R E S I D E N C Y
We have run a variety of residencies supporting the arts in Northern Ireland, including a Graduate Residency, Curator Residency, International Residency, International Exchange, and Filmmaker Residency.
FILM MAKER RESIDENCY
Responding to the unique setting in the former UTV Television Studios Flax Art Studios we established a residency supporting a film maker who would benefit from a studio space and access to our facilities.
Film Maker in Residence 2020/21
Laura Conlon is an artist from Belfast working in the medium of film, photography and installation art. Conlonâs practice is an exploration of narrative abstraction and cinematic temporality in relation to the uncanny and preternatural. Her work is conceptually underpinned by ideas surrounding death, ritual, landscape and folklore. Through a poetic, lyrical visual style she creates a space where the real and the spectral co-exist with normalcy.
The formal compositions and lighting sensibilities are informed by classical painting that when paired with the cinematic tableau, challenge conventional cinematic time and create a hybrid temporality where the past and present co-exist. The work blurs the boundaries between the real and the unreal, stasis and motion, presence and absence; consciously constructing a space to visualise this tension.
Conlon completed a B.A. Honours Degree in Fine Art at University of Ulster in 2004 and is currently completing her Masters in Film at Queens University Belfast. Her work has been exhibited by Catalyst Arts in Belfast and Context Gallery, Derry. SheÂ was recently commissioned by the BBC for broadcast to make a short film which since has been selected for Still Voices Film Festival 2020 and Wexford Documentary Film Festival 2020.
This years Graduate award winner, selected from the University of Ulster Masters of Fine Art exhibition.
Johanna Nultyâs work is primarily object-based, exploring sound from mass-produced materials and found objects. The main components in Nultyâs practice are sound, video, sculpture and installation. She explores through the subconscious movements and their possibilities to act as an interactive performer towards the camera. Everyday materials, arranged unexpectedly became triggers for unloading the subconscious mind. Amalgamating the different sounds, creating visual/Â audio videos and sound work.
Her practice includes recording, editing, storing, manipulating, messing up, borrowing and producing. Making the process of moving images an interesting effect on the work. Distorting and amalgamating the moving images gives it an unrecognisable visual. The mass-produced materials and found objects donât reveal their source and so then are not literal or illustrative of the source or action. From her sound recordings, fragments are taken apart and rearranged and are invested in the process. The process involves combining, fitting together, layering, detaching, including and building up each concurrent sound, so that an arrangement is made in which is realised in the composition.
FLAX RESIDENCY CURATOR
We provided free workspace for curators to use as a base as they develop their curatorial practice during our time in Havelock House (former UTV Television Studios).
They had the opportunity to work within and be part of our exciting new city centre studio space along with 50 contemporary visual artists. In return, we asked the curators to engage with our studio artists in curating a new programme of âTest Worksâ, In which artists and curators can utilise the building and our array of different spaces to test out new work ideas, screenings, performances, etc. This cumulated in one-off events open to the public, helping us further support and promote contemporary visual art in Northern Ireland.
Edy Fung is an interdisciplinary artist and curator based between Belfast and Derry. Prior to relocating in Northern Ireland, she completed her MA Architecture at the Royal College of Art with ADS4, studio unit specialising in speculative near-futures and alternative nows. Part of the Arts Council NI collection, her work has previously exhibited at Platform Arts, GoldenThread Gallery and CCA Derry~Londonderry in Northern Ireland, as well as in London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. She is the recipient of the 2019/20 ACES award.Â
During her directorship at Catalyst Arts 2017-19, she curated and produced a number of exhibitions and commissions with artists of various disciplines, such as Jez riley French, Matmos, SaĹĄa SpaÄal, David Shrigley, and Mark Peter Wright. Outside the gallery context, she was selected by Visual Artists Ireland to deliver âNew Spacesâ in 2018, an unprecedented six-month long urban art festival in Derry to showcase contemporary art in alternative sites. Interested in mediating object narratives and relations in different spatial typology, she sees curator as a role to generate new perspectives on the exhibiting artists, the current art discourses, and the wider cultural and socio-political landscape through expanding approaches over exhibition-making.
As Flax Art Studios curator in residence, she will focus on providing curatorial input on the artistic process and development through conversations and collaborations with studio members.
We provide free workspace for curators to use as a base as they develop their curatorial practice at our new home at Havelock House (former UTV Television Studios).
They will have the opportunity to work within and be part of our exciting new city centre studio space along with 50 contemporary visual artists. In return, we ask the curators to engage with our studio artists in curating a new programme of âTest Worksâ, In which artists and curators can utilise the building and our array of different spaces to test out new work ideas, screenings, performances, etc. This will cumulate in one-off events open to the public, helping us further support and promote contemporary visual art in Northern Ireland.
FLAX RESIDENCY CURATOR
Emma Brennan is a visual artist and curator between Dublin and Belfast. She graduated with a BA Hons in Fine Art Media from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2016. Curating and exhibiting in numerous group and solo shows during her time there, she has also participated in a number of live art festivals including Livestock and the Dublin Live art Festival, as well as curating the inaugural NCAD Live Graduate Performance Showcase in 2016.
At the core of her practice is an interest in how we as a society perceive and assign value. In particular, she is interested in questioning the relationship between producer and consumer. Honing in specifically on that relationship in terms of the artist and the viewer. The questions surrounding this relationship often manifest themselves in her work as performance-based or through video installation.
In 2018 she was awarded the role of the resident artist of the Draiocht, Blanchardstown where she is exhibited work in their PLATFORM exhibition series as well as interning as assistant curator to artist/curator Sharon Murphy. She has recently made work as part of Tallaght Community Arts 2018 Creative Campus Programme and in the Dublin Fringe Festival 2018. She is now based in Belfast fulfilling her role as a newly appointed Co-Director of Catalyst Arts.
FLAX INTERNATIONAL RESIDENCY
Ota (b. 1980) Tokyo, Japan
The theme of my works is âuntruthâ. As we know, the modern world is filled with information, and it also includes false information. They range from a simple fib to a vicious lie. Information has the power to influence the reality, and so we have to be cautious about its authenticity. I think that all expressions have a certain kind of untruth as a fiction, inside of them. False information will not be effected if it is not communicated to anyone. On the other hand, targets of communication exist everywhere.
In my execution, communicating information will be accomplished when I myself take actions against the world or release my works. By using untruth as a trigger to contact with the world and people, the truth that we canât usually easily touch can be glimpsed. And individual psychology or the structure of society that surrounds us would also dawn on us. And I also think that it can be a trigger that beholders re-realise and re-define things by stirring things up for the social values.
Selected exhibitions: 2018 "The ArtistsÂ´ Kalevala, ECHOES FROM THE PAST | TOKYO | BERLIN | KERAVA, Kerava Art Museum, Finland.Â 2018ă"Ongoing FES 2018" "Art Center Ongoing, Tokyo. 2017 âUniversal Nature -Rediscovery of Kalevala by 6 Contemporary Japanese Artist - "Â SEZON ART GALLERY, Tokyo 2016"Make a Kyougen" LAD GALLERY, Nagoya, 2017
FLAX INTERNATIONAL RESIDENCY
Suzuki (b. 1983) Saitama, Japan is currently enrolled in a PHD at Tokyo University of the Arts and is part of a visiting Student Programme at University of the Arts London from October to December in 2019.
In her work she aims to capture memories, resembling latent images that are concealed in ordinary, everyday objects and use photographic principles to make them visible.
She creates her works by applying photosensitive emulsion directly to things that have withstood the passage of time, using light and chemical reactions to physically fix traces of intimate memories onto physical objects. Not only portrait photographs but also objects that have had their own memories applied directly onto them in the form of a photograph, thereby transforming the image into something tactile. Through the act of looking at the referent, the photograph itself exists as a physical object, perhaps suspending the past and halting the subject's time in the present to become something that can be gazed upon.
Selected solo exhibitions: 2017 "Mirrors and Windowsâ (Omotesando Gallery, Tokyo); 2017 "Monologue of the Lightâ (rin art association, Gunma). Selected group exhibitions: 2018 "MOT Satelite 2018 FALL - To become a narrativeâ (Kiyosumi Shirakawa, Tokyo); "Photographs of Innocence and of Experience Contemporary Japanese Photography vol.14â (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo).
FLAX RESIDENCY CURATOR
Phillip McCrilly is a Belfast-based artist and curator. Interested in the transgressive and interdisciplinary possibilities of food, hospitality and education, his work explores the idea of threshold in often collaborative forms.
Recent food-based projects include Spiral Jetty Sauerkraut at CCA Derry~Londonderry, Dance Food at Project Arts Centre, Dublin, and Kombucha Bar at Catalyst Arts, Belfast. As a Co-Director at Catalyst Arts, Belfast (2013-15), and whilst at Golden Thread Gallery (2015-16) he curated a number of projects with artists such as Ericka Beckman, Amanda Beech, Duncan Campbell, Vivienne Dick, Simon Fujiwara, and Seamus Harahan. In 2015 he worked as part âAdventure Capitalâ Sean Lynchâs project at the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - the 56th International Art Exhibition.
He was the recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland's Career Enhancement Scheme for Curatorial Practice (2016-17), receiving mentorship from the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.