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.
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.
Each week during lockdown, GTG Director Peter Richards revisits one of our past exhibitions on Instagram and shares his personal reflections on the show and its contexts, then and now. This week he looks back to 2000 and the exhibition Better Society, which brought together work by Phil Collins, Daniel Jewesbury and Colin Darke.
Phil Collins, Colin Darke, Daniel Jewesbury
21st September – Sat 28th October 2000
“I wouldn’t have started from here”
“It’s increasingly appropriate to quote this phrase from Daniel, especially when writing any reflection on our past programme; or indeed, any History of Northern Irish Art; or come to think of it, any history as we understand it, at this moment in time.
Better Society brought together three distinct projects/bodies of work, by the three artists Phil, Daniel and Colin. Phil had just returned from a residency in L.A, Colin from Finland and Daniel, I can’t remember right now, but he was always somewhere or other. Each had developed works in response to observations on related societal models.
The exhibition didn’t ever set out to offer a model what a Better Society could be, rather it offered an opportunity to confront ways we were engaging with the dominant socio-political models of the day. That proposed action seems ever more relevant today.
So, I’ve started from here on this occasion … on another day it could have started from somewhere other… I’d begun to be involved with the programming of the Golden Thread Gallery after having had a solo exhibition ‘Another Something Other’ there in 1999.
The gallery was started by Gail Prentice in 1998 as an artist-led project. At the time of this exhibition the gallery was not receipt of any annual funding, it had no paid staff, rather it received sporadic project support and occasional sponsorship. The gallery had a different purpose and played a role different to its current configuration. Though many of the motivations that informed its approach to programming continue to resonate.
It was a time when we worked predominately with our peer group – fortunately for us, we thought it was a great peer group, and a great time for visual art in Belfast. It felt like Belfast’s Art scene was poised to … or at least in a good place from which to… be at what now feels like a good moment in a perpetual cycle of endlessly differed potential.
We were working with our knowledge of what our peer group was doing; what they were being paid to do elsewhere; and then creating opportunities to present this work to local audiences. We looked to set up new narratives, dialogues between works, whilst maintaining space for all works to be engaged with on their own.
Subjects for, approaches to, exhibitions and exhibition making, primarily grew out of conversations. They tended to begin with an invitation to artists to come together with us and test a conversation further over coffee. I remember having lots of coffee with lots of artists…”
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 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.
Sculptor John Rainey looks back at his 2016 solo show ‘On Visibility’, with this new online presentation exploring the exhibition; a series of sculptures in porcelain, silicone and mixed media.
“On Visibility considers the persistence of images, mediated disclosure and slippages between form and formlessness in the creation of digital representation.”
About the Artist:
John Rainey is a sculptor based in Northern Ireland, working mainly with 3D print technologies and ceramics. He completed his master’s degree at the Royal College of Art, London, in 2012. John is an associated artist of Marsden Woo Gallery, London, where his first solo exhibition was held in 2013. In the same year, he completed a four-month residency at Konstfack University for the Creative Arts as the Anglo-Swedish Society’s Visual Arts Scholar and was selected to produce a large-scale installation for “COLLECT 2013 Project Space” at the Saatchi Gallery, London. Recent exhibitions include ‘Flayground’ at the BERG Gallery, Stockholm and ‘Crowded Thresholds’ at the National Design and Craft Gallery, Kilkenny.
Today’s workshop is for all the budding Bigelows, Andersons, Gerwigs and Harryhausens out there! GTG’s Sophie Daly has created a wonderful video tutorial taking you step-by-step through making your own stop-motion animated movie, using a smartphone.
Sophie’s top tip is “10 seconds is not much time for a movie, so keep it simple, and remember to have fun! Please submit your fabulous work to us by email so we can show it off to everyone email@example.com. Enjoy!”.
In response to the current situation the Golden Thread Gallery is engaging with artists and audiences in a different way. Thanks to funding from the Community Foundation NI, over the next few months we’ll be inviting Northern Ireland based artists to create a new digital exhibition of some of their past work with the GTG online, on our website and social media channels.
We’re delighted that our first artist is Victoria J. Dean, a photographic artist based in Belfast. Works from her series ‘The Illusion of Purpose’ were shown in our Project Space in 2018 as part of our ‘There and not there’ exhibition, alongside works by Sharon Murphy.
For GTG Artists Present Victoria has created a new digital presentation of the works shown in the gallery, with additional works from the series and a fascinating personal reflection on the project. Watch it here, or for a subtitled version please watch on our YouTube channel.
Her photographs are notable for their lack of people, yet they are not simple landscapes or seascapes, the structures are key. It is hard to tell exactly what the structures are; indeed, some of them appear so unlikely given their locale that they appear more like an illusion than fact. Their unlikeliness presents more questions than answers. Are the structures superimposed into the photograph? What is their purpose? Where are they? Dean deliberately does not give us the answers to any of those questions. Her fascination with how humans interpret what they see, how they organise, what they build and how it all contributes to society remains unanswered.
