371: Northern Ireland's Venice artists: the names (Wednesday 17 November 2004)

From left to right: Peter Richards,Seamus Harahan, Nicholas Keogh, Richard West (Factutom), Sandra Johnston, Paddy Bloomer, Alistair Wilson, Ian Charlesworth, Mary McIntyre, Darren Murray, Stephen Hackett, Aisling O'Beirn and Blathnaid Hogg, Michael Hogg; absent from photo: William McKeown, Katrina Moorhead

The excursion of a stack of artists from Northern Ireland to Venice last week was no low-season tourist jaunt. These were the chosen few - though 'few' is maybe not the correct term here - who will be representing Northern Ireland at the next Venice Biennale, which opens in June 2005.

The artist in question?: Patrick Bloomer, Ian Charlesworth, Factotum, Seamus Harahan, Michael Hogg, Sandra Johnston, Nicholas Keogh, Katrina Moorhead, Darren Murray, Mary McIntyre, William McKeown, Aisling O'Beirn, Peter Richards and Alistair Wilson. If most of these names look familiar, it's because you've been diligently reading your CIRCA.

The Institute Santa Maria della Pietà , Venice, venue of Northern Ireland's participation in the Venice Biennale 2005.

It's to be a two-pronged initiative, one lasting the duration of the Biennale, the other targeting a major symposium on contemporary art to take place in Venice in the autumn. It looks as though Hugh Mulholland, Director of Belfast's Ormeau Baths Gallery and Curator for Northern Ireland's representation in Venice, has very good reason to be pleased not only with his selection of artists, but also with the chosen venue. He has secured the Institute Santa Maria della Pietà, which is along the seafront a short distance from Piazzo San Marco and on the trail - and this is very important - to Giardini and the Arsenale, where the heavyweights flex their artistic and national(istic) muscles.

It's also conveniently close to where the superrich park their cruisers.

You can read the full press release here .