This exhibition of portrait paintings by Colin Davidson (born 1968), reveals the stories of eighteen people who are connected by their individual experiences of loss through the Troubles in Northern Ireland - a turbulent 30-year period from the late 1960s onwards. Since 2010, Davidson has become internationally renowned for his series of large-scale portraits of actors, musicians, poets and writers – Brad Pitt, Kenneth Branagh, Seamus Heaney, to name but a few. While painting these familiar faces, he became increasingly preoccupied, not with their celebrity, but with their essential condition as human beings. This continuing exploration of ‘common humanity’ is the foundation upon which Silent Testimony rests. Until now, the artist, who grew up in Belfast and studied art at the University of Ulster, has not responded overtly to what he witnessed or personally experienced during the Troubles. Silent Testimony is a powerful response, full of resonance for Paris. It reflects on how the conflict has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on thousands of individuals - the injured, their families, the families of those who died and the wider community. This exhibition is presented in association with the Ulster Museum, Belfast, National Museums Northern Ireland where it was first shown from June 2015 to January 2016.
Time magazine’s front cover for “Person of the Year 2015” boasts Colin Davidson’s commissioned portrait of Angela Merkel (Time magazine)
The artist will give an introductory talk about his exhibition on Friday 29 January, 7.30pm.
This will be followed by Clara Simpson's reading in English of the anti-war play Stabat Mater Furiosa written by poet and dramaturge Jean-Pierre Siméon and translated into English by Michael West (reservation recommended).
Listen to the recording of this event: