Void is an artist-led contemporary art space. Void houses two gallery spaces, six studios and education area and a conference room. Void usually has 8 exhibitions per year showing work of established international and Irish artists.
In January 2003, a group of artists in Derry formed the ‘Derry’s Artists for Derry’s Art’ (DADA) with the aim of opening a gallery which would exhibit the work of established artists, whilst also providing services for the art community. The group secured Peace II funding through the Local Strategy Partnership and the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Subsequently, the group spent two years building the project, formulating an initial exhibition programme and supervising the refurbishment of part of the basement of the old City Shirt Factory.
Consequently, in January 2005, the Void Art Centre (Void) – an artist led, non-profit limited company with charitable status opened its doors. Its mission statement is:
"To promote and make accessible contemporary art, through exhibition programmes and related educational activities. To provide new opportunities for artists. Through art education programmes, to support the needs of disadvantaged sectors of society and to challenge discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, gender, sexual orientation and disability."
The Void aim to enhance accessibility and develop contemporary art in Derry and the North West. Void hopes that by encouraging critical appreciation of and participation in contemporary art that the sector will grow in size and importance.
The project promoters at Void have stated that they intend on using visual art to encourage co-operation and tolerance within all sectors of the community.
An essential part of promoting accessibility is the education programme is made up of two projects; "Artschool", is primarily aimed at A-level art students who wish to continue their education in art beyond the secondary level. The second project, "Void Comix", began in October of 2005 and is aimed at pupils in years 5 and 6 of primary school.
Void offers the only provision of dedicated artists’ studios in the city of Derry. All available studios are currently occupied.
Void is now in its third year and has established an international reputation with its wide-ranging and challenging exhibition programme. In February 2008 the White Light Festival saw Void exhibiting work outside the gallery walls for the first time. Hopefully this is the start of a regular outreach programme which will further increase interest in contemporary visual art.
Void Board Members and Profession 2013
- Stephen Mc Cauley (Chairperson)
Radio Broadcaster Electric Mainline
- Mark Wallinger
- Hugh Doherty (Treasurer)
- Seamus Murphy
Director North West Regional College
- Declan Sheehan
Public Art Assistant, Donegal County Council
- Mhari Sutherland
Artist/ Currently undertaking a PHD
- Maoliosa Boyle
Artist / Manager Void
- Jonathan Cummins
Filmmaker / Lecturer, University of Ulster
- Damien Duffy
Artist / Artist in Residence Void
- Elaine Forde
Director The Playhouse
- Sara Greavu
Artist/ Curator at CCA
- Gregory McCartney
Curator, writer, editor of Abridged
- Conor McFeely
Artist / Lecturer North West Regional College
- Ciaran O Dohartaigh
- Susanne Stich
- Orla Ryan
Artist / Lecturer Carlow IT
- Declan Sheehan
Curator Picturing Derry
- Emer Grant
Curator, Artist, Writer