Ards Arts Centre Welcomes Arts Council Northern Ireland Collection

People viewing an exhibition in a gallery

Ards Arts Centre is delighted to welcome a specially curated selection of work from the Collection of the Arts Council Northern Ireland for an exclusive exhibition in its Georgian Gallery.

The Collection exhibition provides an opportunity to see a specially curated selection of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Collection, to include some recently acquired works, as well as works from some of the leading names in Northern Irish Arts.

The Arts Council’s Collection consists of over 700 works and its primary aim has been to raise awareness of and interest in the contemporary visual arts from Northern Ireland, and to encourage the commissioning and purchase of work, as well as providing patronage to artists.

The exhibition will feature a selection of the Collection to include renowned artists such as Colin Davidson, Oliver Jeffers, Graham Gingles, Peter Meanly, Victor Sloan, as well as showcasing work from local artists; Karl Harron, Mark Hanvey, Diane Lyness, Michael Geddis, Brendan Jamison and recent graduate and new acquisition by Hannah Magill Shaw.

Meanwhile, in the Arts Centre’s Sunburst Gallery, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Prints are exhibiting.

In 2012, twelve leading contemporary UK artists were commissioned by London 2012 to create the official posters for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The commissioned artists were Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Tracey Emin, Anthea Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Chris Ofili, Bridget Riley, Bob and Roberta Smith, and Rachel Whiteread.

A limited number of these posters were then made available for purchase, and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland acquired this series for their Collection. The series of posters which is on display in the Sunburst Gallery is a rare opportunity to see these posters displayed together.

The Collection exhibition was officially open by the Deputy Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Hannah Irwin on Thursday 7 December.  

Speaking about the exhibitions, the Deputy Mayor said:

‘We are delighted to see this prestigious exhibition make a welcome return to Ards Arts Centre.  It is a fantastic addition to our annual Arts programme and I’m sure visitors will very much appreciate the selection of works. We would encourage everyone to come along and view the exhibition.”

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

“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is thrilled to see part of the Arts Council’s Collection on display at Ards Arts Centre.  This exhibition has come about thanks to our Art Lending Scheme which provides an opportunity for public venues to borrow works for display from the Arts Council’s Collection, one of the leading contemporary art collections in Northern Ireland. By offering the Collection for public display, we are helping to showcase the work of our artists, introduce the public to Northern Ireland’s wealth of creative talent and provide visitors with a rich insight into the artistic practice of our leading visual artists.  Many of the artists represented in the Arts Council’s contemporary art collection have major national and international reputations, and in this exhibition at Ards Arts Centre, visitors will discover a wonderfully-curated selection of works from our Collection.”

The exhibitions are open until Saturday 27 January 2024.

The Collection Talk

On Wednesday 17 January at 7pm, Dr Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts at Arts Council Northern Ireland will give a talk on The Collection. This is a free event, however pre-booking is required.

To book a space at this event, please CLICK HERE.

Gallery Opening Hours

Tues - Fri: 10am - 4pm

Sat: 10am - 1pm

CLOSED: Sundays, Mondays, 23 - 27 Dec, and 31 Dec - 1 Jan

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