Silent Testimony, a powerful new exhibition exploring the theme of suffering and loss through the Troubles, will open to the public on 5 June at the Ulster Museum.
Featuring large-scale portraits by internationally renowned artist Colin Davidson, the exhibition reflects on the personal experiences of eighteen individuals, each of whom has suffered loss through the Troubles. These men and women are not familiar faces but they and their stories command our attention in a very poignant way.
County Down based artist Colin Davidson, who earlier this year was presented with a prestigious Oscar Wilde Award in Los Angeles said, “These eighteen paintings rest on the foundation of common humanity. I have looked at each person as a fellow human being – ‘labels’ or identity were never of primary importance. Whilst each of the portraits is personal, Silent Testimony is an emotive response which reflects on how the conflict has had, and continues to have, a profound effect on, not just the eighteen sitters, but thousands of individuals – the injured, their families, the families of those who died and the wider community.”
Kim Mawhinney, Head of Art, National Museums Northern Ireland, who has collaborated with Colin Davidson to bring the exhibition to fruition at the Ulster Museum, said, “This thoughtful and intimate exhibition follows the Art of the Troubles exhibition staged at the Ulster Museum last year. Colin has shown a remarkable ability to convey the complexity and depth of emotion in each sitter which makes for an incredibly poignant exhibition.’’ She added, “We hope Silent Testimony will play a small part in contributing to a shared and better future for communities in Northern Ireland.”
The artist worked in partnership with cross-community victims’ support group WAVE throughout the project. It will be supported by a public programme which will allow the theme of common humanity to be further developed and explored. Activity will include a lecture by Colin Davidson at the Ulster Museum on 26 June, as well as a series of gallery talks, tours and art workshops.