Gerard Carson's practice is concerned with the contingency of matter in the context of accelerated modes of technological production, ecological breakdown, and the indeterminate vectors of their effects/affects. By working via a speculative methodology, Carson’s works take the form of precarious assemblages comprised of bio-plastics and concrete, where computer modelling and 3D printers act as techno-symbiotic agents in the assemblage’s manifestation.
Queen Street Studios (QSS) was established in 1984 to facilitate a growing need for artist studio spaces in Northern Ireland. Since this time the studios have provided a vital system of support for professional artists based in Belfast.
QSS currently provides thirty seven subsidised studio spaces at the The Arches Centre for artists who work in various mediums and who are at different career stages (see below).
My Irish rural background acts as a starting point to examine ideas of space, place and history. Working with photographic imagery and found material references I employ strategies of gathering and reusing as a material process to examine and interpret ideas of landscape, experience and place.
Pauline Clancy was born in Co. Leitrim and studied BDes (Hons) Visual Communication at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin, 2006, before completing her MFA in Multidisciplinary Design (Graphic Design) at Ulster University, Belfast in 2013. She is currently a PhD researcher at Ulster University. Her work explores the materiality of language through typographic form and is primarily realised through the medium of screenprinting
Hannah Clegg graduated from Belfast School of Art in 2017, BA Hons Fine Art (Painting), receiving the Dean's List Award. Since then, her work has been shortlisted and exhibited in Dublin as part of the RDS Visual Art Awards (2017), has been included in a range of selected group shows within Belfast (2017-2018), and most recently a solo exhibition in Ards Arts Centre, Newtownards (2019).
The artist’s approach is abstract and non-representational, instead focussing on the emotional feeling created by place. The aim is to challenge how visual imagery is perceived, encourage audiences to ask “How does the image make me feel?” rather than simply “what is it meant to be?”
Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Platform Arts Belfast (2018), The Ashford Gallery, RHA, Dublin and QSS Belfast (2017), The Lab, Dublin and dlrLexicon, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin (2015).
Amanda is an internationally recognised and critically acclaimed artist working across the medias of live art, performance, sculpture and installation. The Irish Times have said, 'Coogan, whose work usually entails ritual, endurance and cultural iconography, is the leading practitioner of performance in the country'. Her extraordinary work is challenging, provocative and always visually stimulating. Using gesture and context she makes allegorical and poetic works that are multi-faceted, and challenge expected contexts. She is one of the most dynamic contemporary artists practising in live art.
Mary Cosgrove was born in Belfast and was first trained in painting and drawing by T.P. Flanagan RHA, RUA. She taught in government schools in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and Zambia for seven years, illustrating school material and government history courses while continuing to paint.
Ian Cumberland was born in Banbridge, Northern Ireland in 1983. He graduated from Ulster University in 2006, receiving a BA(Hons) in Fine and Applied Art. He works primarily with paint and installation.
The central tenet of my work lies in the duality of absence and presence and the ambiguity of empty space. I use clay, paint, plaster, wire, wood and paper to produce imagery and objects which explore this space.The works I produce as an artist are a response to the feelings and events I experience and my attempt to organise harmony and create some order out of dissonance; a space where only the essential remains and all other distraction quietened.’
My work is primarily about freedom, expressed through the medium of paint. My aim is to create a sensory experience through visual hyperbole. I use bright colours and rhythmic patterns to stir up the senses and draw attention to the vitality of nature.
Gerry Devlin's work operates in a space between formal abstract investigation and a psychologically charged visual enquiry. Essentially self referential, the paintings nonetheless incorporate both a contemplative and oblique visual narrative in deploying images of fragments, objects and motifs from the commonplace, to the personal, to the museum artefact. The paintings explore and reflect notions of individual and collective memories and histories without recourse to anatomical confines, infusing inanimate forms with a sense of human loss, fragility and resilience.
Donald's work deals with our understanding and interpretation of the past. History and memory are dismantled and recombined to form layers of meaning, opening a forum to examine the systems and boundaries of visual communication. This is investigated with particular reference to the means of collection, interpretation and dissemination of information; with an emphasis on human attempts at control and the areas where these can fail.
I undertake many commissions and portraits, and in my own personal work I have spent a lot of time exploring the mechanics of memory.From that I started looking at the notion of perception, and ‘fused horizons’, (how we all affect each other with our experiences and observations). These memories can be mine, or belong to others, and they seem to be channelled into a colour scheme that tries to displace the conventional sepia of nostalgia, and instead evoke a spectrum exploding timelessness. These are stoic, political, romantic, playful, and terrifying experiences, but they don’t tend to address an issue head on. There is often a difficult narrative that can obfuscate, mislead, and deny a reading, as much as it can invite one.
Drawing on over a decade of image-making and research on themes of protest and urban space, Irish artist Joy Gerrard archives and painstakingly remakes media-borne crowd images from around the world. Her crowds are viewed from above, suggesting the remove of media observation, while the fluidity and drama of their moment is expressed through precise, expressive mark-making. The large paintings allow a shift in scale, disrupting the photographic schema of the smaller drawings, thus allowing greater freedom from the original mediation of the image.
Angela Hackett completed a BA. Hons in Fine Art from the National College of Art & Design in Dublin in 1994 and an MA.Contemporary Visual Art at University College Falmouth in 2005. She is an associate member of the Royal Ulster Academy.
My paintings follow my investigation into the dual nature of human existence. I found that in making the paintings I was drawn to paint people and places where I have simply enjoyed being or have some form of comfort in and with. It is within these rooms and places where I begin to deconstruct the architecture, furniture and objects to rebuild an exploded version of what was there before...
Andrew Haire's work explores the traditional subject matter of landscape painting viewed within the context of our modern and ever increasingly digital society.
Harper's most recent art work is ethnic inspired, with his dissertation written on the theory of Diaspora and how this can be translated in Art. His mixed Irish and Caribbean roots play an important part in his background and images. Cultural theorist Stuart Hall declares that the "Western World" has the power to make us see and experience ourselves as "Other"; referring to the Caribbean as the home of "hybridity".
David Haughey is an artist living and working in Belfast. He graduated in 2001 from the BA (Hons) Fine Art course at Ulster University and began research toward a PhD at The Belfast School of Art in Autumn 2017. His practice-based research folds together installation practice and the image, with a particular focus on the temporality of the site of production and display.
Amy Higgins has a Fine Art honours degree as well as recently completing a two-year long Master’s degree, both awarded by the Ulster University. She received a distinction for her master’s degree in which she developed ideas around Barbara Creeds monstrous feminine, the sublime, the uncanny and Hannah Arendt’s notions around the human condition.
Ashley B. Holmes lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She studied fine art in the USA and obtained a BFA in Painting from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, and an MFA in Painting from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She also holds a Master of Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, UK.
I am a photographer. In photographing the city, I remap it intuitively and libidinally. I distort it. Places in the city are turned inward, into a mental space, into a projection of my own desires and deceptions. I do not speak of this city, of which I know very little, but speak from within the city. I am a tourist.
Kelly’s work gravitates around drawing and explores ideas of bodily interiority, emotional states, and the mind - body synergy. Her practice has taken the intersections between art, life, health and sport – in the recent past her work has taken a particular focus on the physical and psychological challenges of endurance running. Her present work deals with the potentially unsettling confrontation of the fragmented, broken body; issues of healing, perseverance and notions of liminality and transformation.
The topics of my works are poetic and philosophical and they tackle indirectly social/ issues. I create atmospheres to express feelings and thoughts having my lived experience as a starting point. Performance is a medium that I use because I perceive the body as a container and conveyor of body-mind intelligence where different strata of experience take place and unfold.
Rachel Lawell is a visual artist specialising in fine art painting, based in Belfast. In 2016, Lawell graduated form Belfast School of Art with a BA Honours Degree (2;1). Lawell went on to study a Master’s degree at Queens University Belfast in Film and Visual Studies (2017) where she graduated in with Commendation.
