This week is World Autism Awareness Week 2020 and to mark this important event the Golden Thread Gallery is launching our new Social Story™ on our website. We’ve designed it to help make visiting the gallery, and engaging with visual art, easier and more enjoyable for young visitors on the autism spectrum.
Thanks to funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, we’ve been able to develop and create this new step-by-step guide to exactly what visitors can expect when they come to the Golden Thread. It’s available to view and download free of charge on our website here and at the bottom of this page too.
Once the current public health situation has improved, and we’re advised that it’s safe to re-open the gallery, we will also be making free printed copies of the guide available, both in the gallery and to organisations who work with and support young people on the autism spectrum in Northern Ireland.
Our unique Social Story™, ‘My Visit to the Golden Thread Gallery’, was developed using the pioneering model first created by Carol Gray in the 1990s, alongside research into current best practice in the international arts and cultural sector.
Creating the guide has helped the GTG team to take a fresh look at the gallery ourselves, and to consider accessibility from a new perspective.
We are always working to make the gallery as welcoming as possible to all visitors. We hope that we will welcome many new visitors and their families once we are open again!
We’re very happy too introduce the newest member of the GTG team, Chiara Matteucci! Joining us for three months on the excellent Erasmus scheme for third-level students, Chiara has been in Belfast for a few weeks now, getting to know the city. She is a graduate of DAMS (the famous degree course founded by Umberto Eco) and holds a Master’s in Contemporary Art from the University of Bologna. On her first visit to us here in the GTG, she attended the launch of the Dissolving Histories exhibition, and has written this wonderful review of the show:
“Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence is the new exhibition of the Golden Thread Gallery which opened on Saturday 15th February. It was my third day in Belfast when I came to the opening and, believe or not, it was raining! I’d never seen the gallery before that day and my first impression was that the place was warm (probably because I was still wet from the rain), friendly and huge. The two wide corridors with soft lights and the way the artworks have been displayed created a suggestive atmosphere that capture the attention and immerse the spectator in undefined time/space.
The aim of the exhibition is
to reflect about the notion of History itself, and the final result is a
cohesive space within which different realities and thoughts take place. The
four artists involved investigate the concept of History with different media,
trying to give their own definition of the notion, inevitably related to their specific
Greeting you at the entrance of the exhibition is the video
Dissolving beyond the worm moon by Bassam Al Sabah. The war that has
afflicted all the ages is shown through a juvenile eye, like a Japanese Anime
series, broadcast in Arab world since the 80s. This surreal work, constantly
playing between reality and fantasy, naturally coexists with the ancestral
sculpture made by Stuart Calvin, which reflects on the contrary on the eternal
necessity of the human being to believe in something transcendent, capable of
resolving problems above human’s powers. The way to invoke this unreliable
presence is the upside-down sculpture Calvin created that seems, by the way, an
Even the artworks of Liliane Puthod look like some archaeological
elements but from a different era: all of them allude to another presence of our
contemporary society, capitalism. In her works the notion of History becomes
real, tangible and near our age. These artworks indeed reflect society itself
in a conceptual way: using industrial materials (e.g. Cool Death) and
thinking about the act of consumption of products in our everyday lives.
The desire of collecting goods (in this case memories)
is present also in Michael Hanna’s video, which at a first sight could be
described as an obsessive and quite random collection of frame videos. Actually,
this work reflects about History throughout; a focus on the concept of Utopia suggested
moreover by the title chosen: Indoor sunlight.
This rain of images (the reference to Italo Calvino is a must!) is the last artwork of Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence at the Golden Thread Gallery until the 25th of April.”
Today we're launching our new series of online exhibitions GTG Artists Present thanks to funding from Community Foundation NI. Over the next months the GTG will be inviting Northern Ireland based artists to create a new digital exhibition of some...