GTG Online Forum Series: Improving Diversity in the Arts


Golden Thread Gallery is launching a series of events that will encompass webinars, talks and workshops, all focussed on widening participation within the arts sector and supported by the Community Foundation NI New Needs fund. Our first events are a series of three online discussion sessions. hosted by our New Needs intern Esther Andare.

The discussions will explore what improvements are needed in striving for more inclusivity and engagement for people from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background in the Arts – from visual art to dance, theatre, music, performance, photography, literature and beyond.

Our first discussion on 14th November is aimed at individuals of colour or who identify as part of a minority ethnic community, to discuss their personal experiences as audience members. It aims to create a space for a candid conversation to cover topics including:

  • The current state of diversity within the arts and Esther’s personal experiences
  • A discussion about possible strategies and best practices to increase inclusivity and community engagement
  • The term ‘BAME’ itself, and how it is used to group minorities

We will ask: ‘What should art galleries and organisations do and have in place to make you (Black, Asian and minority ethnic people) feel welcomed and encouraged to visit galleries?’

Future Sessions

Session 2 is aimed at Arts Organisations and will take place on Tuesday 24th November at 2pm. Seema Manchanda will lead the discussion of how organisations are currently addressing diversity. 

Session 3 is aimed at both Arts Organisations and Individuals, to combine the learning from the previous sessions and explore new tactics to increase diversity in the arts. It will take place on Thursday 10th December at 2pm. 

The gallery is keen on having these discussions openly to encourage different voices and perspectives to be heard.

The sessions will all take place via Zoom, and last approx an hour. Please email info@gtgallery.co.uk to book your place to join the discussions, or for any queries.

Supported by the Community Foundation NI New Needs Fund.

GTG Workshop: Create Cute Creatures with Sophie Daly


In today’s workshop, artist Sophie Daly shows you how to make adorable little creatures out of egg cartons. You have probably have been baking lots of treats with family recently. Put those egg cartons to good use by creating a turtle, ladybird or bee to play with!

Turtles, ladybirds and bees are so important to our planet. We can show them our appreciation through art and by protecting them.



You will need:

  • Egg carton(s)
  • A soft ball of some sort, out of clay or plastic etc
  • Cotton buds
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Paint brushes
  • Water for brushes
  • Paint

You can download a worksheet for each creature too! Which is your favourite?

You can learn more about ladybirds here

Learn about why we need to protect turtles here

And here are some top tips on how to help our bees!

Other ways to help the planet:

Let’s try and stamp out single use plastics. Try walking if you can, or go by bike! A better planet means a better future for all creatures great and small.

And of course, instead of throwing things away once they’re empty, use them to make art!

Supported by Community Foundation NI

GTG Workshop: Create an artist’s notebook!


In today’s virtual workshop, artist Sophie Daly will show you how to create your own beautiful and unique artist’s notebook – every artist needs one!

The emphasis today is on recycled materials. Be creative with what you have around you, and don’t let anything go to waste, nothing is ever useless! Finding creative ways to reduce what we throw away is a brilliant habit to help our planet.



You will need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scrap paper
  • Old books/newspapers/leaflets etc
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Needle and thread
  • Something pokey, like a screwdriver
  • A ruler and pencil

Many artists are now working with recycled or more sustainable materials, and using their art to draw attention to climate change and the need to look after our planet.

What else do you have that instead of being thrown away, could be re-used to make art? Send us your ideas!

GTG Workshop: Draw like Yayoi Kusama with Chloe Morrison


Today’s brand new GTG Workshop explores the fantastical, colourful art of iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. She is known as the ‘princess of polka dots’, because although she makes many different kinds of art, from sculpture, installation, paintings and drawings, they always feature lots and lots and LOTS of dots!



Kusama was born in Japan in 1929, and while she was still a child she began to experience vivid hallucinations which included vast fields of flowers like dots. The very earliest work that she made using dots was a drawing of a Japanese woman in a kimono, believed to be her mother, covered by dots – created when Kusama was only 10 years old.

She moved to America in the 1950s and became an important part of the avant-garde movement in New York. She was very productive over the next decade but because of widespread sexism in the art world, she struggled to gain widespread recognition and success. Kusama also had to watch some male artists get success and acclaim from copying her ideas – including Andy Warhol! Understandably, this was extremely frustrating and depressing for Kusama, and she moved back to Japan and didn’t make any new art for several years.