Naomi Litvack's artistic practice is concerned primarily with landscape; exploring layers of history, the concept of the monumental and human mark making through time.
The focus of McAleer’s paintings is primarily landscape; not the particularities of place, but rather the restless, shifting aspects of nature where cloud or water, land or sea transforms themselves atmospherically, one into another.
My work is landscape-based - carried out at a scale which reveals the inherent physical patterns underlying the apparently random nature of landscape composition; conferring the images with an abstract quality. At this level, it becomes evident that these minutiae are unique, complex, intriguing and worthy of closer attention.
McGreevy is the recipient of many awards including the Suki Tea Prize, a number of Arts Council of Ireland Bursary Awards, and Arts Council NI SIAP award. He has been shortlisted for prestigious art prizes such as The AIB Award and BOC Emerging Artist Award and has participated on artist residency programmes at Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Mayo
Her work is influenced by phenomena that move beyond the tangible - in particular the ephemeral nature of light, shadow and reflection. The unique qualities of glass, including its fragility, lend themselves to creating a narrative around these phenomena through sculptural objects, installation and photography.
McKeever's practice is process lead; through experimentation and rigorous editing she explores the possibilities of found industrial and domestic materials. Ockhams’s Razor, the principle of parsimony (“Plurality should not be posited without necessity”) informs her way of thinking. She integrates the fluxus idea of the simple gesture as part of the process of creating. Minimalist sensibilities are reinterpreted and a more organic, ornamental response is incorporated.
Michelle McKeown is a practising artist based in Belfast currently undertaking doctoral research in painting and feminist theory at Ulster University. Her recent practice operates at the intersection of painting and digital printing technologies.
My work stems from a research-led practice exploring the transformation of folk-art traditions as transient mediums into plastic arts.
Concentrating on the relationship of the figure in a man-made space, McKeown is concerned with how connections can be built. The characters, usually in solitude, sit waiting but not necessarily wanting for anything; recharging and calm in their own habitat. Responding to her own feelings of happiness in solidarity, the artist explores themes of life and what living entails, the doubt, the sacrifice, the belief, and the happiness.
Labour intensive craft processes such as weaving and sewing explore a self-reflexive subject, expanding an understanding of experience, drawing and tactility, through form and content.
“She has great flair and ability with paint, but always strives to second-guess herself, never settling for the lure of facile effects, always upping the ante.” Aidan Dunne, The Irish Times
Currently undertaking a PhD with practice at QUB, researching memorial forms. Previously a member of Backwater Artists Group Cork before relocating to Belfast and joining Queen Street Studios in 2003. Since then, her practice has centred on making, writing and curation of exhibitions locally and internationally.
Scott’s paintings are rooted in time and nature, often gravitating towards spiritual or metaphysical responses to landscape. Growing up surrounded by the silent bogs, lakes and halted railway lines below Mount Errigal in Co. Donegal; he combines fragments of memory, natural elements and human impulse as as a means to reconstruct time. Scott values the tactile nature of oil paint as one that parallels the experience of nature, utilising painting as an excavation process to uproot and uncover imagery.
Through my work I attempt to question and explore my place in the world from a social and political point of view by creating performative interventions that take place in a defined space. I am interested in building environments and creating situations that induce a specific emotional state in the audience by prompting it to observe, question and participate.
My work is influenced by the connected notion of a ‘self’ in transition and the challenges of identity as well as the nature of belonging, identity and place. I am interested in my relationship with the space in which I find myself; how my natural and cultural environment shapes my sense of self and place.
Jennifer Trouton is a figurative painter who deliberately uses the tools and materials of the past to subtly express ideas around gender, class and identity within Irish history; combining an interest in the mythological, the historical and personal narrative with meticulous technique and aesthetic appeal.
The focus of my work is not stuck within a specific theme, but rather using photography and film as a tool to explore people and places. Creating photographs, which together encapsulate a sense of visual poetry.