If your ever pass Peas Park on the Skegioneil-Glandore Avenue area of North Belfast, you will be familiar with the gardens billboard which is often taken over by various commissioned artists.
There are several stories about who started the garden. Its website states: "How PeasPark started depends on who tells the story and there are many, but that doesn't matter much. It is a project shaped by many, young and old, with different intentions, interests and skills. And there are the chickens, a goose and a turkey."
I’m not quite sure if the turkey is still there but around ten local gardeners and families keep it going with a lot of volunteer time and it seems to have normalised social interactions in a space not previously known for tranquility.
It’s been a long time since there have been Twelfth bonfires on the site but the spot was always described in the past as lively — but not in a good way. What I like about it compared to many other community gardens in the city is that it’s always open.
Art School today @peasparkbelfast The sun shined for us. Every Tuesday 2-5ish Call in for a socially distanced coffee, cake, a tune or two and a catch up. What's not to love. #wemakeart #wemakemusic #wemakecake pic.twitter.com/zaa472MsDb— PeasPark (@peasparkbelfast) September 8, 2020
PSsquared Gallery has been connected to the garden since its inception and this week has facilitated Jennifer Mehigan, an artist based in Belfast with a Irish-Singaporean background, who has developed a series of sculptures, text and images on the site that “explore the grave and the cemetery as garden spaces under colonial rule in Ireland, contrasting it with English approaches to land ownership and garden design in the 17th and 18th centuries".
The outdoor exhibition stays in place until October 10. Jennifer's new exhibition 'Hardcore Vanilla Rain' will also take place between 28 January and 20 February 2021 in PSsquared Gallery.
Artisann Gallery on Bloomfield Avenue is showing Jackie Crooks' new paintings until October 31. Like most of the commercial galleries, you no longer need an appointment to get to see the selection of art on display.
Jackie shows a variety of still lives, equestrian and beach scenes.
The Golden Thread Gallery opened a solo exhibition by Dublin-based artist Thomas Brezing, curated by Sharon Murphy. The Gallery’s first post-lockdown show is a multi-disciplinary exhibition and was developed by the artist after the death of his mother and considers the nature of life itself.
The gallery also launches Put It To The People by Joy Gerrard which can be enjoyed this Thursday 8 October from 3-7pm. if you want to attend, email the gallery to book a one-hour slot. Joy painstakingly remakes media crowd images in Japanese ink such as those from Occupy, the Arab spring and anti- Trump protests.
The One World Festival has mostly moved online from 12 to 18 October with a virtual art workshop with Aly Harte, a shared virtual collaboration of music, art and dialogue between Northern Ireland and Zambia and a One world creative pack to download for families to do at home to encourage creativity while creating greater understanding of global issues. Other events that catch my eye are Do Black Lives Matter in Belfast? and Where is Belfast? a film that follows three people of colour as they navigate the complexities of a divided community in Belfast.
The Belfast International Festival 12 October–1 November has also shifted online and as a way of acknowledging the financial effect of Covid on the public, all events are free from talks, poetry, dance and discussions to live-streamed theatre. for details.