Everyday Objects Transformed by the Conflict Exhibition Launched in Derry/Londonderry

03 July 2012

Rev David Latimer from First Derry Presbyterian Church, Gerry Burns from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Kate Turner, Director of Healing Through Remembering looking at artefacts on Monday’s exhibition launch

An exhibition of everyday items in use during the conflict in and about Northern Ireland was launched at First Derry Presbyterian Church on Monday 5 March 2012.  It is the first time that the entire exhibition has been on display collectively.  It is entitled Everyday Objects Transformed by the Conflict and it is open to the public at the First Derry Presbyterian church from 6 – 28 March, Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm.
At the launch the Lord Mayor welcomed the exhibition to the city.  The Rev David Latimer of First Derry Presbyterian spoke and said: “Who amongst us could have imagined prior to the Troubles an ordinary binlid becoming a medium for communication?  The collective experiences of the people, powerfully represented in the objects included within this exhibition, should assist us, as well as visitors, to explore the nature, causes and effects of conflict.”
He also expressed hope for this multi-perspective exhibition to “facilitate the fractured people of Derry/Londonderry to move ever closer together so that at all levels of society we can learn to become friendly allies and not warring adversaries.”
Kate Turner, director of Healing Through Remembering, said: “So many everyday items assumed a new significance during the conflict – like a bin lid used for communication. And so many unusual things became everyday – like people and bags being searched before entering a shop.
“These objects offer a glimpse into the everyday lives and memories of individuals, communities and organisations, and so hopefully will help people explore the nature, causes and effect of conflict.
“We are very grateful to collectors who have lent us a substantial number of items for the exhibition.”
Gerry Burns, NI Committee member of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “This is a wonderful project, not just for the fascinating collection of items that it has unearthed, but because it has sparked an interest and debate among so many people about how we interpret our heritage.
“This wider involvement has produced an absorbing exhibition for others to explore and learn from.”
The exhibition project originates from an audit of artefacts commissioned by Healing Through Remembering in partnership with the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University Belfast.
During the two-year audit, more than 400,000 artefacts relating to the conflict were documented from 79 public and private collections.
Derry/Londonderry exhibitors include the Maiden City Festival, the Museum of Free Derry, the Tower Museum and private collector Frankie McMenamin.  There are also a range of other collectors, museums, clubs and individuals, from across these islands.  The exhibition will travel throughout the region in the coming months ending in Belfast in a unique dual-location exhibition on both the Falls and Shankill roads. Further exhibition dates and locations are as follows:
12 April – 25 May: Bell Architects, Main St, Ballymoney
5 – 28 June: Clones Library, Clones, County Monaghan
6 – 21 July: Strule Arts Centre, Omagh
2 – 11 August: At two sites, St Mary’s College, Falls Rd and Spectrum Centre, Shankill Rd, Belfast.  (It is recommended that visitors visit both sites to view the complete exhibition)
Entrance to the exhibition and workshop participation are free. People who would like more information about the project, or who would like to book a workshop, should contact
Triona White Hamilton, exhibition curator/co-ordinator, at Healing Through Remembering on 028 9023 8844 – email exhibition@healingthroughremembering.org
More information can also be found by visiting the exhibition’s website at http://www.eoexhibition.com
Funding for the event has come from various sources, including the European Union Peace III Programme, the Heritage Lottery Fund; the International Coalition for Sites of Conscience; Awards for All (Big Lottery Fund); the Enkalon Foundation; the Good Relations Council; and the Bombardier Aerospace (NI) Foundation.