Buon viaggio Chiara!


Last week we said farewell to our wonderful Erasmus trainee Chiara Matteucci, as she was finally able to return home to Bologna, Italy after being stranded in Belfast during lockdown. We already miss her so much!

The Covid-19 pandemic restrictions kicked in soon after Chiara’s placement at the GTG began. In the strangest of circumstances she quickly became an invaluable part of the team, taking a pivotal role in delivering our online programme. In addition to carrying out a huge and overdue reorganisation of our exhibition archive, Chiara is our Instagram guru!


We asked her to write about her time with us, and as always it’s great!


Something forever

By Chiara Matteucci

‘When I packed my clothes and I was ready to depart for my Erasmus + traineeship I wasn’t expecting that it would turn out in this way. Well, no one expected that the whole year 2020 would turn out this way, but, let me say, if you decide to go through a worldwide pandemic in a foreign country, far away from home (precisely 1416 miles), things are slightly amplified. I don’t blame anyone, there were a couple of opportunities to fly back home but I considered it safer to stay here in Belfast and keep going with my Erasmus traineeship at the Golden Thread Gallery.

So here we are, at the end of this unique experience, which has unfolded as the most useful experience I’ve ever had – and all the thanks go to the team in the Gallery who supported (and endured) me in these pandemic months. I can’t hide that I would have wanted to have a chance to explore Belfast better (I’m still wondering how drinking a pint of beer in a pub after work would be) instead of knowing only the route to the gallery and back home, which by the way I can do with my eyes closed now.  And, of course, I missed all the beauty of seeing how to install and de-install an exhibition, talking with the artists during the vernissages and dealing with feedback of the public which, if you work with contemporary artworks, can often be incredibly controversial.

But if there’s something that I learned from this lockdown is to focus on the good things (the famous saying “looking at the glass as half full” has always turned out to be right) and, after four months of smart working, even though I exposed myself to an emotional rollercoaster, I can definitely say that I couldn’t have learned more work-wise. Even in a small and open listener team such as the Golden Thread Gallery, there are fixed roles. But during this period things have changed because we all have been exposed to something new, unexpected for the team and for me.  Together, meeting after meeting (God bless Zoom), we have formulated a virtual response to the quarantine, trying to keep the Gallery alive against the uncertain and suspended reality created by the virus. 

I clearly remember what the director Peter told me during one of our conversations about the art system – “If we were in a normal situation, probably me and you would never have met” and this is true. Someone could negatively interpret this sentence but in my case, this is where is hidden my half-full glass: the lockdown gave me the possibility to work in a unique (albeit virtual) environment, to be actively involved in the creation of content and I couldn’t be happier.

PS: Something forever is the title of a 2000 exhibition by Ian Charlesworth and Eoghan McTigue that the Golden Thread Gallery hosted in its old venue on the Crumlin Road. Have a look at the online archive, I proudly re-organised it!’

June 2020, Bologna via Belfast


We cannot wait to watch Chiara’s career in the arts develop, we know there will be so much success ahead for her. And we look forward to welcoming her back to Belfast for a visit someday soon so she can explore our brilliant city… and we can finally buy her that well-deserved pint!

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 Artists Present: Ian Cumberland


This week we’re delighted to work with artist Ian Cumberland, as he shares a new film that looks back at his 2018 exhibition at the GTG, a common fiction. (Please note: the film has sound, but no voiceover).

Ian’s work in this exhibition explored new methods of painting for him; moving towards wider, more immersive installation experiences. Detailed portraiture was staged within the space and extended with fabric, neon and video work. This ‘staging’ framed the paintings in a context that is found within the imagery of the paint itself, bringing the viewer a different perspective of looking at his work. The paintings were expanded, the landscape of each work brought out and into the gallery.


About the artist

Born in Banbridge in Co Down, Ian Cumberland studied at The University of Ulster, where he was awarded the John and Rachael Turner Award for the most outstanding student in 2006. He has established a national and international reputation for his highly realistic portraits.

Ian is perhaps best known for his hyper realistic large oil paintings, including his award winning ‘Heads’ series. The surfaces of Cumberland’s paintings record the innate detail of flesh, pattern and texture in highly detailed precision.

