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Duncairn welcomes GCSE art students to an exhibition featuring work from the Arts Council Collection

Tuesday 24th September 2019 at 2pm 0 Comments Visual Arts

Pictured (L_R) are Dominican College students, Caoimhe Rooney and Mollie Quinn. Image: Pictured (L_R) are Dominican College students, Caoimhe Rooney and Mollie Quinn.

The Duncairn Centre for Culture & Arts recently welcomed over 100 GCSE Art & Design students from schools in North Belfast to view an art exhibition featuring works from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Collection, as part of the centre’s Creative Industries Week.

The exhibition has come about thanks to the Arts Council’s Art Lending Scheme, a free Art Lending Scheme offered to venues, curators, museums and galleries across Britain, Ireland and Europe that are interested in exhibiting works from its rich, contemporary art collection.

The Arts Council’s current collection holds around 500 works by established and emerging visual artists working in, or from, Northern Ireland.  The Loan Scheme provides an opportunity to make the collection available for the public to view and shine a light on the artistic talent that is inherent to Northern Ireland. 

Debbie Young, Outreach and Development Officer, Duncairn Centre for Culture & Arts, commented,

“We are absolutely thrilled to have part of the Arts Council Collection on display here.  This is an amazing opportunity to bring the work of artists from Northern Ireland to North Belfast to be enjoyed by the local community.  It has also formed part of our Creative industries Week where we’ve brought ten local secondary schools to the Duncairn to enjoy the exhibition and take part in a series of workshops with local working artists.”

Maeve Mulligan, Head of Art, Dominican College, Fortwilliam, added,

“I’m very passionate about art as an art teacher but also as a person from the local area.  The Duncairn makes it more accessible to us as a school to get involved in art activities.  A lot of our art students here today might not have had the opportunity to visit an art gallery before or meet artists and this exhibition is just great to have in our local area.  This whole experience will undoubtedly enthuse and inspire our young art students, as-well as encourage them to think about a potential career working in the creative industries.”

Dr Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said,

“Many of the artists represented in the Arts Council’s contemporary art collection have major national and international reputations, such as two-times Turner Prize nominee, Willie Doherty; Cara Murphy, whose work is included in the Downing Street Sliver Collection; and Colin Davidson, who painted the Queens’ portrait in 2016, Ian Cumberland, and Paul Seawright.

“By offering the Collection for public display, we are helping to showcase the work of our artists and to introduce the public to Northern Ireland’s wealth of creative talent. Curators can curate their own show or the Arts Council’s expert staff can help compile and theme an exhibition suitable for any space. We can provide works in all media, from painting, sculpture, crafts, print, photography and video through to digital art.”

The Art Lending Scheme is free and is open to organisations, venues and galleries, locally, nationally and internationally and covers loans of single art works up to full exhibitions.  It offers museums and galleries an opportunity to bring a new audience to contemporary works of art and to interpret the Collection material in new ways; potentially becoming a catalyst for education and outreach or bringing other aspects of a theme into play.

The exhibition at the Duncairn Centre continues until Thursday 26th September.  To view the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Collection visit and for more information on the Arts Council’s Art Lending Scheme email:


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