Bogside Artists exhibition attracts visitors from all over the world

Tom Kelly at an exhibition of the Bogside Artist's work at the University of Edinburgh.
Tom Kelly at an exhibition of the Bogside Artist's work at the University of Edinburgh.

A major exhibition focusing on the work of Derry’s Bogside Artists has been held in Edinburgh to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Bogside.

Hosted by the University of Edinburgh, the exhibition has attracted hundreds of visitors from all over the world.

The exhibition, entitled ‘Art, Conflict and Remembering: The murals of the Bogside Artists,’ has been housed in Rainy Hall of New College on the Mound.

The gothic revival building is one of the venues for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

It features the twelve large scale murals in Derry that tell the story of the Troubles as experienced by ordinary local people. It also features photographs capturing the day to day lives of local residents.

The Bogside Artists, Kevin Hasson, Tom Kelly and his brother William, who died in 2017, started working together in 1993.

The murals they painted on gable walls along Rossville Street reflect key events in the city’s recent history including the Battle of the Bogside, Bloody Sunday, the 1981 hunger strikes and the murder of schoolgirl Annette McGavigan.

The ‘People’s Gallery’ as the murals have become known are now a major tourist attraction and are visited by thousands of people annually.

They have been exhibited all over the world.

The University of Edinburgh exhibition has been accompanied by talks and symposia, including sessions with 25 women from various areas of conflict hosted by Beyond Borders Scotland International Festival.

The curator of the exhibition, Dr Adrienne Chaplin said it ‘not only showcases the magnificent art of the Bogside Artists but also serves as an important educational tool to inform people about Northern Ireland’s Civil Rights movement and the effects of suppression on ordinary citizens.

“In the face of the overwhelming ignorance of many British people about Northern Ireland, this also brings home the underplayed seriousness of the various Brexit scenarios and a reminder of what a hard border could mean for the future.”

Dr Chaplin revealed that visitors to the exhibition have described it as moving, powerful and informative.

They have also said it is a story that needs to be told and needs to be heard by everybody.

The exhibition which began on August 20 runs until September 4.

For more information about the exhibition or the work of the Bogside Artists visit www.bogsideartistsexhibition.org