NI artist Willie Doherty to host first solo exhibition in Italy

Acclaimed Londonderry artist Willie Doherty is showcasing four decades of his work at a major exhibition in Italy.

By Helen McGurk
Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 12:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 5:38 pm
Willie Doherty
Willie Doherty

The Turner Prize nominee will present a major solo exhibition as part of the British Council’s UK/Italy Season, running until May 16, 2021 at FMAV - Fondazione Modena Arti Visive - as part of the British Council’s UK/Italy Season.

The exhibition, which was postponed due to Covid-19, is in partnership with the Ulster Museum, where it will be held from June 4 -September 12, 2021.

Titled WHERE / DOVE, it presents an overview of Doherty’s career - from the 1980s to the present and focuses on the theme of borders, both tangible and imagined. It addresses subjects which touch on the legacy of colonialism, conflict and the fault-lines that divide individuals and communities.

Willie Doherty will be showcasing four decades of work including this piece entitled 'Remains'

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    Doherty is recognised internationally for his work in photography, film and video, inspired by his experiences of the Troubles in his native Londonderry.

    This is Doherty’s first solo show at an Italian institution. A new video installation has been commissioned for the occasion, which will be displayed as a two-screen work in the gallery in Modena.

    Doherty will also be a visiting professor at the FMAV – School of Advanced Studies for its Masters in Contemporary Images. The course gives young artists the opportunity to work with the great Italian and international artists featured at the FMAV.

    He said: “I am delighted to participate in the British Council’s UK/Italy Season and to be part of this important dialogue about how we can make art present and vibrant in both physical and digital spaces.

    “My exhibition WHERE / DOVE presents a body of work that deals with how we live with and negotiate our way through and around borders. Borders can present the opportunity for positive change, for recognition of other perspectives, for compassion and understanding in the face of adversity and fear.”

    Doherty’s work has featured in some of the most prestigious art institutions around the world.

    In 2007, he was selected by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council to represent Northern Ireland at the 52nd Venice Biennale, and he has twice been a Turner Prize nominee.

    Róisín McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “We have a close partnership with the British Council and together have supported many influential Northern Ireland artists in their international careers.

    “We are proud that Willie Doherty, one of Northern Ireland’s foremost contemporary visual artists, is being showcased at the British Council’s UK/Italy Season.”