Catherine McLaughlin participates in Féile an Phobail

As part of Féile an Phobail QSS artist Catherine McLaughlin is showing ‘In Memoriam’, a video installation and exhibition which explores concepts of memory, identity and a shared psychological terrain running throughout the city of Belfast. The exhibition takes place in St Mary’s University College Belfast, opening on Thursday 3rd August (7-9pm) and continuing until Friday 11th August.

‘This particular body of work is concerned with the invisible psychological landscape of memory which exists in the minds of all of those who have lived or passed through the streets of Belfast. Particular landscapes or the cultural heritage which we exist within can become a heavy, moulding force in our lives which we are unable to escape. The passage of life which we experience in our own individual spheres often cross over those of others around us in fantastically meaningful ways, without us ever being aware of our place in their narrative. This current body of work considers the memories of others as sacred relics, of moments in time which have been absorbed into the streets around us, creating a network of thought which exudes it’s own power over our psyche as we physically travel across sites which are of emotional significance to those around us.

A short online questionnaire gathered anonymous responses that explored how citizens in Belfast had formed connections and bonds to the places in which they live. The questions illicit short but intimate answers such as ‘Do you have a strong memory of a particular place in Belfast that you would like to share?’ or ‘Can you describe a place in and around Belfast where you have ever felt afraid or threatened? Why did you feel this way?.’ Each memory is treated with reverence, all stories and secrets shared are a gift, an offering to be treated with respect. The works consider the act of storytelling and the embroidering of an event while playing homage to the event itself, transforming it from the simple experience of an individual into a shared experience for the artist, audience and the anonymous original contributor. The collection of works come together and form a cacophony of voices and intimate narratives amidst a landscape of Belfast, a city of vibrancy growing upwards through a thorny history of conflict and bloodied streets.’

St Mary’s University College, 191 Falls Road, Belfast, BT12 6FE