Crèche course – new environments for play
Facilitators: Anne-Marie Dillon and Caragh O’Donnell
PS², 18 Donegall Street, Belfast, BT1 2GP
Spiralling costs and affordability of childcare in times of economic slowdown are the social and political backdrop of this project and the planned closure of the University of Ulster’s crèches in Magee and Jordanstown underline the dilemma on a local level.
In parallel, how artists, their curiosity and imagination can propose new and different environments for play for young children forms the creative backdrop of the project.
Crèche course is a playful and practical research project investigating, how artists, parents and children can transform the environment for play in (self-organised) playgroups at low-cost and easy to replicate.It is also in part an academic project, as it looks into the social and economic conditions which enable or reduce good play environments. And it is a collaborative project with parents, guardians and their young children to develop good play spaces.
For more information, please visit: www.pssquared.org/crechecourse.php email email@example.com or call 07733457772.
PS² is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
PS² @ The Black Box: The Artist Statement Session
13th March | 7.30pm
Tickets £10; Concession £8 | Tickets on the door.
Black Box, 18 – 22 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA
Quirky, fresh, frisky and in parts frivolous, this is a fundraiser which sets the white cube inside the black box. In this departure from our usual curatorial practice, PS²
is pushed out of its comfort zone by juxtaposing art and entertainment.
This is a curious mix of satirical burlesque, emerging musical talent, nostalgia and acoustic sets to get your heart racing and your head questioning… and hopefully raise some funds to do some quirky and fresh projects in PS².
With: Paul Kane and The Over The Hill Collective playing the ipod shuffle sessions; the not to be missed Satirical Burlesque Act Soup du Jour and fabulous sets by Mudblind, Hannah McPhillimy, Elvira SantaMaria, James King and Rory McSwiggan.
To reserve tickets, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS² is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Deadline: 23rd August
This Artist-in-Residence Programme is seeking an artist printmaker with at least 2 years’ professional experience from the UK or Ireland:
Duration: The residency will last for 3 consecutive weeks. (Commencement date negotiable from January the 6th 2014 but the residency must be completed before the 31st March 2014).
Artist Stipend: £600 sterling. This fee will be divided into three equal instalments paid at the end of each week. The residency does not include accommodation or travel expenses. Whilst Belfast Print Workshop will endeavour to assist the artist in every way to secure affordable accommodation, the selected artist must make their own travel and living arrangements. All expenses incurred are the responsibility of the selected artist.
For more information and details on how to apply, please visit: www.bpw.org.uk/httpbpworgukbencraig/
Deadline: 24th May
The Belfast Print Workshop would like to invite International artists actively engaged or informed by contemporary printmaking practice. The International Residency Program is an initiative of the Belfast Print Workshop established to facilitate contemporary artistic practice in the Studio and to further the professional development of artists by enabling the creation and production of new work, fostering an exchange of ideas and influences, encouraging the sharing of expertise and inspiring new works of art and creative collaborations.
Duration: The residency will last for 3 consecutive weeks. (Commencement date negotiable from September the 2nd 2014 but the residency must be completed before the 31st December 2014).
Artist Stipend: £600 sterling. This fee will be divided into three equal instalments paid at the end of each week. Selected participants in this program will receive, basic materials, studio equipment & facilities usage and technical and administrative support. The residency does not include accommodation or travel expenses. Whilst Belfast Print Workshop will endeavour to assist the artist in every way to secure affordable accommodation, the selected artist must make their own travel and living arrangements. All expenses incurred are the responsibility of the selected artist.
For more information and details on how to apply, please visit: www.bpw.org.uk/httpbpworgukbencraig/
‘Churches’ is an exhibition by Canadian photographic artist Sylvia Grace Borda. What is usually an open plan exhibition space has been radically altered to accommodate this show, transformed literally into a foyer and a large black box. Even the ceiling has been lowered and covered with large black tiles. A slightly claustrophobic atmosphere prevails. In the foyer a glass-covered display table houses ceramic ware loaned from official government collections as well as antique shops – a kind of political memorabilia, which also represents the kitsch tourist souvenir one might have carried home 50 years ago to hang on the wall. There is also a table with books, provided by Borda, which have influenced her practice or relate to the subject matter.
