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Date: 10 Dec 2021
Category: Culture and arts
An exhibition which has been specially curated by Jane Morrow and members from Turner Prize winning Array Collective has gone on display in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour at City Hall.
Commissioned by Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl, the works have been curated in line with her themes for her year in office, with 22 local artists from Belfast’s studio sector contributing to the exhibition.
Councillor Nicholl had already offered the artists the opportunity to show work before they scooped art’s top prize earlier this month, and this evening the exhibition was officially opened at a small reception in the Parlour, where it will remain on display for the duration of Councillor Nicholl’s term in office.
Describing the group of artists as “talented, funny, political and full of soul”, Councillor Nicholl said the Belfast-based group embodied everything that is great about the city.
“As a city, we are incredibly proud of what Array Collective has achieved; to have won the Turner Prize is just phenomenal and a true endorsement of this city’s talent,” said Councillor Nicholl.
“Bringing this prize home to Belfast helps to shine a spotlight on our artistic community and hopefully will help pave the way for more artists to have the opportunity to have their work seen, and to get the attention of an even wider audience.”
She added: “The ongoing pandemic has had a really devastating impact on the arts community and so when I came into office, it was important to me to do what I could to support our local artists.
“I’m really excited and feel very honoured to be able to host this special exhibition in the Parlour. It will be a fantastic talking point for visitors and I hope that by giving all these artists this opportunity and platform, it will help to open more doors for them.”
The showcase includes work by the 2021 Turner Prize winners as well as an invited selection of artists whose work ranges across disciplines and career stages.
Emma Campbell, a member of the Array Collective, said: “We were thrilled to be asked by the Lord Mayor to curate these works and to have the opportunity of showcasing artists from precarious studios in such an impressive space.
“On appointment, the Lord Mayor encouraged all political parties on Belfast City Council to work together to grow ‘a more inclusive, forward-thinking and kinder city’ - an ethos which this selection of artists and their work aims to reflect.
“The pieces that have been chosen reflect Kate’s interest in social justice and illustrate the work she is doing to further diversity and inclusion during her term. The showcase represents Belfast-based artists from a range of backgrounds, including ethnic and cultural minority communities, LGBTQIA individuals, and activists for women’s rights.”