THIN PLACE – Bob Speers – Gallery 1

QSS is delighted to host THIN PLACE in Gallery 1, an exhibition by Bob Speers from 4th – 25th April 2024 

Opening event: Thursday 4th April, 6-8:30pm. No booking required, please see the ‘visitor information’ section of our website for further details on visiting the gallery  

Exhibition Dates: 4th – 25th April 2024 

General opening hours: Monday – Thursday, 10am-5pm.

THIN PLACE by Bob Speers

Peatlands exist in over 180 countries. They represent stores of carbon, and we often underestimate and underappreciate their crucial role in the fight against climate change. In Irish mythology, they also played an important role. The term ‘thin place’ referred to a location where the veil between the physical world and the mystical otherworld appeared permeable or ‘thin’, a mystical space where the boundaries between our tangible world and the unseen world could touch. Thin places were revered and afforded respect, but also feared because they were the places of the unknown. A thin place was, by its very nature, a place where there was no barrier between heaven and earth, and where an intersection between the earthly and spiritual realms existed. Today, peatlands are still considered to have this special significance and to offer an enigmatic connection between the worldly and the hallowed.

Bob Speers is an artist whose practice encompasses two disciplines: song writing/performing and fine art. He first exhibited in the Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition in the 1970s and his figurative work evolved from then into a land-based genre. By the 1980s, his paintings were challenging the idea of ‘progress’, drawing attention to the many forms of erosion that were increasingly affecting nature, landscape, and climate.

In the artist’s own words, “My art is currently informed by habitual wanderings through different levels of moor and bog. Interest lies in the human and weathering imprint, the subtle colours, lines and incisions on its skin. The paintings are usually on canvas, with my palette ranging from the use of regular oils and acrylics to household and commercial matte paint. In these particular paintings, I use a piece or sample of each individual bog. In essence, the bog named is to be found in the painting”.


Apr 04 - 25 2024


QSS Gallery 1
2nd Floor, The Arches Centre, 11-13 Bloomfield Ave, Belfast BT5 5AA

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