Rita Duffy was born in Belfast and holds a BA and MA in Fine art from University of Ulster. One of Ireland’s ground-breaking artists initiating major collaborative art projects she is an Honorary Member of the Royal Society of Architects for developmental work in the built environment. Duffy is also an associate at the Goldsmiths College London she collaborated on artistic exchange with Argentina looking at the role of art in post conflict societies. Her Belfast studio practice of 25 years moved comfortably between gallery-based exhibitions and acclaimed public art projects: Drawing the Blinds at Divis Tower; The Thaw iceberg to Belfast project; The Shirt Factory Derry 2013. The Souvenir Shop was commissioned by the Arts Council for Dublin 2016, a year of remembering wars and revolution. Souvenir toured Ireland, developing new iterations for CCI Paris, The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh 2017, with Brussels and Manchester on the schedule. Currently resident in former Ballyconnell Courthouse, she continues to explore issues of identity, working in a specific border context. Her recent ‘Soften the Border Project’ attracted global media coverage and gave voice to the local experience loaded with creative urgency in a world of increasing chaos and border obsessions.