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05 Mar 2022 - 16 Apr 2022


Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda and Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast announce a collaborative exhibition partnership presenting WE ARE HERE, SONGS OF A FORGOTTEN PAST Artists’ Moving Image from the British Council Collection and LUX.


Exploring themes of marginality and its representation, community, storytelling, world-building and critically reframing histories, these linked exhibitions present films from SONGS OF A FORGOTTEN PAST, one of five artists’ film programmes curated by Tendai John Mutambu for the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, and LUX, an international arts agency that supports and promotes artists’ moving image practices.


The two exhibitions and programme of events at Highlanes Gallery and Golden Thread Gallery are separate but in conversation with each other; different interpretations from different places, with visits from each side of the border of the island of Ireland, to the other gallery, offering a chance to see the films and broader exhibition from each other’s ‘here’.


For this exhibition Highlanes Gallery has invited a group of individuals, artists, and artist-teachers (at Second Level Education) from across the country, and lecturers from the Art and Design Initial Teacher Education Programme Team, Limerick School of Art and Design, TUS – Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest , to reflect on the work of the artists in SONGS OF A FORGOTTEN PAST and together curate an exhibition that reflects on the themes around the selection and select work from the Arts Council of Ireland’s Collection (celebrating 70 years in 2022), and the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection at Highlanes Gallery.


WE ARE HERE at Highlanes Gallery will include work from a range of media including moving image, sculpture, painting and photography and will include the work of artists Ayo Akingbade, Ursula Burke, Duncan Campbell, Tom Fitzgerald, Luke Fowler, Cliona Harmey, Anthony Haughey, Susan Hiller, Samson Kambalu, Brian Maguire, Colin Martin, Mairead O’hEocha, and Daphne Wright.


The activation and engagement of this curatorial group, who meet remotely across Zoom each Wednesday follows on from a ground-breaking project between Highlanes Gallery and the British Council in 2016  – In Sense of Place where two student groups from two schools in Drogheda curated an exhibition from the British Council’s Collection and the Collection at Highlanes Gallery, with Every aspect of the exhibition undertaken by the students, including the selection of artworks, the research, the active talking and thinking about the connections between artwork in collections, the installation, the marketing, social media, and communications.


Mirroring this initiative, the curatorial group for WE ARE HERE (Highlanes Gallery) have been researching and engaging directly with artists, Highlanes Gallery director, Aoife Ruane, curator Tendai John Mutambu, and Ben Mulligan the Collection Manager at the Arts Council (Ireland) and will develop and take part in the public programme at Highlanes Gallery, and in collaboration with the Golden Thread Gallery during the run of the exhibition.


The group will continue to meet weekly and will be engaging artists, writers, educators, other curators, as well as student teachers of Art & Design, and Art Teachers at Second Level, and activating short and longer term actions and programmes with Highlanes Gallery.


Highlanes Gallery

Highlanes Gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday 10.30am – 5.00pm.


WE ARE HERE opens at Highlanes Gallery on Saturday 5th March from 12 – 1pm, where the curatorial group host an event, reflecting on the artists’ work in WE ARE HERE, the process they are engaged in, and together with some of the exhibiting artists, including Daphne Wright, Anthony Haughey and Cliona Harmey.


Highlanes Gallery will present a Primary School Programme engaging teachers and students at Primary School Level with ideas and materiality in the exhibition, as well as guided tours for students at Second Level, gallery talks, children’s workshops and talks with the curatorial group and exhibiting artists and Tendai John Mutambu, in person and remotely across ZOOM, and with the Golden Thread Gallery.

Tendai Mutambu Biography

Tendai Mutambu is a New Zealand-based writer, editor, and curator, presently working as Acting Curator at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary, Assistant Producer on Aura Satz’s first feature ‘Preemptive Listening’ and Commissioning Editor for ArtNow Essays. Tendai was until recently Assistant Curator of Commissions and Public Programmes at Spike Island, Bristol where he contributed to projects on Pacita Abad, Peggy Ahwesh, Eric Baudelaire/Alvin Curran, Adam Khalil/Bailey Sweitzer, Zinzi Minott, Imran Perretta, and Laura Phillips.


Other recent work includes: ‘The Conch’ at South London Gallery; ‘We Are Here: Work from the LUX and British Council Collections’ (2019-22); ‘Artist in Profile: Marwa Arsanios’ at Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival (2019); ‘Sriwhana Spong: a hook but no fish’ at Govett-Brewster/Len Lye Centre (2018). Tendai has written for Frieze, Art Monthly UK, LUX Moving Image, Ocula Magazine, and Runway Journal of Contemporary Art, and Zac Langdon-Pole’s Art Journey’ (2019) published as part of the BMW Art Prize at Art Basel. His forthcoming essays will appear in exhibition catalogues for Peggy Ahwesh’s first UK solo (Spike Island, 2021), and Ufuoma Essi’s first major solo exhibition (South London Gallery, 2021).



Golden Thread Gallery is Belfast’s leading contemporary visual art gallery. We work to broaden access to and improve public experience of visual art in Northern Ireland. Our purpose is to present innovative artistic programmes of high quality that embrace the breadth and variety of contemporary arts practice, and to develop, support and promote the work of contemporary Northern Irish artists and creative practice.

Our mission statement is “Creating a context, challenging perceptions, promoting creativity, delivering contemporary visual art for all”. We strive to be a destination where each and every visitor is engaged, educated, challenged and inspired by visual art.

Our main gallery annual programme showcases world-class national and international artists, while our Project Space programme is designed to support early career artists. We attract diverse audiences, and strive to make contemporary art more accessible to the widest possible audiences by providing arts-based outreach programmes. Our offers have been devised to build audiences, improve access and public experience, and support the region’s contemporary visual arts professionals.



The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.


LUX is an international arts agency that supports and promotes artists’ moving image practices and the ideas that surround them. Founded in 2002 as a charity and not-for-profit limited company, the organisation builds on a long lineage of predecessors (The London Film-Makers’ Co-operative, London Video Arts and The Lux Centre) which stretch back to the 1960s.



The Arts Council of Ireland is the Irish government agency for developing the arts. The Arts Council work in partnership with artists, arts organisations, public policy makers and others to build a central place for the arts in Irish life. The Arts Council this year marks the 70th anniversary of its very first meeting on 25th January 1952. The Arts Council’s Collection supports artists’ and public engagement with the arts by purchasing excellent contemporary artwork to be enjoyed and displayed throughout Ireland.


  • Date: 05 Mar 2022 - 16 Apr 2022
  • Location:Ayo Akingbade, Ursula Burke, Duncan Campbell, Tom Fitzgerald, Luke Fowler, Cliona Harmey, Anthony Haughey, Susan Hiller, Samson Kambalu, Brian Maguire, Colin Martin, Mairead O'hEocha, and Daphne Wright
  • Curators:Tendai John Mutambu,Ben Mulligan