SAFE SPACES TOWARDS HEALING:
COLIN DAVIDSON IN CONVERSATION WITH BRIAN ROWAN
Friday 10th Feb 7:30pm.
Agape Centre 238 Lisburn Road BT9
(FREE but donations appreciated)
I cannot tell you how excited we, 4 Corners organisers, are that we are having Colin Davidson and Brian Rowan take part in our Festival.
My first awareness of Colin Davidson was when his portrait of Glen Hansard was the cover of Hansard’s Rhythm and Repose album. Then I noticed these amazing portraits on the wall of Belfast’s Lyric Theatre - Gary Lightbody, Neil Hannon and Duke Special.
Since then Davidson has become a portrait painter on a world stage. He has recently painted German Chancellor Angela Merkel and, with a lot more publicity here in Northern Ireland, Queen Elizabeth II.
With this year’s 4 Corners Festival theme of Our Wonderful and Wounded City, Colin’s Silent Testimony exhibition hits deep. The exhibition's 18 portraits representing those touched by the worst horrors of the conflict years are not just a reaction on the past but tell the stories of continued suffering - unhealed hurts that are the wounds of the present. Almost everyone that I know who saw Silent Testimony spoke of being drawn and effected by the eyes. In the end 80,000 people viewed that exhibition in the Ulster Museum.
The portrait artist has a unique way into the lives of his subjects. He or she doesn’t only get an opportunity to look long into the eyes of the person but also gets to spend time in both casual and serious conversation. In Silent Testimony, Colin’s time with 18 hurting human souls must have had a huge impact. Perhaps it was also a catharsis for the hurting.
In conversation with renowned journalist and writer Brian Rowan, Davidson will reflect on the Silent Testimony exhibition - not painting what people should think but, instead, creating a safe space that allows those who view the portraits to think for themselves.
Knowing Brian and Colin I imagine we will also find creative and imaginative ideas in their chat that might inspire clues as to how we move from our troubled past into a more hopeful future.