‘Loss is loss, no matter where it happens’: artist Colin Davidson on the universality of trauma

As Silent Testimony, his exhibition on Troubles victims, moves to London, the Belfast-born artist reflects on its continuing relevance today

Visual artist Colin Davidson: ‘I love creating something that didn’t exist before, and I think that is the whole miracle, the whole mystery.’ Picture: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

Throughout his childhood, the artist Colin Davidson was encouraged to stay quiet. Growing up in late-1950s south-west Belfast, he was aware of the culture of silence that both protected and placated his locality.

“I think we all wanted a normality,” he says via Zoom from his studio in Co Down. “We all realised that what we were experiencing wasn’t that. It made us resist all the more talking about what we were in the midst ...