BELFAST opened its very own version of the Met Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York annually and known as a global magnet for celebrities and young creatives.
Belfast has always has its own unique take and the Array crew with their newly-installed Síbín at the Ulster Museum had their opening in style – opting for a 'Melt Gala'. Fancy dress rules included dimensions that could get in the lift. The result was a rollicking array of costumes, with many people travelling from all over the UK and Ireland to attend. Tickets were free via the Ulster Museum website, but you had to be quick to nab them.
Electrifying night @UlsterMuseum @array_studios homecoming warmest congratulations to my dear colleague @AnnaLiesching @artfund @hannah_m_crowdy pic.twitter.com/hAmLFXYvZd— Anne Stewart (@annemillarstew1) March 3, 2023
The night will go down in legend for many reasons. The competition was fierce, with the artistic community in the fancy dress sphere telling stories of people not recognising each other and of dancing on into the wee small hours at the Empire afterwards. Clodagh Lavelle, compere in the Empire, may have a new career on the horizon. There is talk of it being an annual event. Anna Liesching, Curator of Art at the Ulster Museum, had a lot to do with it and the details were brilliant. They even got Boundary Brewing to brew them up a special called the State of Disarray.
Big love to our friends at @arraystudios - we were delighted to brew a beer with them for their Melt Gala this weekend at the Ulster Museum, STATE OF DISARRAY, a tasty berry gose. All the best for the weekend lads! pic.twitter.com/4yFuJX7L8r— Boundary Brewing (@boundarybrewing) March 1, 2023
Anna is also responsible for the great writing about the current exhibition, Vox Hybrida at the Golden Thread Gallery, which welcomes back Alice Maher to Belfast along with Emma Brennan and Chloe Austin. Emma had a great exhibition at Pssquared which opened the week before, using performance and video which was like a contemporary Sistine Chapel. Her performance at the opening in the Golden Thread had everyone mesmerised. She has told me previously that being an artist is so much easier in Belfast and Dublin – the opportunities, the network of support, the community and the ability to actually afford to do it. All hail Belfast!
What have you done in the twenty five years since the Good Friday agreement? This is something I sometimes ask of people when they are complaining about some aspect of life here.
Many times they have not moved out of the social circle they had then, or done any cross-community work, they drive the same roads and go to the same places they always have. Yet still they complain. It's as if everything is everyone else's problem and not theirs.
The amazing #emmabrennan @goldenthreadg #performanceart well done pic.twitter.com/cCgJg5R6Wc— Bronagh Lawson (@CreativChangeNI) February 25, 2023