Northern Ireland news

New BBC series showcases some of NI's best loved artists, writers and musicians

Artist Rita Duffy

A NEW series of programmes will showcase some of Northern Ireland's best loved artists, writers and musicians.

The Season Of Arts collection on BBC NI will celebrate the best of local talent and share music, performances and stories.

Among those to feature in the new range of documentaries and programmes is Belfast artist Rita Duffy, who looks back on her career and reflects on the inspiration for her art.

The documentary traces a time-line from Ms Duffy’s childhood in Belfast to the present day by reviewing her most seminal and thought-provoking paintings as she explains the inspiration behind her art.

She discusses how she dealt with portraying difficult subject matters including the Troubles, the political situation in Northern Ireland and the role of women in our society.

The artist offers insight into early works including her Siege paintings, which depict a divided society, her 'Drawing the Blinds' portraits at the Divis Flats in Belfast and her proposal to tow an iceberg to Belfast to explore the legacy of the Troubles.

The programme also looks at her new work 'Anatomy of Hope', which was created in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Co Fermanagh musician Neil Hannon, poet Medbh McGuckian also feature in the series as well as a documentary on the rise of romantic novelists and a new film on the clash between Oscar Wilde and Edward Carson, authored by Wilde’s grandson, Merlin Holland.

Eddie Doyle, head of BBC NI content commissioning, said: "We recognise the value and importance of the arts and have always been keen supporters and partners of the sector here in Northern Ireland.

"We wanted to provide our audiences with some new content and help to bring the arts to them during this challenging time, while also providing another chance to see some acclaimed arts programmes we have broadcast in the past."

The collection will be largely available on BBC iPlayer from Friday, with a selection of programmes to be broadcast on BBC NI.

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