A CREATIVE collaboration between North Belfast-based artists and members of the community has gone on display at the Ulster University’s Belfast School of Art on York Street to celebrate the links between the college and locals.
Painting, embroidery and photography projects were all carried out by groups including Mind-Wise, Windsor Women’s Centre, Twaddell and Woodvale Residents’ Association and the 174 Trust Disability Group and After Schools Club.
All the projects were delivered at North Belfast’s Duncairn Centre for Culture and Arts or were facilitated by resident artists Rachel Lister, Chloe Dougan, Aisling Kane and Jonathan Hodge.
Jonathan said everyone was thrilled to see their work displayed at the college.
“I would like to thank all the people and all the groups who participated in the projects,” he said. “The range of groups and people who have participated demonstrates the reach and impact that the arts can have in communities.
“The projects engaged with people of all ages and abilities and the exhibition recognised the quality of the work produced, some by participants who have may have been trying a particular medium for the first time.
“The projects also highlight the versatility of the artists based at Duncairn Centre for Culture and Arts in how they work with different groups from different backgrounds.”
Debbie Fraser from Ulster University’s Belfast School of Art said they were happy to lend their support.
"The one common element is that those leading and facilitating the learning are all graduates from the Belfast School of Art. Historically our graduates have always shown a strong interest in using their skills for the benefit of others and to engage in debates and conversations beyond the confines of the university in order for the participants to build self-confidence and enhance capacity to engage in the arts. We are delighted to have the outcome of such a diverse range of projects at Belfast School of Art.”
Dr Duncan Morrow, UU Director of Community Engagement, said: “I am pretty hopeful that this will become much more mainstream in what the university does. Everyone knows about teaching and doing research and writing but universities are also there to make a contribution to the wider community so that there’s an opportunity for everybody to have something at the university. The opportunity for our students and staff to work and collaborate with the community is of huge benefit for us. It’s not a one way street. We are very committed that the students that come out of Ulster University are students that are aware that they’re not just here in an ivory tower but they are trained to make a contribution to wider society.
“So the university is all about trying to foster creativity and look here at what happens when you get a collaboration. This is stunning.”