Reflections on Identity
2018 exhibition at Mount Stewart, National Trust
Curated by PAF artists in residence, staff from Mount Stewart and the National Portrait Gallery
Launch date: Thursday 21st November 5:00pm by invitation only
Opened by Lady Rose Lauritzen, granddaughter of Edith, Lady Londonderry
Exhibition – Central Hall
Open to the general public: House open Thurs to Sunday 11am-2:30pm – November 2018 to February 2019
Portaferry Road, Newtownards BT22 2AD
Inspired by the centenary anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, the forthcoming partnership with the National Portrait Gallery “Faces of Change: Votes for Women Touring Exhibition”, brings a significant collection of national importance to Northern Ireland, celebrating the national public programming theme of Women and Power.
“The extraordinary life and achievements of Edith Londonderry are not widely known on a national level. This exhibition will place her amongst her contemporaries, both men and women, who played a part on the national stage during the campaign for women’s suffrage. In particular, a highlight of the collaboration will be a sketch by singer Sargent of Nancy Astor, the first woman elected to Parliament to take her seat. This will be compared with our own Singer Sargent sketch of Edith Londonderry, who chose different methods to campaign for equality than her American counterpart.”
– Dr. Neil Watt, House & Collections Manager at Mount Stewart
Faces of Change has afforded the National Trust with a fantastic opportunity to work with local community partners to engage them with the wonderful collections of both the National Portrait Gallery and Mount Stewart. Through the personal meanings they have derived from exploring themes of agency, power and identity, participants have brought their voices, perspectives and creativity to Mount Stewart. Reflections on Identity will allow visitors to the exhibition the opportunity to view the creative outputs of participants and to consider and share their own reflections around these themes.
Mount Stewart have been honoured to work with Ards Rural Youth Forum, NIACRO, The Nerve Centre, the Institute for Conflict Research and the Prison Arts Foundation.
The Education Authority’s Ards Rural Youth Forum is for teenagers from across the Ards Peninsula who are emerging community leaders, focusing on young people’s rights and responsibilities, and offering mutual support. Working with facilitators from Nerve Belfast Creative Learning Centre and National Trust staff the young people have explored the themes of power and identity and used digital technology as a means of creative self-expression. This included learning and using image manipulation software and digital fabrication equipment to create a variety of unique pieces.
Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NIACRO) has been working for almost 50 years to reduce crime and its impact on people and communities. Acorn Women’s Group is for those committed to playing a positive role in society and rebuilding their lives through the development of new skills and the sharing of experiences. The artist Lucy Turner, supported by the Prison Arts Foundation, worked with women to explore suffrage, power, voice and identity in Faces of Change and as evidenced in the story of Mount Stewart. The women have created sculptural pieces which embody their personal experiences, their response to the exhibition and the surrounding symbolism provided by its setting – Mount Stewart.
14-18 Now commissioned Processions to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage in Britain and Ireland. The anniversary march was produced by Artichoke, and the creation of the banner, The Recycling of Venus was led by the Institute of Conflict Research and facilitated by Rita Duffy RUA, who worked with women from the Ards Peninsula. Its witty visual imagery is a contemporary take on Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.
Over 100 people attended the launch event, and 1000’s of visitors to Mount Stewart saw the exhibition.
“We called in for a preview and it’s worth visiting. It’s a beautiful and stunning exhibition with some amazing art, some never seen in Northern Ireland before.”
“We, the group of women brought together for his project began as strangers but have ended up as friends. We have called ourselves ACORN because we have begun with something small but believe it will grow into something much bigger and more significant. ACORN links us to each other but also to Mount Stewart and the National Trust.”
Mount Stewart won the ‘Participation Award’ at the National Trust Experience Awards 2018 for the Faces of Change – Reflections on Identity exhibition.
The Reflections on Identity project also won a Commended Award for Arts Project Koestler Arts 2019.