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Sunday, Tied-Up Swings

BELUM.U2023.2, Ulster Museum Collection

Explore Troubles and Beyond
Sunday, Tied-Up Swings acquisition

Sunday, Tied-Up Swings, 1975
Catherine McWilliams 

Sunday Tied-Up Swings depicts how swings and playgrounds were chained up on Sundays in Northern Ireland so that no one could play on the Sabbath. Catherine McWilliams sketched the scene, along with the sectarian graffiti, after she felt compelled to stop the car whilst driving with her children in North Belfast. McWilliams was born in 1940 in Belfast and attended the Belfast School of Art. Combining a teaching career with painting, she began exhibiting her work in 1961 and showed regularly from the mid-1960s; including in the all-women Pandora’s Box exhibition, which toured Britain in 1985. She and her husband, Joseph McWilliams, opened the Cavehill Gallery in 1986. Her Troubles related work is significant, as it depicts everyday life in Belfast at the time.