Northern Ireland’s cultural presence has done nothing but grow in recent years, with artists and galleries springing up all over the country. Belfast is not only the cultural capital of Northern Ireland, but is fast becoming one of the artistic capitals of both Britain and Ireland. A few galleries outside of Belfast have snuck onto the list, which is testament to the spread of culture throughout the country.
The CCA, or the Centre for Contemporary Art, developed out of the earlier Context Gallery in the Playhouse. CCA’s current space opened in 2012, and since then, it has been exhibiting work from Northern Ireland’s finest emerging talents and collaborating with international artistic endeavours. The CCA is also a member of Plus Tate, a network of institutions affiliated with the Tate galleries.
10-12 Artillery St, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, +44 28 7137 3538
In 2003, a group of local artists formed DADA, Derry’s Artists for Derry’s Art. They set out to create a space dedicated to Irish and international art, and in 2005 opened Void, their first gallery space, in the basement of the Old City Shirt Factory. After 10 years, the gallery space expanded into the first floor as well, where it has continued to showcase the best work from the best artists, showing as many as five exhibitions a year.
100 Patrick St, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, +44 28 7130 8080
Belfast Exposed is one of the spaces in Belfast that’s entirely dedicated to photography, as well as being Northern Ireland’s oldest photographic gallery. Founded by photographers, for photographers in 1983, the gallery has often focused on the political situation in Northern Ireland. Belfast Exposed comprises two gallery spaces and one bookshop, as well as an archive of over half a million pictures. Their Exchange Gallery consists of 2,000 selected images which have been digitised and are available for browsing.
23 Donegall St, Belfast, Northern Ireland, +44 28 9023 0965
Like CCA, Golden Thread Gallery is a member of the Plus Tate network. Located in Belfast’s city centre, the gallery is an open and welcoming space as well as being one of the largest arts venues in Northern Ireland. It hosts six exhibitions in its main gallery space and 12 smaller exhibitions in its project space. As well as local artists, Golden Thread Gallery have hosted works by international names, including Tracey Emin.
84-94 Great Patrick St, Belfast, Northern Ireland, +44 28 9033 0920