Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre has been overwhelmed by the extensive local and international engagement in its online exhibitions curated by Conflict Textiles.
When the centre closed back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff worked in partnership to create virtual exhibitions to allow the public to view the poignant and moving “Embracing Human Rights: Conflict Textiles Journey” collection which was cut short by the closure.
It drew considerable interest and lead to the development of a range of online activities including a call for people to make their own arpillera doll. The interest has been inspiring with 38 arpillera dolls so far submitted by makers from here and all over the world including Argentina, Colombia, Catalonia, Italy, USA, Germany, Zimbabwe and Chile. More are currently on their way, with makers ranging from academics to grass roots activists and kids. This wide participation led to the creation of the “Arpillera Doll Virtual Exhibition” and due to the high interest it aims to tour internationally after lockdown ends.
This week, both exhibitions featured at the Culture Unconfined Festival, an online arts and culture festival created by the University of Liverpool. The exhibitions and associated activities are also being used by two schools in London as a learning resource and engagement.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Sean Bateson said: “Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre has been amazed by the huge global engagement and interest in these exhibitions and it’s thrilled to be able to provide an arts service that not only reaches Causeway Coast and Glens residents but people around the world. We want to say a big thank you to Conflict Textiles for their wonderful partner-ship and a special thanks goes to curator Roberta Bacic and Breege Doherty for their creative ideas and generous spirit.
Members of the public are encouraged to view the exhibitions online and share them with friends and family. Please let us know what you think by email or via our social media channels. We would also love for you to get involved with our activities which are suitable for all ages so check them out when you view the exhibition and send us pictures of any-thing you create so we can share them to encourage others to get involved too.
A full live archive of the initial exhibition, documents, reports and more is available at www.cain.ulster.ac.uk/conflicttextiles/