A walk along a short corridor leads into the black box, where the main works are situated. The first, entitled Churches, is a video featuring 100 images of churches across Northern Ireland, which is projected onto the back wall of the space. The second is a beautifully executed installation, Coming to the Table. It comprises a long, boardroom-type table, covered in black fabric, with three black pendant lights hanging low over it, creating three pools of light on the black cloth. On this table are 16 ceramic plates, photo-printed with images from the projection. Although there are seats, and the audience is clearly able to handle the work (and has, I’m assured, moved the plates around themselves) I feel somewhat alienated. There is a sombre presence to the work, a feeling that these seats are already taken, that I am excluded from whatever discussions might take place here. The projection, however, draws me in immediately. These unnamed mid twentieth-century churches are displayed very formally in circles, echoing the plates on the table; they are surrounded by black and devoid of people. I find myself looking for clues in the closely framed images. Every so often, the denomination or some details about the community become clear – through a small sign or bold lettering across a church door. There is a really fascinating array of shapes and sizes, some incredibly ugly and plain, others quite interesting architecturally.
Borda has made it very clear that she is framing this work from the point of view of an outsider, but not that of a tourist. In an insightful essay by Robin Laurence, which accompanies the exhibition, he states that she works “not from a documentary impulse but from a conceptual one”.1 There is no doubt that many historical and social contexts are referenced in these works alongside references to many previous photographers including Eugene Atget, Walker Evans and Bernd, and Hilla Becher. The word ‘church’ refers not only to the buildings, but to the institutions and their clergy, as well as to the service itself. Borda appears to be interested in the aims of Modernist architecture, especially in relation to churches, where design was reduced to function and form.2 Most were ambivalent and ambiguous in terms of denomination. The churches shown come from this Modernist tradition, and demonstrate a stripping back of materials and ornamentation. In the context of Northern Ireland’s recent history this is especially interesting. Focusing on churches from unspecified denominations, for tourists to collect, points at Northern Ireland’s growing tourist industry since the Troubles ended, while the table metaphorically refers to the peace process. Northern Ireland’s ceramic production industry is also represented in the display cabinet and referenced in Coming to the Table. What is also worthy of note is that these churches are all closed, they appear inaccessible, unpopulated, and inward looking. This juxtaposition is an area Borda exploits.
In this ‘Churches’ project, which Borda began in 2009 and worked on for two years, she attempts to explore what churches represent and perhaps to understand a situation that she herself had no innate knowledge of. Some of the references are a bit literal, but she has been successful in identifying the perfect vehicle for this exploration and displaying it beautifully. Borda has uncovered a much-overlooked area of Northern Irish culture, as well as cleverly turning some traditions on their head. It is difficult not to bring a certain amount of baggage to our reading of this work, but that, perhaps, is why Borda’s perspective is so valuable. The circular lens of her camera simultaneously invokes both distance and focus.
is an artist and writer. She is Associate Editor at JAR (Journal of Artistic Research) and teaches at IADT, Dublin.
1. Robin Laurence, Silvia Grace Borda: Erasing the Divide, pamphlet accompanying the exhibition at belfast Exposed 2. Many of the churches shown were built by Liam McCormick, born in Derry, who was widely regarded in the second half of the twentieth century as the ‘father of modern church architecture in Ireland.’ See the Irish Architectural Archive: http://www.iarc.ie/exhibitions/0010.html
Visual Artists Ireland is pleased to announce the appointment of Feargal O’Malley as Northern Ireland Manager. Mr O’Malley will be responsible for the implementing and further development of Visual Artists Ireland’s Northern Ireland programme. Speaking on Mr O’Malley’s appointment to the position, Noel Kelly CEO of Visual Artists Ireland said, “We are delighted to have Feargal join the Visual Artists Ireland’s team. Building on the successes of our previous regional representative programme, Feargal joins us at an exciting time for Visual Artists Ireland as we grow and expand our levels of service for professional visual artists in Northern Ireland.”
