General, Artists

Arts Council of Northern Ireland Art Collection available for loan

29th June, 2023

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has published a catalogue of the latest acquisitions to its Art Collection. The new purchases are available for exhibition both within and outside Northern Ireland, as part of the Arts Council's Art Lending Scheme. 

A cow standing in a field beside a male farmer. The cow has a large colourful wire sculpture attached to its back.
Artwork entitled, Longevity Apoptosome Black Water Lad HE2067, by artist Maria McKinney, part of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland's Art Collection, available for loan through the Art Lending Scheme.

View the catalogue of acquisitions to the Arts Council’s Art Collection below:

The Arts Council’s Art Lending Scheme is free and is available to borrowing organisations both within and outside Northern Ireland, who are interested in exhibiting works from the Arts Council’s diverse catalogue of works, dating from 2003 to the present day.

The Arts Council grew its overall collection to over 680 works with the purchase in 2021-22 of 35 new pieces by 22 artists. These acquisitions represent the more recent practice of artists working in Northern Ireland today with works featuring a range of disciplines including painting, sculpture, craft, print, photography and video. The newly acquired artworks reflect artistic practice that is innovative and challenging and contributes to the development of visual arts practice in Northern Ireland. Within this year’s purchases we see a number of themes surface, including an interest in the spaces we inhabit in a physical and abstract sense, an exploration of process and materiality, and a representation of past and present narratives.

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, including the Turner Prize-winning Array Collective, silversmith Cara Murphy, whose work is held in the Goldsmiths Company Collection, painter Colin Davidson, who was selected in 2016 to paint the official portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, two-time Turner Prize-nominee photographer Willie Doherty and BP Portrait Award winner painter Ian Cumberland.
“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. The Arts Council’s expert staff are on hand to help in the selection and curation of works for a range of public venues.

The Art Lending Scheme provides an opportunity to borrow from one of the leading contemporary art collections for Northern Ireland, providing the visiting public with a rich insight into the artistic practice of many of our leading visual artists, connecting to valuable education and outreach work in our communities and cultural events across the region.

To view the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Collection visit and for more information on the Arts Council’s Art Lending Scheme please email Collections Officer, Joanna Johnston

You can view recent acquisitions on social media following the hashtag #ACNICollection