COLERAINE Town Hall is hosting a revitalised touring exhibition entitled ‘Images of Ireland: the politics of identity, 1867-1916’.
The exhibition is part of the ‘Cultural Fusions’ Project, which is a collaboration between the Causeway Museum Service and Mid-Antrim Museum Service.
‘Images of Ireland’ explores an important period of history and cultural debate in Ireland, with specific case studies drawn from the region. It features objects from the Irish Home Industries collection, Ballycastle Museum, not previously on display in Coleraine.
The theme of the exhibition is ‘identity’ – how ideas of Irish, British, Gaelic and Orange identity evolved over the period commonly known as the ‘Celtic Revival’.
From the mid-nineteenth century, in Ireland, as in many places across Europe, there was a growing interest in cultural identity. This was linked to Romantic Nationalism that celebrated national historic and artistic traditions.
At the same time local identities were being defined in political terms as a result of the Home Rule crisis. The symbols and iconography used to define Irish and British, Unionist and Nationalist, Protestant and Catholic identity became more prescribed and directly in opposition to each other. Northern Ireland is still living with the legacy of this cultural and political division today.
The exhibition is one of six heritage based projects designed to support communities emerging from conflict to re engage in dialogue and interaction leading to improved Good Relations and a more peaceful and stable society.
Cultural Fusions is a heritage based project being delivered by Causeway Museum Service and Mid-Antrim Museum Service across the local councils of Ballymena, Ballymoney, Larne, Limavady and Moyle,
The exhibition is on display in Coleraine Town Hall until February 27, Monday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm. Admission is free.