Feargal O’Malley comes with a strong pedigree, commitment and engagement with the visual arts in Northern Ireland. Formerly, Mr O’Malley was Exhibitions Manager with the Ormeau Baths Gallery, where he delivered a programme that celebrated the wide diversity of contemporary practices both in Northern Ireland and abroad. He has also previously worked with the Millennium Court Art Centre, Portadown, and has been a regular contributor to both print and broadcast media. Mr O’Malley is a co-director of Platform Arts Belfast. He will take up the position with Visual Artists Ireland on Wednesday, 28 March 2012.
Visual Artists Ireland would like to acknowledge and thank the out-going Northern Ireland representatives, Laura Graham and Damien Duffy for the strength of their contribution during their terms of office.
Further announcement regarding the development of Visual Artists Ireland’s services in Northern Ireland will be made over the next weeks. In the meantime, keep Friday, 15th June 2012 free in your diary for the first All Ireland Visual Artists Ireland GET TOGETHER which will take place in Limerick College of Art & Design, with transportation from Belfast and Derry (subject to numbers).
6:00pm – 6:30pm: Sarmen Almond
6:30 pm – 7:00pm: Fionnuala Doran
7.00pm – 7.30pm: Ciaran Hussey
Sarmen is a Mexican musician, singer and performer. She completed her MA in Sonic Arts leading her to found St’art moveS project, looking for the interdisciplinarity in performance: new media, voice and choreographic theatre. The result of her DAS residency is a performance piece called Hidden Faces, which uses video and audio in relationship to the performance’s topic: violence. A social piece and an exploration in this human – new media field. Hidden Faces will be performed in the Brian Friel Theatre on the 7th May 2011, 19:45. http://www.wix.com/SarmenFemme/sarmen
Ciaran’s work revolves around the psychological effects that contemporary capitalist society has placed upon its practitioner and the illusion of freedom & choice that’s scripted by regulators in suits. The development of paper-thin representations dreamed up by advertising agencies and production companies and consumed by capitalist society, has caused a sense of numbified emptiness, repetitiveness, alienation, and a general lack of apathy. We have developed an agitated sense of expectation, as we await some form of salvation, in the guise of commodities, services, fame and celebrity, that will deliver some solace, but instead are left with a niggling dissatisfaction and a constraining feeling of being cheated. Ciaran received a first class honours degree in fine art (printmaking) in 2008 from Limerick School of Art & Design, and a distinction in a Masters of Fine Art from the University of Ulster in 2010.
For her residency at Digital Arts Studios, Fionnuala has been developing her project for Multiples, a joint initiative between Catalyst Arts and the British Council. She plans to create three separate compilations of comics and drawings, entitled Portmanteau, with each volume being numbered chronologically in the order they are produced. Each publication will have a unique theme tying together the various stories and drawings: Portmanteau 1 will be themed around Venice, the second will be themed around magic.
Volume 1′s short story is inspired by the swashbuckling adventure of Herge’s The Adventures of TinTin and Don Rosa’s The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. The drawings and setting are taken from the extensive archive of photographs compiled by the artist while working in Venice during 2009′s International Biennale of Art. The artist has been developing her digital drawing and illustration skills through the Digital Residency. Fionnuala Doran was born in 1984 in Lurgan, Northern Ireland. She graduated in 2007 with a BA in Fine Art from the University of Ulster and currently works from Flax Art Studios, Belfast. Fionnuala has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions, most recently ¿@#!*$, Catalyst Arts and Mainland at the E:Vent Gallery, London. Her idiosyncratic drawing based practice spans fine art and illustration, and she is currently working with Catalyst Arts and the British Council on Multiples, a retail exhibition and pop-up shop which has so far toured to PS2 and the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.
