FED up with Quality Street for breakfast and lamenting their change of look to their recycable packaging, we are locked in the twilight world between Christmas and New Year where many of us lose track of what day it is and what we are supposed to do next. It's a good time to have a look at what to look forward to in our cultural calendars.
The Seamus Heaney Home Place in Bellaghy has a varied offering, including acclaimed writer Ian McEwan, who has been nominated for the Booker Prize six times, as well as an evening with Irvine Welsh, whose first novel was Trainspotting. Many of his books have been adapted for stage and screen, such as Filth (which you can see currently on Amazon Prime) about a Scottish detective's spiralling problem with drink and drugs.So I'm sure he has many a tale to tell.
The Out to Lunch Festival started in a tent in Writers' Square and graduated to indoor venues, bringing some much-needed light and entertainment and slightly more heat to those January days – and not just at lunchtime either. NI Opera at Lunch is sold out but if you think ska and a sandwich is the perfect match, The Scallions is the gig for you. There is also comedy, dance, film and a lot of music – so why not dance like no-one is watching?
Visual arts are always the free option and there is till time to see the final days of the Royal Ulster Academy Exhibition at the Ulster Museum, which finishes on January 3. There might be a few more red dots around the space signifying pieces are sold, but it's the last opportunity to see all of the year's selections. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm.
If I found 28 grand down back of sofa, would go for this magnificent Hector McDonnell painting. Perhaps he would sell me just the poster insert of @GerryAdamsSF at mates’ rates. 🙌🙌👏🎨🎨 pic.twitter.com/dEDKjawMa8— Máirtín Ó Muilleoir (@newbelfast) December 8, 2022
Take any excuse to visit the new Ulster University campus on York Street and wonder into the art unwrapped exhibition in The gallery. For a number of years art unwrapped has been giving the city of Belfast the gift of visual art in partnership with National Museum of NI This year two women artists work will be seen together for the first time – Catherine McWilliams, a contemporary Belfast painter, and Margaret Clarke, who lived between 1888 and 1961. Students will be giving tours and invigilating the work.
Take any excuse to visit the new Ulster University campus on York Street and wonder into the Art Unwrapped exhibition in the gallery. For a number of years Art Unwrapped has been giving the city of Belfast the gift of visual art in partnership with National Museums of NI This year two women artists' work will be seen together for the first time – Catherine McWilliams, a contemporary Belfast painte, and Margaret Clarke who lived between 1888 and 1961. Students will be giving tours and invigilating the work.The pieces are normally in the collections of National Museums, the Irish News and Newry and Mourne Museum. They are beautifully presented and give an opportunity for quiet contemplation – and maybe that's just what you need at this time of year. Open until January 5.
While you're in the area call in to see the new exhibition at The Mac celebrating 10 Years of Painting exhibitions and the unique relationship they have with Belfast School of Art (which is next door). Bring the kids, if you have any, and use the imagination stations to stir their interest, or visit the upstairs drawing room with materials and space to make art. 10 years of Painting shows at The MAC until March 26, open Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 5pm.