Materialities of History

A collection by Ulrika Ferm

In celebration of Northern Ireland’s coastal life - and as part of the the British Film Institute's Britain on Film: Coast and Sea project - Ulrika Ferm was asked to produce an artistic response to the content of the Digital Film Archive. The resulting project Materiliaties of History was shown at PS² gallery in Belfast during August 2018.

This project approaches the Northern Irish film heritage from a Finnish point of view. The artist Ulrika Ferm, originally from a small coastal town in Finland, was invited to respond to the coastal themed films in the Digital Film Archive. In her research Ferm mainly focused on the Northern Ireland Tourist Board collection, which created films that aimed to sell Northern Ireland as a holiday destination. Members of staff documented the region through stills and moving images, the films they created capturing various facets of life in Northern Ireland, its society and history, people and places. 

Ferm’s practice is interested in archival structures and the way history presents itself through visual material found in archives. The exhibition displayed both edited and unedited footage from the NITB collection and some other institutional film productions such as UTV’s Richer and Rarer(1960). The gallery used to house the biggest Northern Irish Fishing tackle shop J Braddell & Sons Ltd and some traces of the building’s history were still visible. 

The newly produced artworks, exhibition documentation and original films can be viewed in the collections below.

The project was curated by Mirjami Schuppert, curator in residence at PS². 

A reworking of this project was on display in Photographic Gallery Hippolyte & Hippolyte Studio in Helsinki from January 4th-27th 2019.

Project Media

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