International Exposure for Local Artists
For the first time, a group of Northern Irish artists will be exhibiting their work at a Venice Biennale international showcase of visual arts, thanks to support by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council Northern Ireland. The exhibition opens tomorrow (Thursday 9 th June 2005) at the Institute Santa Maria della Pieta in Venice.
The Venice Biennale is the oldest and most prestigious international visual arts exhibition in the world. Initiated in 1895 to showcase Italian art, it has evolved into an international platform for contemporary art and is the highest-profile cultural event of its kind. The 2005 International Exhibition of Art will be held over a five-month period, between June and November.
Rosemary Kelly , Arts Council Chairman, who will be attending tomorrow’s opening ceremony, described the exhibition as “the most significant event in Northern Irish visual arts for a generation”. She went on to say that this unique opportunity to promote our contemporary visual arts practice at the highest international level, “will present a clear message that our arts can more than hold their own in the international arena. It will also show the world a fresh picture of Northern Ireland – that of a culturally and artistically mature society emerging with newfound confidence from the difficult times that have overshadowed a generation.”
Hugh Mulholland, curator of Northern Ireland’s first official representation at the Biennale has selected 14 of Northern Ireland’s finest contemporary artists, to present a group exhibition in two parts – an exhibition of new work under the title ‘The Nature of Things’ in the galleries at the Institute Santa Maria della Pieta, which will run throughout the duration of the Biennale; and a series of site-specific installations, performances and screenings, which will take place between 6 th – 11 th October.
The Northern Irish artists whose work has been selected for the 2005 Venice Biennale are: Patrick Bloomer, Ian Charlesworth, Factotum, Seamus Harahan, Michael Hogg, Sandra Johnston, Nicholas Keogh, Katrina Moorhead, Darren Murray, Mary McIntyre, William McKeown, Aisling O’Beirn, Peter Richards and Alastair Wilson.