But in the late 1970’s she returned to making art from her new home in a hospital in Japan. Then in 1989 a very important exhibition looking back at her work and her huge influence on other artists was held in New York at the Center for International Contemporary Arts, organised by curator Alexandra Munroe which helped to bring Yayoi Kusama’s work back into the spotlight.


Yayoi Kusama at work in her studio, in front of her painting The Moving Moment When I Went to the Universe. Photograph: Yayoi Kusama Studio

Now, Yayoi Kusama she is now the world’s biggest-selling female artist, her work is instantly recognisable worldwide, and an entire museum dedicated to her art opened in Tokyo in 2017! And she still uses DOTS!

Singapore Biennale on Orchard Road, Singapore August 2006, by Sengkang used under Creative Commons

GTG Workshops are funded by Community Foundation NI.

GTG Workshop: Origami Bear with Paul Mulgrew!


In today’s bear-illiant new workshop, artist Paul Mulgrew shows you how to design, draw, create and colour your very own smiling Origami Bear!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • One square sheet of white paper. (Plus one extra scrap sheet to protect the table.)
  • Crayons: Brown, Red, Black.
  • One black marker.

Origami is the traditional Japanese art of creating mini-sculptures by folding a flat, square sheet of paper – no scissors or glue required. The crane is one of the most famous designs, and one of the oldest known books about origami from 1797, called Hiden senbazuru origata (The Secret of Folding 1,000 Paper Cranes), contains instructions for making 49 different kinds of crane.

But origami is still being taken to new levels by contemporary artists – like this incredible life-size elephant created by artist Sipho Mabona from a single sheet of paper!


Or these elaborate paper sculptures designed using computational origami created by Professor Jun Mitani.


So, you can see that once you master the basics with our Origami Bear, the potential for new ideas from a historic tradition is vast and exciting.

Have fun folding, and please send us pictures of your creations!


Funded by Community Foundation NI

GTG Workshop: Draw Pizza Steve with Paul Mulgrew


Today’s brand new workshop will show you how to draw and colour in a fun cartoon character called Pizza Steve!

Belfast based artist and designer Paul Mulgrew works in digital media, creative writing, print and film, including the wonderful short film Zipper which has been selected for screening at the Raindance Film Festival 2020.



WHAT YOU NEED FOR PIZZA STEVE:

• One sheet of white paper.
• Crayons: Orange, Red, Black, Dark Yellow, Yellow.
• One black marker.

You can download the worksheet with full instructions here!


GTG Workshops are funded by Community Foundation NI.

GTG Workshop: Open Processing with Robin Price


In part 2 of his workshops on using computer coding to get creative, Robin Price takes us through how open processing works.

Once you have the basics of this down, the potential for making all kids of new art is really boundless!



Robin uses technology to create music and soundscapes as well as visual art, and to push the boundaries of our ideas about what different technologies can do. What do you think our machines and devices could do that would be new and different? Send us your pictures and ideas!


GTG Workshops are funded by the Community Foundation NI

GTG Workshops – Creative Coding with Robin Price

Rainbow

Learn how to use computer coding to create art! Artist, composer and technology superstar Robin Price shows you how to design and code a beautiful rainbow, just like in our picture.

Creative coding is a type of computer programming in which the goal is to create something expressive instead of something functional. It’s an exciting and growing field where art and technology come together.

Coding can be used to create pictures, animation, poems, games and many different kinds of art.



You can see wonderful examples of art created using computers and digital technology on Creative Applications Net (CAN).

And you can learn more about coding at CodeClub. This poetry generator inspired by 19th Century coding pioneer Ada Lovelace is one of our favourites!



GTG Workshops are funded by Community Foundation NI.


GTG Workshops: Salt dough modelling clay with Simon Mills


Today’s online workshop by artist and photographer Simon Mills shows you how to make your own brilliant salt dough modelling clay using basic household ingredients… And it features a very special and adorable guest artist! With a little bit of help, this is an activity for all ages to enjoy!



You can use salt dough to make ornaments, jewellery, picture-frames, the initials of your name, model cars or animals – the possibilities are endless. Once it’s baked, it can last for years if you look after it carefully.

Here’s the worksheet with instructions that you can download and print.

We’d love to see pictures of your salt dough creations! Send them to us at info@gtgallery.co.uk


GTG Workshops are 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.