Elinor Sherwood of Lost Horizons.
‘The Space Between’ exhibition came to Longford for the first time to the Backstage Theatre & Centre for Arts last week.
The annual joint touring exhibition of artworks from the collections of the Office of Public Works (OPW) in the Republic of Ireland and the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) of Northern Ireland features 38 artworks from these public collections, north and south.
The exhibition curated by 12 undergraduate students studying on the BDes Graphic Design and Illustration course from Belfast School of Art, Ulster University, worked with the curatorial teams in the Department of Finance, Belfast and the Office of Public Works, Dublin over two days to select artworks from their respective public art collections.
The title of the exhibition reflects the students’ approach to the process as their discussions and debates on the final selection of artworks reflected ‘the Space Between’ – the space between the disciplines of graphic design and art and also between each student’s initial instinctive preferences and the decisions made as a group to create an interesting exhibition with a strong visual dynamic.
Speaking in advance of the launch Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran T.D. Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief said: “The cross-border partnership between the Northern Ireland Department of Finance and the OPW has been hugely successful and this year we celebrate an important milestone – 20 years of working together on exhibitions.
“During that time the exhibitions have visited a diverse range of venues - colleges, libraries, arts centres, heritage properties, including the great hall of Parliament Buildings in Stormont. I am delighted to celebrate the launch of this exhibition here in Longford.
“As Minister with responsibility for the State Art Collection, I am committed to ensuring that Art is accessible to people across the country in their own communities. Art and Culture connects people and places and the Backstage Theatre & Centre for Arts is a wonderful venue in Longford to display this exhibition."
The Minister went on to say, “Culture and heritage promote individual, community and national wellbeing. I recently announced that from the 1st May, people with disabilities and their carers will have free admission to all Office of Public Works managed heritage sites.
"This builds on the very successful initiative I introduced last summer which provides free admission to our heritage sites to children under 12.”
'The Space Between' opens on Thursday, March 8, in the Backstage Theatre and will run until Monday, April 30. See www.backstage.ie.