About the Artist
Victoria J. Dean (b. Belfast, 1980) is a
photographic artist based in Northern Ireland. She has exhibited and been
published internationally including in 2018: Off_festival Bratislava: ‘The
Anthropocene’, Slovakia; ‘LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards’, Klompching
Gallery, New York; ‘There and not there’, the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast;
‘188th RHA Annual Exhibition’, Dublin; ‘137th RUA Annual Exhibition’, Ulster
Museum, Belfast, and previously: ‘On the Border between Time and Loss’, Galway
Arts Centre, 2016; ‘Emerging’ (Slideshow Night), Annenberg Space for
Photography, Los Angeles, and ‘Royal Academy Summer Exhibition’, London, 2015;
‘Circulation(s) 2014: Festival de la Jeune Photographie Européenne’, Paris,
2014; ‘Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography’, Belfast Exposed & The MAC,
Belfast, 2013, and Magenta Foundation’s ‘Flash Forward’, Boston, London and
Toronto, 2013-14; and ‘PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers’, New York, 2007.
Represented by the Golden Thread Gallery (Belfast), Dean featured in ‘SCOPE’
New York and ‘Elective Perspective’, Galeria Arsenał in Białystok, Poland in
Dean received the Royal Ulster Academy Award
for Outstanding Students on obtaining an MFA Photography with distinction from
Belfast School of Art at Ulster University, and was selected by Olivia Arthur
(Magnum) and Anna Sparham (Curator, Museum of London) in Source Magazine’s
‘Graduate Photography Online 2017 Selections’. A winner in the ‘LensCulture
Emerging Talent Awards 2017’, Dean was also a finalist in the Klompching
Gallery’s ‘FRESH 2017’. ‘The Illusion of Purpose’ book was published by Another
Place Press in 2018.
Dean’s work is part of the David Kronn Collection, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Collection, the Office of Public Works State Art Collection (Ireland), and a number of private collections in the UK and Ireland.
While we’re closed, we wanted to take a look back at some of the highlights of our exhibitions over the past year, and share the activity sheets for you to download and print at home. Please peruse some incredible art, then send us pictures of your own creations!
Last August the Golden Thread Gallery brought an incredible exhibition of contemporary Japanese art to Belfast. ‘Noise of Silence: Japanese Art Now’ was co-curated by GTG Director Peter Richards, the Director of Art Center Ongoing in Tokyo Nozomu Ogawa and Belfast based Japanese artist, Shiro Masuyama. The exhibition included work by 11 different artists, with a broad spectrum of styles and approaches to contemporary art making.
Noise of Silence: Japanese Art Now included spectacular live art events. Artist Takahiro Suzuki continued his global “生きろ (IKIRO) ” (meaning “Be Alive”) project in a durational performance in our Castlecourt pop-up space.
You can watch a video of IKIRO on our Facebook page here or this one taken by the Power family on a visit to Castlecourt here!
In Golden Thread Gallery One artist Yusuke Asai created a 17 metre long mud mural on-site, painting right on the gallery walls. He used soil and clay that he gathered here in Northern Ireland to paint his fantastical creatures and images of nature.
Shiro Masuyama’s installation work ‘Tokyo Landscape 2020‘ included an intricate motorised light ascending and descending over water to illuminate rows of plaster figures. Take a look at this video of the installation by Shiro.
Kyunchome’s video documentary ‘Making the Perfect Donut‘ begins with the idea of combining an American type donut with a sata andagi, an Okinawan donut, to create the ultimate deep-fried treat. But the piece explores the complicated history of American and Japanese relations, and the protests at the continuing presence of American military bases in Japan.
Atsushi’s piece was actually filmed in Belfast in 2014, during his residency with Flax Studios. In his video he walks around the city with his friends, dressed in a Japanese giant costume, responding to the mythology of Irish giant Finn McCool.
Artist Fuyuka Shindo has also spent time in Belfast, having studied at Belfast School of Art and been artist-in-residence in Flax Studios. Conducting research in museums and archives, she looks at objects such as traditional costumes and old photographs.
Her finished pieces incorporate elements from both past and present, through imagery, materials used or techniques employed.
Midori Mitamura has also worked in Belfast at Flax, and is now based in Tokyo. She makes interactive installations using ready-mades and projected images.
Her installation ‘Green on the Mountain’ was inspired by a family photograph that she found in Europe.
With Noise of Silence: Japanese Art Now, we offered our visitors in Belfast the opportunity to experience aspects of Japanese life through the eyes of some of its most talented contemporary artists. Their work explored Japan’s distinct cultural issues in addition to drawing out the artistic parallels that unite creative practices across international boundaries, allowing the exhibition and visitors to reflect on the similarities that exist within our own cultures.
Read a review of the exhibition by art writer Slavka Sverakova here.
Please download and print our activity sheets to create your own artworks inspired by the exhibition, and send us pictures!
Golden Thread Gallery is delighted to announce our unique touring exhibition, Not Alone, created for our strange, new, transformed world. With isolation measures, travel restrictions and quarantine rules affecting art exhibitions and collaborations in every way, GTG Director Peter Richards...