Silent Testimony exhibition attracks a wide range of visitors

14th December 2015

WAVE participants viewing the portrait of Virtue Dixon.

The "Silent Testimony" exhibition displays portraits of individuals who experienced severe loss due to the conflict on this island. Many lost loved ones, others sustained serious and lifelong injuries.  Visiting the exhibition with WAVE participants from Ballymoney, many could identify with the pain of individuals displayed in the portraits.

The artist Colin Davidson writes about the exhibition: "My sincere appreciation go to my eighteen sitters - Emma Anthony, Anna Cachart, Jean Caldwell, Virtue Dixon, Mary Finnis, John Gallagher, Fiona Kelly, Thomas O'Brien, Flo O'Riordan, Stuart McCauseland, Damien McNally, Mo Norton, Johnnie Proctor, Maureen Reid, Paul Reilly, Walter Simons, Jeff Smith, Margaret Yeaman and their families entrusting me with their stories, and for welcoming me into their homes and lives. This body of work is for them."
Since its start in summer 2015, over 40,000 visitors from Northern Ireland and from all over the world have seen the exhibition. Some were high profile visitors such as the Secretary of State, Teresa Villiers, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flannigan, DCAL Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín  the former and new US Consul Generals and the  Chairman of Tourism Northern Ireland, Terrence Brannigan.

From WAVE a big thanks to the amazing artist Colin Davidson who caught the pain and sadness of individuals so accurately. Thanks too to Kim Mawhinney (Head of Art) and the team from the Ulster Museum who kindly introduced our group to the exhibition and gave us important background information.

Here some comments of WAVE participants visiting the exhibition:

“Very moving art work, so much emotion in the work.”

“Such an emotional exhibition. The eyes in particular showed the sorrow and sadness that people suffered. I caught the pain which never goes away. “

“For me today was a very thoughtful, soul searching, heart-breaking day. It was an unexpected flow of emotional turmoil, so much hurt still there, but seeing how brave the sitters were to share their lives so openly brought me to tears. I was privileged to be part of WAVE to see this.”

“A big thank you to WAVE for bringing us here today, feel very grateful to see all the pictures.”

The Silent Testimony exhibition will close at the Ulster Museum on the 17thJanuary 2016. After that, it will be displayed at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, opening at the end of January 2016. Colin Davidson and the Ulster Museum are currently exploring a number of other potential venues in Europe and the US.