There has been a lot of excitement at the museum over the last few months. We have been installing three exhibitions; The Queen: Art and Image, Silent Echoes: Recent Acquisitions and Post-war International Art, and the 130th Annual Royal Ulster Academy Exhibition. We had a hectic but enjoyable time working on all these different projects at the same time and it has been exciting to see such diverse work going on display in the Ulster Museum. The public response has also been terrific, and it’s great to see the galleries so busy with enthusiastic people. But things never stop at the museum, and now it’s time to throw ourselves into the organisation for our next art exhibition, Street Art.
Street Art is a V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum) touring exhibition of prints of work from famous street artists, including Banksy Jamie Hewlett, Pure Evil and D*Face. Alongside this exhibition we want to showcase the local street art talent that we have in Belfast, and also illustrate how street art is not just spray paint on walls but can be many forms of art placed in the urban environment. This part of the exhibition is entitled Tags not Labels, a play on the fact that in museums we are obsessed with labelling things! We also want to show that street art shouldn’t just be ‘labelled’ as graffiti. Both exhibitions will open their doors to you on Friday 9th December.
We will explain more about the different aspects of Tags not Labels in the coming weeks.
To showcase the local street art we set up a commission for artists to apply to. Up to four artists will be selected to paint onto the walls of one of our art galleries, next to the very gallery where the acclaimed works in the V&A’s Street Art exhibition will be shown. Alongside this we will be showcasing the best of the photographs we have gathered of street art around the city over the past year.
As this has been the last week for the submission we have been looking at the artwork coming in. The submissions so far have been fantastic and a wonderful insight into the street art that is going on in Belfast. We definitely have a hard task ahead of us when selecting the final works!!! Though we are very much looking forward to it.
This week we also met up with textile artist Nuala Maguire, who we have been working with for the workshop programming. You may have meet her if you visited us in the Art College on Culture Night, where we launched our Tags not Labels commission with our ‘graffiti living room’ installation, inviting people to add to the installation by sewing samples of street art around Belfast.
We want to add to this installation over the course of the exhibition, so you will see it popping up at different points. We were meeting up with Nuala to decide what exciting sewing opportunities we were going to provide for the public and see what we needed to gather. If anyone was as equally frustrated as us on Culture Night by our stupidly small needles you will know that top of the list is ‘buy easy to thread large needles!!’
We’re off now to compile the invite list for the exhibition launch and meet with our Marketing department to choose the logo for the exhibitions. We hope to be able to unveil the chosen one to you next week!
Here are some interesting pieces of street art or guerrilla textile art for you to peruse over until you next hear from us!
This is Ulrika Erdes, a Swedish artist who practices ‘public embroidery’:
Jennifer Weir is another local artist:
And of course Nuala Maguire’s lovely work for Tags not Labels, making the doily a lot more appealing! :
Stitched spray paint!!