The exhibition is unique because visitors can ‘hear’ as well as see the University’s silver collection, through using handheld computers to highlight objects and listen to the artists’ interpretations. Ten internationally renowned sound artists created sound pieces to accompany 22 of the silver objects, exploring their origins and the reasons for their creation and use.Commenting on the award, Queen’s University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: “One of Queen’s most tangible contributions to the community it serves in Northern Ireland is its role as a patron of the arts. The Naughton Gallery at Queen’s is one of the most dynamic visual arts platforms in Belfast and plays a major role in enhancing the cultural and artistic life of Northern Ireland.
“I am delighted to congratulate our Curator of Art, Shan McAnena, and her colleagues in winning this well-deserved award for the ground breaking Silver Sounds exhibition. This was a truly collaborative project which enables us to share the University’s silver collection with the wider community through both sight and sound.”
The Gallery’s Curator Shan McAnena said: “The gallery team is thrilled and delighted that such a creative partnership has been recognised in this way. “We are particularly grateful to the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), and voluntary organisation ADAPT NI for their vision and faith in this project which helped to make this happen.”
The judges who chose Queen’s as the winner of the category praised the University’s work. Felicity Allen, Head of Learning at the Tate Modern, said: “Queen’s has enabled artists to produce an original piece of gallery interpretation that has the potential to be a model for other galleries as well as providing new routes into the collection for existing and new visitors.”