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09 Sep 2016

Susan MacWilliam: Modern Experiments

Modern Experiments
F E McWilliam Gallery


Exhibition opens on Saturday 10th September 2016 and continues until 26th November 2016 Gallery opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 5.00pm Admission free.

Riann Coulter
+44(0) 28 4062 3322

F E McWilliam Gallery & Studio
200 Newry Road
BT32 3NB Banbridge
Northern Ireland

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Susan MacWilliam: Modern Experiments

The F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are delighted to announce the forthcoming exhibition Susan MacWilliam: Modern Experiments. The largest and most comprehensive exhibition of MacWilliam's work to date, Modern Experiments will present key pieces from the artist's career with a focus on works created from 1998 onward when the artist began working with video. Since then, MacWilliam's work has explored cases of perceptual and paranormal phenomena and she has made work about mediumship, ectoplasm, x-ray vision, telepathy, table tilting, clairvoyance and dermo optical perception.

The work presented in this exhibition forms a unique and significant body of material exploring subjects that are on the periphery and beyond mainstream scientific and psychological study. Modern Experiments will feature fifteen of Susan MacWilliam's videos and installations including The Last Person, 1998 (Shortlisted for IMMA Glen Dimplex Award 1999), Dermo Optics, 2006 (exhibited at 2009 Venice Biennale) and KATHLEEN, 2014 (Derry-Londonderry City of Culture Commission) alongside other aspects of her diverse practice, including photographic works, stereoscopes, neon and sculptural works such as Book Spheres, 2014.

Supported by a major Touring and Dissemination of Work Grant awarded through a joint initiative by the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the exhibition will tour throughout 2017 to the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda; Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen and The Butler Gallery, Kilkenny. Fostering cross-border collaboration and building on existing links between the F.E. McWilliam Gallery and institutions throughout Ireland, this tour offers a unique opportunity for audiences to experience a survey exhibition of one of our most significant artists.

Born in Belfast and based between Belfast and Dublin, where she teaches at the National College of Art and Design, MacWilliam has exhibited nationally and internationally with solo shows in Victoria, BC (2012), Northampton (2013) and Derby (2014). In 1999 her work was shortlisted for the IMMA Glen Dimplex Award, in 2009 she represented Northern Ireland at the 53rd Venice Biennale and in 2013 she was awarded a Derry-Londonderry City of Culture Commission. While MacWilliam has exhibited in Northern Ireland and the Republic this survey exhibition will be the first opportunity for audiences throughout Ireland to see her key works together and to gain an overview of her practice.

A specialised programme focusing on those living with Alzheimers and Dementia will accompany the exhibition at each venue. Several of the subjects of MacWilliam's videos have been in their 80s and 90s; the narrative quality of many of her works together with the historic subject matter provides rich ground for specialist sessions with local Alzheimer café groups and more general tours for older people lead by staff at each gallery.

Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: 'The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support this touring exhibition through the North South Touring and Dissemination Scheme. Since the first round of this funding programme we have witnessed a number of successful cross-border tours from Moving On Music, Liz Roche Company, and Aisling Ghéar, among others. We hope that from this programme, artists and venues will be inspired to tour further, bringing great art to as many new audiences as possible.'
A major publication providing an overview of MacWilliam's practice and including essays by leading scholars will accompany the exhibition.

Susan MacWilliam: Modern Experiments
F.E. McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge: 10 September − 26 November 2016
The Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda: 17 February – 8 April 2017
Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibereen: 9 September – 18 October 2017
The Butler Gallery, Kilkenny: 28 October – 17 December 2017