Drawn From Borders

Let's talk Borders.

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Drawn From Borders IS LIVE

We are delighted to have hosted over 1.7K viewers who viewed the Live online preview of Drawn From Borders on Thursday 21 May at 12.30pm on our Facebook Page The exhibition is now open to the public on our website here. 

The exhibition is the culmination of a nine-month project, reflecting on the centenary of the partition of Ireland and the border.  Over 20 artists from across the island of Ireland came together, to participate in a creative programme of presentations, discussions, visits and workshops, to inform their creative response.

The exhibition had been scheduled to be shown in galleries on both sides of the border in April and May of this year.  However, when the Coronavirus crisis struck and ‘lockdown’ was announced all the artists’ work had to be shelved, with no knowing when the exhibitions would be rescheduled.

But, though the Saldanha Gallery at Fort Dunree (which had been due to exhibit “Drawn From Borders” in April), has had to be closed, Donegal based Arts organisation Artlink have managed to ‘open’ a virtual replica, The VSG, in its place.

The creation of this digital 3D space means that the artworks can now be installed in a virtual environment, accessible online to a global audience.

The work on view is the artists’ response to the theme of ‘borders’, expressed in film, painting, print, sculpture, installation, photography, performance and text.

A preview of the exhibition in the form of a Facebook Live virtual tour, has been selected to be part of the #Ireland Performs programme, and will take place on Thursday 21st May at 12.30pm.  

Ireland Performs is presented by FACEBOOK Ireland and Culture Ireland, Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and delivered in partnership with First Music Contact and Poetry Ireland and in association with RTÉ.  The programme is intended to support Irish artists (in English or Irish) and ensure that the arts continue to be enjoyed online during the Coronavirus crisis.

The exhibiting artists are Anna Marie Savage, Anne Loveday, Bernadette Bradley, Brenda McPherson, Caroline Kuyper, Clare Toland, Jacqui Devenney Reed, Janet Hoy, Katrina Tracuama, Marian O’Donnell, Mark Cullen, Martha McCulloch, Mary Joyce Davis, Moira McIver, Noel Connor, Orla McKeever, Paul Cairns, Paul Murray, Sally Patton, Sue Morris and Tina O’Connell.

Anyone will be able to ‘visit’ the ‘Drawn From Borders’ exhibition at any time after the launch on the 21st May, by logging on to www.artlinkonline.ie and using a computer mouse to navigate the virtual gallery.

Funded and supported by the European Union’s Peace IV Programme, ‘Drawn From Borders’ was delivered by Artlink Fort Dunree in association with The Nerve Centre and Tower Museum, Derry~Londonderry.  


…and then Lockdown…

despite this we started to meet online every Wednesday to talk about the project and what we might do now. We began to consider a virtual exhibition and how it would work.

Every week we planned and discussed, caught up and figured out, made adjustments to our previous ideas and expectations and then put in loads of hours of making and remaking and remaking and remaking until…

Group Critique and Long Lunch

As the exhibition draws closer we got together to review the work we had made during the practical workshops and at home or in the studio. We met at the Saldanha Gallery at Artlink Fort Dunree which will be the venue for the exhibition in April. A video document of the exhibition will be shown in the Tower Museum.

We worked our way through each of the pieces. Sometimes selecting the best version of a print, sometime discussing final edits, ways of presenting. There were a few ‘lightbulb’ moments were the works and the venue joined up so nicely.

We mulled of it all over a delicious lunch that included lots of home-made goodies soup, bread and maybe a few too many cakes and pies. We decided on press officers, a graphic designer and a photographer. All we needed now was some frames and screens and we’re ready to launch.

Practical Workshops

It was very important for the group to have the opportunity to enhance their skills, develop their practice and have a chance to produce a physical outcome. It was decided we would have workshops in Creative Writing, Film Editing and Printmaking.

In this beautiful region we are blessed with some very talented people and so we reached out to Bernie mcGill (author), Rory McSwiggan (film maker, performer) and Paul Barwise (artist and master printmaker) to facilitate workshops that would inspire and energies participants and enable them to develop their ideas. The workshops took place at Nerve Centre and Derry Print Workshop. The outcomes will form part of the upcoming exhibition.


Niamh McCanns flag flying at Fort Dunree

At Artlink Fort Dunree the group met again – this time to get to know each other and come up with a plan for how the project will continue. Through facilitated creative discussion individuals introduced themselves to the group and then created a list of their skills and expertise alongside a list of their personal aims for the project.

We used ‘Paired listening’ to talk about why we were interested in the project and what ‘border’ meant to us before developing a set of three priorities using a technique call 2-4-8 Consensus. As we were at Fort Dunree and for half of the group it was their first time we visited the museum and watched a film about the history of the fort. The fort was one of several locations that remained part of the British Empire after Partition but it was handed over to the Irish State in a ceremony between two brothers in law in 1938.

Notes from the session are available to project participants in the message boards section of this website.

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