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21 Oct 2015

Vanishing Futures is Nigh at Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast

Ian Charlesworth, 'John' single channel DVD 2005. Courtesy of the Artist.

Vanishing Futures: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art
Golden Thread Gallery


After ten years, and eleven previous instalments the Golden Thread Gallery's 'Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art' series will launch its final edition 'Vanishing Futures' this October. Curated by Peter Richards Exhibition Open: 23 October 2015 – 5 December 2015

Deirdre McKenna

84-94 Great Patrick Street

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For this, the final instalment, Peter Richards the series instigator, has been set the task, which he has previously set the eleven invited curators to date, of sharing an insight into his lived experience and knowledge of Northern Irish Art. Through the instalment Richards reflects on: a number of strands of thought around history and mediation; artists and artworks; the moments and things, that have shaped his understanding of Art in the North of Ireland. The exhibition will feature works from the late 1970's through to the present day and celebrate a sense of world-weary déjà vu.

The exhibition predominantly consists of works selected from the Golden Thread Gallery's would-be permanent collection. With works, where possible being shown in the gallery as they have been shown before. Though the choice of works exhibited have not been completely restricted to works that have previously been shown in or by the Golden Thread Gallery.

'Vanishing Futures' presents a strange moment of planned self-reflection for Richards who for the last decade has known this moment would undoubtedly be coloured by his time as the director of the Golden Thread Gallery… though he makes explicit that this is not the Golden Thread Gallery's history of Northern Irish Art it is simply the final contribution to the series.

We do hope that you will join with us and experience the work of artists such as: Tom Bevan; Charlie Bosanquet; Sinead Breathnach-Cashell; Lorraine Burrell; Lisa Byrne; Ursula Burke; Miriam de Búrca; Ian Charlesworth; Colin Darke; Maurice Doherty; John Duncan; Factotum; Ciara Finnegan; Graham Gingles; Gerry Gleason; Carol Graham; Michael Hanna; Phil Hession; Tony Hill; Allan Hughes; Johanna Leach; Terry Loane; Lisa Malone; Shiro Masuyama; Michael Minnis; Locky Morris; Susan MacWilliam; Connor McFeely; Deirdre McKenna; Mary McIntyre; Moira McIver; William McKeown; Tonya McMullan; Philip Napier; Aisling O'Beirn; Ciaran Ó Dochartaigh; Sinead O'Donnell; Brendan O'Neill; Jack Pakenham; Paul Seawright; Gary Shaw; Dan Shipsides; Theo Sims; Victor Sloan; Peter Spiers; Una Walker; and Alastair Wilson; again or for the very first time.

In celebration of the success and significance of the series, we will mark the occasion with the sale of 50 limited edition box sets containing all twelve publications that have culminated in this the 'Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art' series. For enquires regarding advance orders please email

Brief background of Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art

In 2005 the Golden Thread Gallery launched its Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art series of exhibitions and publications with the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery, Belfast City Council and the Flax Trust. The series forms a significant archive of Northern Irish Art from 1945 to the present. Each instalment has featured a different guest curator who has been selected to make their particular specialist knowledge and lived experience accessible to audiences. This series was created to be a useful historical context from which audiences and educators can engage with the stories of this place through the art of our time. Central to the project is an acknowledgement that there are many versions of history.

To date, the Golden Thread Gallery has realised eleven instalments: Post-War – Pre Troubles; Icons of the North; Art and the Disembodied Eye; The Double Image; A Shout in the Street; The Visual Force; Art Beyond Ulster and Tears in Rain/ Dheora san Fhearthainn; Outside and Between; Catalyst Arts; and This is what comes… In doing so, we have had the privilege of working with: S.B. Kennedy; Brian McAvera; Liam Kelly; Dougal McKenzie; Declan McGonagle; Slavka Sverakova; Brian Kennedy; Máirtín Ó Muilleoir; Shân McAnena; Cherie Driver; and Hugh Mulholland. Each curator has shown us a unique and personal version of Northern Irish art history, influenced by their own expertise, areas of interest and chosen time frame.

'Vanishing Futures' is supported by the Belfast Media Group, RMI, and Standard Utilities, and the reception has been supported by Becks.