Cross-party support for cultural exhibition

Sinead Ennis MLA and Paula Bradley MLA showing their support for the exhibition.
Sinead Ennis MLA and Paula Bradley MLA showing their support for the exhibition.

MLAs gathered at Stormont recently to help launch an art exhibition featuring work from a local artist.

On opening Newtownabbey artist Lise McGreevy’s event, (Abandoned; Not Forgotten?) at The Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, North Belfast DUP MLA Paula Bradley said: “We have so many things that we share that are important to us all, like family, friends, community - and it is because of these that we should work together, for the sake of our children towards a shared future.”

South Down Sinn Fein MLA Sinead Ennis added: “Peace making and Peace building along with reconciliation is difficult work.

“Arts, culture and sport can play an effective role in helping to achieve positive outcomes.

“With mutual respect we can all help create a fairer society which, in turn, enables all citizens to prosper, irrespective of nationality, colour, creed or sexuality.”

Commenting at the event, East Belfast UUP MLA Andy Allen said: “A shared future is vitally important if we are to move forward here. All cultures and heritages should be respected and we should be promoting Northern Ireland in a positive inclusive light locally and across the world.”

Abandoned; Not Forgotten? is Phase II of Lise’s three-year art programme, PEACE AND RECONCILE, the first stage of which was launched at The Long Gallery last year.

Following success at the Engine Room Gallery and at The Long Gallery, Stormont; this installation shall have the honour of hosting the first exhibition launch of the Aspects Literature Festival 2017 on September 13 at 7pm at Sync Gallery, Dufferin Court, Bangor.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down Borough Council, Cllr Robert Adair, will open this wine reception and Deptuy Mayor, Cllr Gavin Walker, is also set to attend. Members of the public are welcome to attend for a night of art, culture, music and song.

Lise said: “If you can’t make the launch, please feel free to call into Sync Gallery which is near the train station, anytime during its hosting until October 23, 10am – 5pm.”

“If you do, thank you very much for supporting our message of a shared future and cultural equality of the Ulster Scots and Irish heritages.”

For Phase II Lise worked with three other artists, composer and artist Marie Therese Davis, Poet Jim Johnston and film maker Paul Whitaker.

Each of the four created a body of work which to them answered the question; have we forgotten the heritage and cultural that once united us, for the sake of the politics that divide us. All four agreed the answer was a resounding no.

Lise has several galleries hosting the installation across Northern Ireland until May 2019. With the help of NI Bureau, Tourism Ireland and The British Council she is hoping to take the event to London and the USA.