All DAS talks are free and open to the public.
Just gearing up a review of the Visual Artists Ireland Professional Development Training programme in Northern Ireland. The fabulous Liz Lennon, lizbiz.wordpress.com/about, will shortly be in touch with artist participants, facilitators and partners seeking their input as we review and plan for future provision of training and professional development in Northern Ireland.
Gathering the data has been quite exciting when I realise that over 300 individual artists have taken part in the programme over the last three years, with many attending several workshops in any one year. A big clap on the back to all our Northern Ireland partners, facilitators and VAI staff who’ve contributed. Looking forward to feedback from the surveys when they’re complete.
For register for upcoming training sessions see: http://visualartists.ie/education/register-for-our-events/
Newtownards, Belfast and Enniskillen
Mobility and Exchange in the Visual and Applied Arts (free event)
Wednesday 11 May, A Common Room discussion event @ Ards Arts Centre
in partnership with Ards Art Centre and Ards Borough Council
With speakers: Deirdre Robb, Arts Development Officer Visual Arts, Arts Council N.Ireland; Maria McKinney, Visual Artist; Adam Knights, Projects Manager, Visiting Arts U.K.; Christoph Jankowski – European Information Manager, European Cultural Contact Point U.K, Peter Mutschler – Director PSquared Belfast. Chaired by Laura Graham – Visual Artist and Visual Artists Ireland Contact Point East Ulster.
Imagination Box with Jim Russell
Friday 13 May (10.30 – 16.30) @ PlayResource
In partnership with Belfast Exposed and PlayResource
Sustaining your Practice with Rosie Burrows
In partnership with Belfast Exposed. New date tbc
Peer Critique New Media with Saoirse Higgins
In partnership with the Digital Arts Studios. New date tbc
To book Northern Ireland workshops click on our registration page: http://visualartists.ie/education/register-for-our-events/
or alternatively contact:
Monica Flynn / Education Officer,
Visual Artists Ireland
T: +353 (0)1 872 2296
Thurs 21 April, 2011 (10.30 – 16.30)
@ Belfast Exposed, 23 Donegall St, Belfast
The aim of the programme is to help participants develop a range of skills, which will assist them to work as freelance artists. The Research Skills topic will focus on three particular aspects:
§ Identifying funding, training and work opportunities
§ Develop coherent concepts and structuring a proposal
§ Reflexivity and articulating your own research process in terms of both open-ended projects and as part of a reflective review or report.
The programme will be delivered in a friendly lecture/seminar environment. Participants should if possible have some future possibilities or projects in mind. The course will be supported with a further information pack and list of resources and reading for the future. There will be space for discussion and questions.
Dr Chérie Driver trained as a painter at the University of Ulster and received a first class Degree (Honours) in Fine and Applied Art (2000). Cherie was a co-director of Catalyst Arts from 2000-2002 and over the last decade has worked as a fundraiser and administrator for a number of arts organisations in Belfast. She received a Masters in Social Anthropology from Queens University Belfast in 2001 and PhD in in the field of feminist art theory from Ulster in 2005. Since joining the University of Ulster as a researcher in 2005 she has gained considerable research and advanced project management skills and experience. Read more
To register: http://visualartists.ie/education/register-for-our-events
Places still available for anyone who hasn’t registered as yet, just come along on the day.
(10.00 – 13.30) Fri 15 Apr
@ The Community Arts Forum, http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/place?oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UT
A VAI event in partnership with Belfast Exposed and CAF.
Brokering and building relationships in collaborative arts practice. With artists Anthony Luvera, Aisling O’Beirn and Sally Young who will discuss their varied approaches to building relationships with groups and communities in their arts practices.
Participants are invited to bring along some food to share with others during the lunch time period after the talks.