Anna Donovan has been based in Artists at the Mill in Conway Mill for a number of years. After specialising in Ceramics, she became a prop-maker for the Lyric theatre before moving back into her own practice, initially painting and object-making before accepting that ceramics was her real calling.
Recently, some of her work as been accepted into the Cupola Contemporary Art Christmas exhibition and the small sculptures of people queuing seem to comment on our current shift in spacing awareness: Should we be one meter or two meters away from each other? Will we ever get to hug again?
Artists at the Mill, Covid permitting, will have their annual Christmas Sale as usual on a December date to be confirmed.
Red Earth Design, the red-headed twin sisters Karen and Claire Gibson are based in Townsend Enterprise Park, Townsend Street, and have recently revealed a commission they have completed for the Oireachtas Irish Media Awards trophies. The 16 ceramic torches took five weeks to make and they enjoyed every minute of it.
It was nice to wander around the self-led walking tour of Belfast Design week. The pop-up design tour, which will stay up for the foreseeable future, is in retail and coffee shop windows. But if you cannot get out of the house there is a now an online virtual tour as well.
I don’t usually like mentioning Christmas until December but for many artist and creators, the festive season is key to their ability to survive.
Craft NI have opened their annual Christmas bauble show. I buy one every year and usually find it difficult to pick from the glass, ceramics, paper, fabric, and wood pieces. They always have a lot of personality and it’s important to me to support people’s artistic talent. Their online shop will be available soon.
Of The Shore- Four brooches.— Stuart Cairns (@stucairnsmaker) November 3, 2020
In PINNED @craftnigallery 2nd of November to 2nd January.
Shore found plastic, oxidised silver, steel, seaweed and stainless steel. #brooches #pin #found #gathered #fabricated #made #shorefinds #foundobjects #foundobjectart #contemporaryart pic.twitter.com/5APdXCCdT7
Unique, the shop run by students at Belfast School of Art offering work from students and alumni, has gone online to offer offer click and collect.
Most of the commercial galleries have group exhibitions running at this time of the year so it’s an interesting time to have a look to see who’s doing what.
But Art isn’t all about shopping! Alastair MacLennan, Sandra Johnston (see video below), Roddy Hunter and Tania Kovats explore ‘interbeing' in a free online drawing event at the end of the month. They will discuss the relationship between drawing and performance artwork and documentation and the possibilities of co-production at times of physical isolation on Thursday 26 November 6-8pm. Details are on Eventbrite.
What about festivals? Belfast Photo festival continues and Outburst starts on 13 November. Why not try 'Hello, I am Alive', a queer poetry walk? There is truth to how it’s advertised: "Most of us have seen more of Netflix characters than we’ve seen of our friends this year. It’s been a lonely and relentless time, so we wanted to create some space for gentle rumination, a bit a fresh air and a beautiful excuse to reconnect with people in the city." Touching words. And check out the trailer for featured Outburst film Ask Any Buddy below.
Of course, Belfast Film Festival is currently running. I always meant to get to their short film showings lsat year but never managed it until earlier in the year they livestreamed it. I happily sat on my sofa and watched every one. This season the short documentaries run for free on Saturday from 10am to midnight. If it’s raining I might be tempted to sit there all day — but you do need a ticket for access from the film festival site.
CS Lewis Festival programme has been launched for 22- 26 November with their urban market, all going well, is scheduled for 21 November in CS Lewis square. I do think they have sorted out how to run an open air market with the current regulations and there is plenty of room for people to circulate safely.
The festival will have a range of events for everyone to enjoy, Whether you plan to participate online or outdoors as part of a socially distanced audience, there’s something for everyone.— C.S Lewis Festival (@CSLewisFest) November 3, 2020
Check out our video below to see what’s on 🎟🎥 pic.twitter.com/8MBX2yHxxh
Interested in dance? There is a Catalyst Dance Festival online on 19 November showcasing high quality and exciting work of Northern Irish independent dance artists Gary Rowntree, Ayesha Mailey and Eileen McClory.
A little birdy also told me that the Out to Lunch Festival, which started in a tent in January (good idea to have it in January, not a good idea to have it in a tent) and brought a bit of sparkle to the January darkness will go ahead virtually this year.
However, all of the events will be timebound, ticketed and livestreamed from the Black box. Isn’t technology amazing?
Love and light. Bronagh