Thank you to everyone who attended Opened Ground. The show was a huge success, with over 1,300 participants, including visitors for guided tours from local schools and Belfast School of Art and Belfast School of Architecture as well as community groups such as Hillcrest Trust.
One of the main highlights of the exhibition was a symposium titled 'Fault Lines' that we ran in collaboration with Paper Visual Art Journal.
This event brought together writers, artists, and researchers whose work investigates the uses, impacts, and cultural repercussions of borders in everyday life. The contested border in Ireland served as one major starting point for a discussion with deep pre-historical as well as wide global parameters, exploring how borders divide and how they connect.
This event was kindly funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.
Darran Anderson is the author of Imaginary Cities and the forthcoming Inventory. He has written on the intersection of urbanism with politics, culture and technology for the likes of The Atlantic, The Guardian, Wired, as well as art and photography for Frieze and Magnum. He has given talks at the Venice Biennale, the London School of Economics, and the V&A among others. He is based in London and grew up on the Derry-Donegal border.
Gareth Doherty is Director of the Master in Landscape Architecture program at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His research and teaching focus on the intersections between landscape architecture and anthropology.
Doherty has written extensively. His monograph, Paradoxes of Green: Landscapes of a City-State, was published in 2017 by the University of California Press. His most recent book Roberto Burle Marx Lectures, was published in 2018 by Lars Müller Publishers. Previous publications include Is Landscape…? Essays on the Identity of Landscape, edited with Charles Waldheim (Routledge, 2016); and Ecological Urbanism, edited with Mohsen Mostafavi. Doherty is a founding editor of the New Geographies journal and editor-in-chief of New Geographies 3: Urbanisms of Colour.
Willie Doherty, since the 1980s, has been a pioneering figure in contemporary art, film and photography. At once highly seductive and visually disorientating, Doherty’s artworks tend to begin as responses to specific terrains (most often mysterious isolated settings; places, we suspect, with a troubled past) and evolve as complex reflections on how we look at such locations – or what stories might be told about their hidden histories.
Siobhan McDonald is an artist in residence in the School of Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin (2017-2019), working with world-leading research facilities such as The European Space Agency (ESA); NASA; The JRC European Commission and The European Research Council, to explore ecology in light of current ecological concerns. She holds a Masters in Visual Arts Practices from IADT. In 2018 she received the Trinity Creative Challenge Award from Trinity College Dublin. In 2017 she received a Bursary from The Arts Council of Ireland and was the recipient of a Creative Ireland Award and a Culture Ireland GB18 2018 award. Recent shows include Hidden Monuments: Shine on Me The Sun and Us, Limerick City Art Gallery (2019); Volta: Basel 2019; Shine-on-me; When plants remember (2018) The Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden; The National Trust-Fox Talbot Museum, UK (2018); Disappearing Worlds, Taylor Galleries (2018); and Crystalline, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (2017).
Mary Cremin is currently the Director of Void Gallery, Derry. She is the commissioner and curator of the Irish Pavilion with artist Eva Rothschild at the Venice Biennale, 2019. Prior to this, she was Programme Curator at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Co-Artistic Director of The Treeline Project and Project Curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. She has worked with artists such as Douglas Gordon, Rosa Barba, Johan Grimonprez, Kader Attia, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Helen Cammock, Alex Cecchetti, Camille Norment and Hilary Lloyd. She was curator of TULCA Festival of Visual Art, Seachange (2015), which included over 30 national and international artists. She holds a degree in Art History and Geography from University College Cork and graduated with a Masters in Visual Art Practices from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dublin (2007). Cremin has written for exhibition catalogues and artists books, and is a member of the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art.
Artikelly, Co. Derry. Photo: