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.’
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).
Alana is a visual artist based in Belfast. Her paintings explore childhood and family relationships, inspired by nostalgia and Renaissance paintings.
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.
Amy Higgins has a BA Hons and Masters of Fine Art awarded by the Ulster University. Higgins received a distinction for her Masters degree wherein she developed ideas around Barbara Creed's Monstrous Feminine and Hannah Arendt's notions around the Human Condition.
Andrew Haire – Associate Member
Andrew Haire's work explores the traditional subject matter of landscape painting viewed within the context of our modern and ever increasingly digital society.
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 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.
Ashley B. Holmes
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.
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.
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.
Ciaran Harper – Associate Member
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".
Clare graduated with a first class BA in Fine Art from City & Guilds of London Art School in 2018. She previously received a first class MA in Social Anthropology from Goldsmiths College. During her Fine Art BA Clare was shortlisted for the David Ballardie Memorial Travel Award and the Artists Collecting Society Award and was selected to participate in The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, Decorative Surfaces Paint Technique Practical Workshops.
Born: Co.Tyrone. Studied: Ulster College of Art ( Foundation) 1971 -72; Canterbury College of Art 1972-75; Royal College of Art 1975-78. Exhibitions: Regular solo exhibitions in London, Dublin, Belfast and Liverpool. Included in many group exhibitions at home and abroad. Prize winner at The John Moores Liverpool Exhibition (1978). Major Award - Arts Council of N. Ireland (1981). Elected an Associate of the Royal Ulster Academy in 2006 and a full member in 2009.
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.
Dan paints figurative and representational works using multiple memories as starting points. They may be from own experience, or others, and they are fused together by the paintings.
Darcy Patterson completed their BA Hons Degree in Fine Art at the Belfast School of Art. She specialises in sculpture and installations, which are made using a variety of mediums and through augmenting found objects. Her work revolves around the theme of home and she aims to tap into the common mutual experiences of everyday life.
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.
Frédéric Huska is a French artist currently based in Northern Ireland. His practice incorporates photography, writing and film, to explore the multi-layered connections between the self, history and the changing urban space, itself predicated upon the all-pervasive logic of the neoliberal economy
Completed a practice based PhD in International Relations in 2022. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
“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
Jennifer Trouton RUA
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.
Jonathan Conlon (b.1998 Belfast) lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Graduated from Belfast School of Art in 2020 with a First-class BA in Fine Art.
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.
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...
Kate O’Neill is a Belfast-based artist who explores spatial structures and attempts to reconfigure the boundaries and classification of space. Kate has exhibited in Belfast (Golden Thread Gallery, PS2, Catalyst Arts Gallery), Croatia (Pop-Up, Zagreb) and Poland (ISDT, Katowice). Graduating from Belfast School of Art with a BA in Fine Art, specialising in Sculpture and Lens, Kate produces artworks through drawing, sculpture, and installation. Previously she studied traditional sculpture at the Academy of Fine Art in Zagreb, Croatia.
Kwok Tsui (b.1989, China) lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He graduated with a BA from Belfast School of Art in 2020. Kwok’s paintings are constructed from visual suggestions of belonging, home and borders. These paintings include recognisable but non-specific landscape elements, acting as echoes of remembered places, as well as collective expressions of loss and distance.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Niamh's practice centres around drawing, but also includes written prose, watercolours and super 8 video, which she would describe as expanded forms of drawing. Her practice reflects an interest in memory and temporality. Exploring the relationship between photography and drawing, a focus is placed on the embodied presence of gesture and materialisation through re-description of found and personal photographs.
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
Rachael Colhoun – Associate Member
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?”
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 with Commendation.
Rebecca Dawson (b. 1997) is an artist from Straid, currently based in Belfast.
Dawson graduated from the Belfast School of Art in 2020, receiving a First Class Honours in Fine Art, specialising in painting. She then went on to become the painting Graduate in Residence for the BA Fine Art course at Belfast School of Art (2020-21)
Reuben Brown (b.2001) is a queer sculptor and new media artist, specialising in 3D-CG (computer-generated) animation, interactive installation and performance, based in Belfast, N.Ireland.
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.
McKeown is interested in the combination of interior and exterior, intimacy and narrative. Primarily working with drawing and printmaking, she is happiest within the pages of a sketchbook.
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.
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).
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.
Tim Millen graduated with an MA in Fine Art from the University of Ulster (2011) having completed a BA Painting at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin (1999)
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.
Yasmine Robinson (b, 1994, N. Ireland), currently based in Belfast, lecturing in Fine Art Foundation Studies at Belfast School of Art.