Solo Exhibitions

2019  ‘A Common Fiction/Once removed’, Josef Filipp Gallery, Leipzig, Germany
2018  ‘A Common Fiction’, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland
2016  ‘Once Removed’, MCAC, Portadown, Northern Ireland
2012  Albemarle Gallery, London, UK
2008 Albemarle Gallery, London, UK

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 JD Malat Gallery, London, UK
‘I’ll be your mirror’, Josef Filipp Gallery, Leipzig, Germany
Royal Ulster Academy, Ulster Museum, Belfast, UK
‘SAGA’, Paintguide, Hong Kong
2018 ‘A Brand New Darkness’, Abridged, Galway Arts Centre, Ireland
2017 ‘Winter Open’, RUA Red, Dublin, Ireland
‘Delusional’, Jonathan Levine Projects, New Jersey, USA
Royal Ulster Academy, Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland
2016 ‘Portraits of a Nation’, Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
2015 ‘BP Portrait Award’ (Touring Exhibition), The National Portrait Gallery, London, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Ulster Museum, Belfast, UK
2014 ‘Presently’, MCAC, Portadown, Northern Ireland
‘184th Annual Exhibition’, The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland


GTG Artists Present is funded by the 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.


Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence – Artists Panel Discussion Online!


Our scheduled Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence panel discussion couldn’t take place in the gallery due to the current situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily due to the wonders of technology, we were able to record the talk and bring it to you now, while still practicing all the social distancing protocols!  

We were joined by co-curators Mary Cremin and Peter Richards and artists Liliane Puthod, Stuart Calvin and Michael Hanna to discuss the process of building the Dissolving Histories exhibition. It’s fascinating to hear the artists discuss the changing context of this exhibition, given our current global situation. The discussion provides a wonderful insight into the way this exhibition came about and also the thoughts behind the origins of the Dissolving Histories series (of which this is the third annual instalment).  

Watch the discussion on the Golden Thread Gallery Vimeo channel here! (Video: 31 minutes)  

Hopefully you all caught artist Liliane Puthod’s Golden Thread Gallery Instagram Takeover over the last weekend.

Michael Hanna has kindly shared more of his extraordinary video work to view online here (Short Films about Learning, 2015).  

And although you can’t currently see this exhibition in the physical gallery space, you can explore the beautiful documentation of the show by Simon Mills on our website.  

GTG Temporary Closure


The Board of the Golden Thread Gallery takes the safety of its staff and visitors seriously. Following the most recent government statement, we have taken the decision to close to the public from today, 18th March.

We will monitor the situation and review regularly.

All of our upcoming events are postponed, including the Reading Round and family workshops. However, we’re looking at the possibilities for hosting online activities as an alternative. We have plans in place to increase our virtual presence, including art activities for kids, and to engage with as many of you as possible.

Please watch this space and in the meantime stay safe.

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!

Thank you Chloe Jamieson!

We would like to wish our current volunteer Gallery Assistant Chloë Jamieson a fond farewell as she leaves us to embark in her new job role as Explainer at Hillsborough Castle! Chloe will be completing an MA in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies later on in the summer.

She will be greatly missed by all at the gallery, we wish her all the best for the future and look forward to seeing her on the other side of the reception desk at our Late Night Art openings in future!

Congratulations to everyone who joined us for Processions on Sunday 10/06/18

What an amazing day today was had by all at #PROCESSIONS2018! A massive thank you to the women from Kilcooley and to all the other women who joined together for an incredible event. The atmosphere among the hundreds of women who  were part of the march was electric and lent the event a wonderful feeling of optimism for the future. Well done also to Lesley Cherry for all her hard work and banner making motivating!

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/processions-belfast-hundreds-take-to-the-streets-to-mark-100-years-of-voting-rights-for-women-36995089.html

Processions 2018 March with The Golden Thread Gallery

Join us on Sunday 10th of June for a mass participation march which will take place from the Titanic Exhibition Centre from 12pm and will travel through Belfast to City Hall and back to celebrate the fight for womens suffrage across the ages. Our Processions team will be carrying banners created through a number of workshops with local community groups and an open workshop at the gallery. We would love you to join us for this momentous occasion!

All welcome and free to join!

To sign up email info@gtgallery.co.uk with the number of participants joining for the event!

ABOUT PROCESSIONS 2018

Thousands of women and girls from across the UK will walk together in public processions on Sunday 10 June, forming a living portrait of women in the 21st century and a visual expression of equality, strength and cultural representation. PROCESSIONS celebrates the fight for suffrage and expresses what it means to be a woman today.

Text and textiles are at the heart of the project. In the months leading up to the processions, the public are taking part in a nationwide creative programme of banner-making. In a series of special commissions, 100 artists are working with community groups across the country to deliver expressive banners and iconic artworks that echo the artistic practices of the women’s suffrage campaign and yet are grounded in women’s experience today. PROCESSIONS also uses the history of female suffrage to inspire women to vote and stand for office.

https://www.1418now.org.uk/commissions/processions/