Words

For the love of (Belfast) art

May 5, 2017

I often get asked “Ah, so you blog about art?” which I know would make most sense, I am an artist after all. However it didn’t come naturally for me to blog about other people’s art or art theories two years ago.

What came naturally and still does feel right in this space is leading you into my own day to day life which inevitably fits with my theme of “placing importance on the everyday”. Fitness , food, family, wellbeing and life stories are the main leads in my daily life.

Last night I had the absolute joy of attending Belfast late night art. Have you visited art in Belfast recently? I mean , more than just the Ulster museum. Saying that I adored the exhibit which showed my MFA tutor Willie Doherty’s film included in The new past exhibition.

The first Thursday in every month the art galleries in Belfast open their doors for anyone to visit and see the latest exhibits.

Can I take a second to tell you that I have had three babies, two house moves and a whole lot of breast milk on my tops over the past eight years. For me, to be able to actively leave my house with the intention of going to an art event, UNACCOMPANIED , is a really big deal.

When I had hyperemesis in my third pregnancy and felt sorry for myself (ask my husband and friends) all I wanted was to be socialising and actually able to attend the events I was invited to.

During this time (felt like the gestation of an elephant- that is almost two years) I came to the conclusion that the baby and child years are fleeting and my presence for bedtime was/is essential for the most part.

I knew I would find my way out the other side and be able to attend art gatherings, awards dinners (last week I was at the Digital Awards Northern Ireland after this blog, my wee blog, was shortlisted for an award- I had SO much fun even though I did not win) and general social networking events or meetings.

I did not however envision that only a year after I had my third boy that I would have the treat of travelling so much (the scamp has been to New York twice , Lanzarote and London in his short life already!) so soon. Visiting the Hockney retrospective in Tate Britain in February with my friend Grace was a highlight for me

So, you get the picture- I am flattered and excited and ready.

Going to view Belfast art galleries (all of which I used to visit frequently during my art degree and masters) in a guided tour with Visual arts Belfast forum – well, I was thrilled.

There were so many elements to the tour which I will loved like Catalyst arts off Queens street where I used to be a member. This is the relic of my friend Sinead O’Donnell’s performance.

The familiar Catalyst arts signage

The talented folk in Belfast print workshop who always impress me with their patience and drive for results in the work they produce. I actually meant to buy the piece from this demo, it was a whale coming out of the water- stunning.

Mono print demonstration

Might become my new moto- love this!

From print to digital and photography at Belfast exposed gallery. A hub of community based goodness and so much slick creativity bursting at it’s seams.

They have a Belfast based archive with strong imagery and evocative moments in our country’s history.

Belfast exposed support an Irish artist and this month’s is Aisling McCoy. I was lost in her blend of architecture and landscape and sparsity of some of the sites she had photographed.

 

Recently I made this painting of Queens University Belfast and their social media handle picked up on it and kindly featured it to their followers.

It felt special to be in the Lanyon building twice in one week – once for the DANI awards mentioned above and again last night to see the Naughton gallery’s ‘GET’CHA HEAD IN THE GAME’ exhibition.

I enjoyed every part of the tour last night because having completed my Masters in fine art and completing many a thesis on the complexity of art, I can say that I am open to all mediums and creativity.

Nonetheless the link between sport and art in the Naughton gallery had me the minute I walked through the doors.

A mix of international artists from years back or more recent who have discussed the relationship between sport and art- my dream!!

I train six days a week so I appreciated the motivational quotes and loved the Serena Williams feature and the basketball photo below. It was a massive photo!

We ended the tour at the Golden thread gallery , another contemporary art space in Northern Ireland worth checking out.

I am in the middle of planning my exhibition which opens in Hillsborough village centre at the end of this month. After last night I am motivated and excited about this.

Look out on my social media channels instagram facebook and twitter so you can get some culture into your world by viewing my eight paintings of Irish Seascapes. See a review of them on my shop where some early release prints are available of the Bray, White rocks, Sandhill, Dingle, Murlough Bay and other beaches are.

 

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