Art: The murals of the Bogside artists

This exhibition tells the story of the 'Troubles' through the twelve large scale murals of The People’s Galleryin Derry/Londonderry.

In August 2019, CTPI hosted an art exhibition: Art, Conflict and Remembering: The Murals of the Bogside Artists. Over 1500 visitors from across the world came to see the exhibition, and many extremely positive comments were written in the guest book in a variety of languages.

This powerful and highly topical exhibition tells the story of the Troubles through the twelve large scale murals of The People’s Galleryin Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The Bogside was the epicentre of the Troubles that began with a peaceful civil rights march in 1968 and ended with the Good Friday agreement in 1998. The murals by the Bogside Artists depict seminal events from the 30-year conflict as experienced by the artists and the local community.

For many people outside Northern Ireland, the Troubles are routinely remembered as an internal religious and sectarian conflict that necessitated the intervention of a British ‘peacekeeping’ force. This exhibition draws attention to the non-sectarian Civil Rights movement in the late 1960’s and the effects of its suppression on the lives of ordinary people.

The exhibition demonstrates that art can sometimes speak more truthfully than words. Unlike most other murals in Northern Ireland, the murals by the Bogside Artists are not party-political or sectarian. They do not carry any emblems or slogans that identify with a particular political or para-military group, nor do they romanticise the past or glorify violence. Instead, they provide essential talking points for processing the painful past and opportunities for mutually respectful listening as a condition for lasting peace.

Anyone interested in the pressing issues around Northern Ireland, including radicalisation and reconciliation, should go and see this moving exhibition.

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Due to the success of the exhibition, a smaller-scale version has been set up in the corridor beside Rainy Hall, New College. It contains reproductions of the 12 murals and related commentary, and an exhibition guidebook is available for consultation.