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New Spaces brings contemporary art to businesses in Derry City and Strabane

Tuesday 19th June 2018 at 2pm 0 Comments Visual Arts

The four curators, Edy Fung, Rebecca Strain, Mirjami Schuppert and Alice Butler Image: The four curators, Edy Fung, Rebecca Strain, Mirjami Schuppert and Alice Butler

Sixteen contemporary art exhibitions will be brought to life across four venues in Derry and Sion Mills in July for a project entitled, New Spaces.

Visual Artists Ireland is collaborating with Derry City & Strabane District Council on New Spaces to make contemporary art more accessible in the region. Four curators were selected from a competitive open call to each produce four exhibitions inside a brewery, a café, a thatched cottage and a renovated 19th Century stables.

The project has been made possible thanks to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s National Lottery Challenge Fund.

Nick Livingston, Director of Strategic Development and Research, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said,

“The New Spaces project is a perfect example of how the Arts Council’s National Lottery Challenge Fund, combined with investment from Derry City and Strabane District Council, can help deliver a joint strategic objective; to increase the provision of gallery space in the North West.

“Not only have new gallery spaces emerged in wonderful venues such as The Walled City Brewery, but in the process, new skills have been developed. The benefits have been felt by those emerging curators and artists employed by the programme to bring high quality, contemporary artwork to new and existing audiences. Well done to all involved.”

The region has impressive art galleries, showing exceptional artwork from around the world, but it is often hard for emerging local artists to find places to show their work. Rob Hilken of Visual Artists Ireland writes that “artists need to exhibit their work and this programme aims to create new exhibition opportunities by giving local business the skills to show great art for years to come”.

John Kerr, Arts & Culture Manager, Derry City and Strabane District Council, said:

“New Spaces provides an excellent model for local business and cultural venues to engage and be active partners in the development of the district’s well respected arts and cultural offer. The project is made possible by the commitment of Void Gallery, the Centre for Contemporary Art and Nerve Visual, who are valued partners in this project.”

The four curators, Edy Fung, Rebecca Strain, Mirjami Schuppert and Alice Butler will create exhibitions that will bring diverse new work to the region from artists across Ireland and further afield. The four venues are The Walled City Brewery in Ebrington, Derry; Gwyn's Cafe and Pavilion, Brooke Park, Derry; The Cottage in The Craft Village, Derry and Sion Stables in the heritage village of Sion Mills. The first exhibitions across all the venues will open on 14 July 2018.

New Spaces is coordinated by Visual Artists Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council with the support of Principal Funder the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, National Lottery Challenge Fund, Arts and Business Northern Ireland and our partner venues, The Walled City Brewery, Gwyn's Cafe and Pavilion, The Inner City Trust in Derry and Sion Stables in Sion Mills.

This project:

  • Engages with the private sector to create opportunities for local artists
  • Allows people to experience exciting and challenging contemporary art in new ways
  • Develops the skills of local arts professionals to create work in alternative public spaces


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