is our favourite! This activity sheet was created for Oona Doherty‘s solo exhibition, ‘Death of a Hunter‘, which was the first exhibition to combine dance and narrative story-telling into a visual arts exhibition which blurred the distinctions between art forms.

Don’t forget to send us a photo of your finished activity sheet so we can add it to the online GTG Junior Gallery!

GTG Virtual Family Art Workshops & Junior Gallery!


While we can’t hold our regular free family art workshops in the gallery, we thought we could share some of the exhibition art activities we’ve created over the past year, along with flashback virtual visits to those exhibitions. From tomorrow on our website you can remind yourselves of the artists whose work we have shown, and download and print the activity sheets!

Starting with a special award for Mums to celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday! You can download our special Rosette design to colour in here, to make sure your Mum knows that she’s the best.

On Monday we’ll take a look back at the incredible Noise of Silence: Japanese Art Now exhibition that we held last year – up above is a reminder of the amazing mud murals by Yusuke Asai, painted live in the Gallery right onto the walls!

Yusuke painting with mud! August 2019

We want keep our Junior Gallery going too, showcasing work by your budding artists. If they’ve painted a picture, done some drawing or colouring in, made crafts or just gone crazy with your own artwork, please send us photos. Look how empty it is – we need your help!

Email them to us at info at gtgallery.co.uk or share them with us on social media. Tell us the artists name and age too. You can use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Tag us in and use the hashtags #GTGBelfast and #GTGJuniorGallery We’ll add their work to our virtual Junior Gallery online using technological wizardry.

Check back tomorrow for the first virtual exhibition workshop!

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.”


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.

Stallholders Wanted!

WE WANT YOU!

If you’re an artist, maker or crafter and would like to sell at our upcoming Christmas Market then get in touch! The market will run from 5pm – 8pm on the 6th of December during Late Night Art. We have had great success with our two previous markets and can’t wait to host another one for the festive season!

Tables for the market are £20 per person and need to be booked in advance to secure your space. Send us a short description of what you would like to sell alongside a few images and links to any websites or social media you have for your wares to info@gtgallery.co.uk marked ‘Christmas Market Application.’

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

Painting Peer Critique Session

Brian Kielt will be running a Painting Peer Critique Session in the Golden Thread Gallery on Saturday 29th of September which is free and open to all. Bring along a piece of work or send image to infocnip@gmail.com to have it projected up for the group. You can also just come along to meet other artists who use painting in their practice and take part in lively discussion about each other’s work. The sessions will run from 1.30 – 3.30pm over the afternoon.

Exhibitions Assistant (maternity cover) position available

The Golden Thread Gallery is seeking a temporary Exhibitions Assistant (maternity cover) to assist in the delivery of the gallery’s programme. This will include liaising with artists, institutions and funders, general administration and visitor experience.

Working Hours: Part-time, 16 hpw (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 organization.

Salary: £16,781 – £17,772 (pro rata), NJC Scale 3

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

Contract: This is a maternity cover contract position until the 31st March 2019. A probationary period will apply.

Please note that this appointment is subject to continuing funding/grant aid.

Closing date for applications is 3pm on Monday 23rd July. Applications must be emailed to info@gtgallery.co.uk

GTG Monitoring-Form-2018 (4)

Maternity cover Exhibitions Assistant application pack