Flax Art Studios are based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. We support and promote emerging and established contemporary visual artists from Belfast and beyond, through studio provision.
We Provide Studio Spaces with 24 hour access for over 50 contemporary visual artists along with our workshop facilities including wood, plaster, casting, digital fabrication, textile, and large internal/eternal workspaces.
Flax Art Studios workshop is the only facility of its kind in Northern Ireland and we aim to make it accessible to all artists in Northern Ireland.
Flax Art Studios is now in itâ€™s 30th year and continues to aim to significantly contribute to the regionsâ€™ visual art practice through studio provision and resources and is the only studio dedicated to sculptural practice and provision in Northern Ireland. Flax acts as a hub for professional development, international networking opportunities; and fostering greater understanding through outreach and engagement activity.
At Flax Art Studios we run a variety of residencies supporting the arts in Northern Ireland, including a Graduate Residency, Curator Residency, Production Residency, International Residency, International Exchange, and soon to be launched Experimental Filmmaker Residency.
Flax Art was founded in 1989 by a group of recent graduates seeking space to make large-scale sculpture and installation artworks. Space was eventually found in Edenderry Industrial Estate, an old linen mill building situated on the Crumlin Road in North Belfast.
As the organisation developed the studios received funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council which allowed the organisation to continue a sustained growth by allowing artists to develop their practice and hold numerous exhibitions.
In June 2003 the building in which the studios where housed was destroyed by fire. Fortunately, this disaster, which completely destroyed the entire organisationâ€™s contents, including all facilities and artwork, was not the end for the organisation, rather it was taken as an opportunity to take stock and move on and develop further.
In 2004 Flaxart moved into new premises on Corporation Street in Belfast City Centre. Most of the original Flax Artists took spaces along with some new additions. An area of 1,320 square metres provides ample room to house an industrial scale workshop, 7 large studio spaces, 11 smaller studio spaces, international residency space and a communal fabrication area. A large mezzanine area accommodates the organisationâ€™s office and IT facilities.
In 2018 Flax Art Studios moved to Havelock House (57,000 sq ft) former home of UTV on the Ormeau Road, presently we provide space for over 50 artists. We also provide an industrial sculpture workshop, soundproof recording spaces and two former TV studio spaces.
In 2022 Flax moved its head quarters to 29 + 31-33 Bedford Street, two adjacent buildings in the Linen Quarter, Belfast City Centre.