There was a bit of a throng at St Mary’s University College to mark the return of their annual Féile an Phobail visual artists' exhibition.
The visual artists' exhibitions are all on the first floor of the Falls Road college. If you go anti-clockwise, you can miss the arrows to keep going but if you do you will appreciate artists such as Christina Bennett. Given a whole room, Christina decided to make screened walls that echo the feeling of being inside trapped behind net curtains. But there is also a sense of displacement if you suddenly move away from the curtains.
You can view the Féile Art Exhibitions at St Mary’s University College every day until Thursday 12th August.— Féile an Phobail (@FeileBelfast) August 5, 2022
28 exhibitions with over 300 images in total.
Talk some time to walk through the college and view the exhibitions. pic.twitter.com/tk4ni5wvHW
The eight-minute video piece filmed in her late mother’s house during lockdown gives the feeling of capturing the attachment we can have to our childhood homes. The prints and square paintings, some on wallpaper, remind us of a time when Christina’s family fled south at at time when embossed wallpaper was all the rage and it adds to the claustrophobic atmosphere of a dwelling.
Niamh Ferguson’s expert etchings touch beautifully on the legacy of capture, in this case commenting on the Children of Lir.
Roisin Murray, a finalist in this year’s Féile landscape competition, said she has enjoyed competing in this years contest out in the fresh air and nature of Divis Mountain. Her unique colour pallet captures a brightness that is beyond the human eye.
Recent graduate Leah Davis shows the competency of her observational skills with some masterful head shots in pencil and oil.
While Westcourt Camera Club thought they had pulled the short straw being halfway around the ground floor, their large images from members based on homelessness struck to the heart of the matter. Empty homes and long waiting lists seem like a no-brainer.
Féile has a reputation among artists of being open, welcoming and helpful, which is partly why some people apply to exhibit. Indeed, there is plenty to see in between the Press Photographers Association of Ireland and the Relatives for Justice Remembrance Quilt.
The visual arts exhibition is at St Marys’s Monday to Thursday 11am to 7pm until August 14. My advice is to go down one hour early or linger one hour after to get a good look.
Ulster Society of Women Artists 65th Annual Exhibition at Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast.— Maria NoonanMcDermott (@noonanmcdermott) August 7, 2022
Delighted to have my work included this year for the first time.
If you get a chance, pop in to see it. 😊
The exhibition continues until the 12th August.https://t.co/RgkQOlRmyI #uswa pic.twitter.com/GWUgDYZkgQ
The 65th annual exhibition of the Ulster Society of Women Artists (USWA) is taking place in North Belfast's Crumlin Road Gaol once more. USWA was founded by Gladys MacCabe in 1957. At that time, there was no art society in the north that would accept women as members and, like many great women, she decided that she had to do something about it. The society has grown from its original ten members to over one hundred.
The society holds various exhibitions throughout the year and invites new members annually. "We are continuing to encourage new talent to join us, creating a multi-generational umbrella of support and camaraderie for Ulster women artists," says current president Catherine McKeever.
The exhibition is open daily 10am to 4.30pm until August 13. Entry is free and although it’s never the same to view online, the exhibition is also accessible via their website.
Late night art seems to be back to its busy city vibe with every gallery open under the adoring and considered chat and gaze of experts and novices alike. Martin Parr's exhibition 'Parr’s Ireland: 40 years of Photo' at Belfast Exposed has a juxtaposition of images from both sides of the border which seem very familiar. The exhibition is open until September 24.
University of Atypical have developed an urban survival kit exploring how disabled and neuro-diverse adults can develop and design personal survival kits to aid their travels. Masks seem to be a recurring theme. The international collaboration has been developed from a series of online and in-person workshops which have obviously delighted and surprised the participants. Open Tuesday to Friday 11am to 5pm.
Belfast Cathedral Quarter Trust has announced after a strategic review that there will be no Culture Night in 2022. The review, which was carried out in partnership with Belfast City Council as part of their strategic ambitions to develop the cultural events in the city, highlighted that arts and culture had become lost in the overall ‘noise’ of the event and that many visitors now felt it wasn’t for them.
Ron Meuck’s sculptures at the Mac are delighting and startling visitors, but more on that next week.