artist / participant

press release

The Golden Thread Gallery, supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council would be delighted if you would join us at the launch of Substance: a major solo exhibition by André Stitt.

Stitt is one of Northern Ireland's most important contemporary art exports. He is currently based in Cardiff but the themes that inform his practice are rooted in his formative years in Belfast. His work is highly charged, generally hard hitting and may not be suitable for all audiences. Nevertheless, it is important that we take this opportunity to bring this substantial exhibition to a local audience.

Like a hybrid catalogue/retrospective, Substance provides valuable insights into Stitt's performances or 'akshuns' and includes a significant number of pieces that have never been displayed before. The project was conceived by the Spacex Gallery in Exeter and has been expanded and further developed for this exhibition in the Golden Thread Gallery.

André Stitt's performance work focuses on difficult and traumatic themes including alienation, oppression, coercion and conflict and often refers back to his experiences of Belfast in the 70s and 80s. We feel that the time is right to revisit this work afresh. As well as a cooling of the political climate, there is now an adequate distance between the events that incited his 'akshuns'and the documentation or residue of his performances to look at the work from a more objective viewpoint.

A short film documentary by Lee Stitt, Finbar Maginn & Séan Kaluarachchi in conversation with André Stitt will also be shown for the duration of the exhibition.

About the artist.

Born in Belfast, N. Ireland in 1958 , Stitt is considered one of Europe's foremost performance and interdisciplinary artists. He has worked as an experimental artist since 1976 creating hundreds of unique works at major galleries, festivals, alternative venues and sites specific throughout the world.

Recent work includes: Venice Biennale 2005, Baltic Contemporary Art Centre, England 2005, The Drawing Centre, New York, 2006, Artspace, Sydney 2007, Asiatopia, Bangkok 2008, Spacex Gallery, England 2008, The Lab, New York, 2009, MCAC, Northern Ireland 2009.

In 2008 he was awarded the prestigious Creative Wales Award.

He is Professor of Performance and Interdisciplinary Art at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff and is the director of the Centre for Fine Art Research at Cardiff School of Art & Design, Wales, UK.

In 2000 he opened trace: Installaction Artspace in Cardiff initiating a robust programme of international time based work.

About the Gallery.

The Golden Thread Gallery is Northern Ireland's leading international contemporary art space, rooted in the local. The gallery offers residents and visitors to Belfast a diverse programme of high quality contemporary art exhibitions and participatory events. As one of Northern Irelands largest visual arts venues the Golden Thread Gallery acts as a platform for a mix of the very best international and local artists, hosting six large-scale exhibitions in the main gallery spaces and twelve exhibitions in its project space. The project space openings are not to be missed and always take place at 6.00pm on the first Thursday of the month as part of Belfast's Late Night Art.

Outreach is at the core of the gallery's activities, working off-site and in partnership with a wide range of communities and groups, devising challenging and innovative projects in addition to providing a range of contextual activities such as artists' talks, gallery tours and workshops. The gallery also publishes exhibition catalogues and books exploring further contemporary practices.

Over the last ten years the Golden Thread Gallery has established an excellent reputation for creating exhibitions exploring art from the North Ireland, delivering exhibitions to international audiences through its touring programme. The gallery has delivered numerous curated exhibitions to venues across the UK and Ireland, Europe, North America, China and more recently Taiwan.

In recent years the Golden Thread Gallery has been working with a number of artists living and working in Northern Ireland to create a 'not-for-profit' form of artists' representation and has championed their work at national and international art fairs, such as the London Art Fair, Berliner Liste and Scope New York as well as establishing a dedicated in-house sales room. For further information visit our website – www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk , join us on Facebook or call us on ++44(0) 2890 330920

Andre Stitt: Substance