While at the Ulster Museum I would have been remiss to not go to the RUAA exhibition.
I’d heard a lot about it this year as one of the artworks had caused a bit of a furore locally in the media. Initially I was under the impression it was removed due to the fact it depicted 2 women kissing, however when I viewed the image HERE, I could understand why some people might argue that Paul Walls, The Kiss is not suitable for children to view as it is quite adult.
A statement I found HERE by Colin Davidson, President of the Royal Ulster Academy explains its removal.
“The Royal Ulster Academy’s schools programme attracts large numbers of school children from across Northern Ireland.
“In this context, the painting ‘The Kiss’, by Paul Walls, was regarded as inappropriate for child audiences (by the Museum, the Academy, and Child Protection lawyers, as well as most who have seen it). Paul Walls appreciates how inappropriate it is for child audiences. It would not matter if the imagery was of two women, two men, or a man and a woman. Mindful of artistic freedom of expression, the RUA and the Ulster Museum considered that the painting could remain in the exhibition subject to the placement of appropriate notices that the gallery contained artwork which could be regarded as being of an adult nature.
“As an Academy, we are concerned that this could deter schools and families with young children visiting the exhibition. As a result Paul Walls decided to withdraw the painting from the exhibition. Censorship had nothing to do with it.”
I was upset that it wasnt included regardless, as I would have liked to view it in its proper form myself and not via an image online.