For further information about the exhibition please contact Ann or Ken

 Ann: 077 263 263 90

Ken: 079 053 395 69


For information about the Victoria Gallery & Museum, please contact the venue at:

tel: +44 (0)151 794 2348 

Victoria Gallery and Museum
Ashton Street
L69 3DR  
United Kingdom

tel: +44 (0)151 794 2348 

Filming at the Pace Wall in Belfast

The exhibition is sponsored by
The Irish Departmnent of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool

Exhibition also kindly sponsored by Patrick Gaul

The exhibition is hosted by the Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool
Curated by the ArtisAnn Gallery, Belfast

'Grappling Hook' was produced by Digital Arts Studios (Belfast) in association with the Creative Workers Co-Op
‘Keys’ was recorded at Start Together Studios, Belfast

Thanks to
Dara Watson, harpist
Sagit Mezamer, photography and advice

More information can be found at

Raymond Watson with Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern

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This Hands centrepiece will be accompanied two new installations that combine genuine and rare historical items with digital technology to produce immersive, thought provoking artworks. 

The artist Raymond Watson explains:

‘What progress has been achieved in our society over the last 20 years of relative peace?  With this exhibition I will explore this theme with a re-enactment of older work alongside important new installation work.  Also I was excited to have finally been able to add the new hand casts of leaders like Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair and others.’ 

Commenting on the exhibition Professor Peter Shirlow FAcSS, Director, The Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, said:

‘The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement is in its 20th year. It led to a significant reduction in violence and the building of new transitional agreements. Despite evident difficulties it has achieved much and in particular grounded peace-building into communities. We felt recognition of the Agreement should be undertaken through the creative arts so as to embed the peace process as belonging to the people. It is they who have stretched themselves into new relationships. Without those who had suffered and endured taking on the role of brokers for transformation there would be no peace process. 

Hands of History +20

A New Series of artworks marking the 20th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement

By Raymond Watson 

At the Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool

Saturday 10th March 2018 – Saturday 21st April 2018
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm

Hosted by the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool and curated by ArtisAnn Gallery, Belfast

Shortly after the signing of the Good Friday Peace Agreement, the artist Raymond Watson managed to persuade the Northern Irish political leaders involved in negotiating the Agreement (some of whom are now deceased) to allow him to take a cast of their hands, which he later cast in bronze to create a unique sculpture entitled Hands of History.

Raymond‘s Hands of History is an important, significant and truly unique artwork that captures a momentous and historic event in Irish history.  

For the upcoming and important twentieth anniversary of Good Friday, Raymond will re-enact the original Good Friday exhibition alongside important new work. The original hands will be shown alongside additional new hands of those important political and international figures who have helped build the peace over the last twenty years.  With the 20th anniversary hand casting project Raymond is engaged in casting the hands of up to twenty additional politicians and negotiators.

Hands cast for original Good Friday Agreement sculpture include those of: 

David Trimble, Ulster Unionist Party
Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin
John Hume, Social Democratic and Labour Party
Malachi Curran, Northern Ireland Labour Party
Monica McWilliams,Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition
David Ervine, Progressive Unionist Party
Gary McMichael, Ulster Democratic Party
Seán Neeson, Alliance Party
Mo Mowlam, Northern Ireland Secretary of State, UK Government

New hands cast’s that will be presented in the Liverpool exhibition include:

Tony Blair, British Prime Minister
Bertie Ahern, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland
David Andrews, Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs
Bernie McGuinness, widow of Martin McGuinness
Lord Chris Patten, Chair of Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland