April 29, 2014
The Art of the Troubles
Linda and I visited the Ulster Museum in the early part of the day. While Linda explored some of the more historical exhibits, I headed for the new art exhibition “The Art of the Troubles”. I quickly realized that the short time we had allotted for the visit was not going to be enough time to do the exhibition justice. “I’ll just buy the book”, I thought ... thinking that every exhibit usually has a companion book available in the bookstore. That would allow me to move through the exhibit fairly quickly, and
to absorb it in greater depth at my own leisure. Well, that was my plan.
It is an amazing exhibition. I was moved by many of the pieces – in particular a short video installation by Willie Doherty called Remains, about the generational nature of the conflict, and the passing on of attitudes over generations. I found out in the bookstore that in fact, they didn’t produce a book ... “the artists didn’t want any one image to be the definitive representation of the time ...” explained the young man who was staffing the museum store. When I remarked that I thought the exhibit was amazing, he agreed. “I loved it, until I saw it with my da ...”. I asked him to tell me more ... “well, for me it’s just art, but he actually lived it. For him, it represented something very real. I saw the exhibit very differently when I experienced it with him.”
I did find out that there is a large online presence for the exhibit, which is explained in the video, linked below. So, I guess I can continue to ponder and have the pieces work on me without the book.
After a walk through the Botanical Gardens and the Palm House (pictured below) – built in the mid 1800s, which seemed quite incredible to us – we made our way to Farset to meet the rest of our group. All made the journey safely to Belfast, and after a couple of hours of checking in with each other, we made our way to Robinson’s for dinner. We are ready for the week!
Linda found the following article, number one on Aljezeeera yesterday, which heightened the excitement about our visit to the East Belfast Mission in the morning.
Below is our group at breakfast at Farset ... from left to right, Sandy, Judy, April, Rick, Linda, Rose and Karen.