‘Work’ goes on at Ormeau Baths Gallery
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland today (16th November) launched a challenging and politically-charged exhibition of international art at the Ormeau Baths Gallery in Belfast. ‘Work [w3:k]’ is a topical exhibition by more than 20 artists from around the world whose art captures the massive changes to our working lives over the last four decades.
Speaking at Thursday’s opening, Iain Davidson, Visual Arts Officer at the Arts Council, said, “The ‘Work [w3:k]’ exhibition comes hard on the heels of two of the most highly acclaimed and popular exhibitions at the Ormeau Baths Gallery, namely Magnum Ireland photographs and the prestigious Royal Ulster Academy annual exhibition. Expectations will be high for the third major exhibition in the gallery’s current programme. ‘Work [w3:k]’ is undeniably thought-provoking and challenging, and we are confident it will appeal to a wide audience and bring new people to the gallery, because it tackles, head-on, a subject that is relevant to everyone living and working in Northern Ireland.”
In ‘Work [w3:k]’, contemporary visual artists explore topical issues such as globalization, strikes, the sex trade and the outsourcing of industry to ‘low wage’ countries, as well as new forms of work such as tele-working.
Two of the exhibition’s main themes - women’s work and economic migration - are particularly relevant, with women making up 45 percent of the UK workforce and over 30,000 migrant workers currently contributing to the Northern Ireland economy.
Also speaking at the opening, Mick O’Reilly, Regional Secretary of the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union, said, “I think the arts have a huge role to play in bringing workers and communities together, and finding common cause on social change. All civilization comes from work, so those who work should learn the power of ideas, the power of art and culture, the value of an examined life. And if you do that you will have a more enlightened society.”
‘Work [w3:k]’ is presented by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in collaboration with Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria and the ATGWU Cultural Arts Committee.
A panel discussion with the exhibition curators and participating artists will take place at the gallery on Friday 17 th November, 12.30pm – 2.00pm. Contact the gallery for details, Tel: 028 90 321402.
‘Work [w3:k]’ is open to the public from Friday 17 th November to Friday 22 nd December at the Ormeau Baths Gallery, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast. The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm and admission is free. Contact the gallery on Tel: 028 90 321402.