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Turner Prize winner set to go on display at Ulster Museum

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The Array Collective

The Array Collective

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The Array Collective

The 2021 Turner Prize winner – The Druithaib's Ball created by Belfast’s Array Collective – is set to go on display at the Ulster Museum next year.

National Museums Northern Ireland acquired the prize-winning installation, which is modelled on an unlicensed Irish drinking place known as a síbín, with support from the Art Fund and the Department for Communities.

The artwork will be on display at Ulster Museum from January 2023.

Array Collective are the first artists from Northern Ireland to win the prestigious Turner Prize and the £25,000 prize money.

The group of eleven artists from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, England and Italy all live and work in Belfast creating collaborative actions in response to socio-political issues affecting them and their communities.

Array Collective said in a statement: “We are thrilled the installation will have a permanent home in the North of Ireland.

“The acquisition for the Ulster Museum collection means that the work will be preserved for years to come and will be enjoyed by local audiences.

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“The Druthaib’s Ball responds to the anniversary of the partition of Ireland, grappling with cultural identities through characters, music, poetry, storytelling and myth-making, with the backdrop of a wake.

“This important contemporary work will now be in the hands of the public, with the Ulster Museum serving as a significant home for the artwork, enabling its long-term preservation for public benefit.

“We would not be in this position without the help and participation of many grassroots organisations, artists and human rights advocates in Belfast. We wish to acknowledge the individuals, who without their continued support and talent, we would not have been given the opportunity.”

Kathryn Thomson, Chief Executive at National Museums NI, said: “Having a Turner Prize winning piece of art in the collection is a significant milestone for National Museums NI and we look forward to welcoming visitors to come and see it when it’s on display at Ulster Museum in January next year.

“Array Collective is a testament to the skills and creativity we have here in Northern Ireland. I am committed to making inspiring collections, such as this, available to our audiences in order to nurture and preserve this talent.”


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