EVENTS

For Threshold Gallery in October, artists Johanna Leech and Stuart Calvin bring lost local cultural landmarks back to life - recreating the grandeur and spectacle these buildings once embodied, and the light they poured onto Belfast’s streets. Their installation uses light and archival footage to create an immersive exploration of Belfast’s forgotten theatres and cinemas.

Exhibition opening and drinks Thursday 5 October 6-9pm, Late Night Art Belfast

North Street was once one of the most illuminated streets in Belfast, and Leech and Calvin’s exhibition is only a few buildings away from the former site of the Alhambra Theatre (1871-1960s), a music-theatre-turned-picture-palace that was once the crown jewel of Belfast’s entertainment scene. The glamour has now changed to gloom, with only a handful of shops still trading on North Street.

The exhibition includes rare footage of The Alhambra Theatre when it was a luxury restaurant in the 1960s, along with footage of other lost Belfast cinemas, woven together with a soundtrack of music and memories from these storied venues.

For art lovers and history buffs alike in Belfast, Leech and Calvin’s installation is an unmissable opportunity to revisit the city’s cultural past. By turns whimsical and poignant, this one-of-a-kind immersive experience will transport you back in time and give you a glimpse into the golden age of Belfast’s theatre & cinema scene.

Archive footage is supplied by Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive supported by the Department for Communities. The artists thank Jen Alexander, Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell, Martin Boyle, Rich Davis, Flax Arts Studios, Strand Arts Centre, Belfast Entries website and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Johanna Leech has a BA Hons in Fine and Applied Art (2007), University of Ulster. Using her collections of stories and objects to create drawings, photographs and installations she draws the viewer to see the commonplace afresh. In addition to her own practice, Leech often works collaboratively with artists such as Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell (UK/IRE), Stuart Calvin (UK/IRE) and Matthew Slaats (USA).

Stuart Calvin has an MFA (2016) from the University of Ulster. He was awarded a bursary from The Royal Society of British Sculptors and was the first recipient of the Annual Gerard Dillon Award.

Exhibition opening and drinks Thursday 5 October 6-9pm, Late Night Art Belfast
October days open - Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday
10am-4pm

5 North Street
Belfast
BT1 1NA


September at Threshold - Aoife Ward and Sorcha McNamara

Threshold is pleased to welcome Dublin-based visual artists Aoife Ward and Sorcha McNamara.

Ward and McNamara will be active in the gallery windows, collecting materials and getting to know our city better. The artists have embraced the theme of Threshold as a place to experiment and develop their modes of exhibition – working together in a new space, in a new city, their time onsite at Threshold will act as a testing ground for a further exhibition at Platform Arts later this year.

They will be in the windows from the 11th - 15th creating their installation, using the Freecycle website to populate it.
Stop by to see how this 'mini residency' unfolds and make them welcome.

Artists onsite/in-situ 11 – 15 September,
Exhibition dates 11 - 29 September 2023
Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday
10am-4pm

5 North Street
Belfast
BT1 1N

Aoife Ward is a kind-hearted girl living and working in Dublin, Ireland. She is a sculptor, making work out of whatever tickles her fancy. Through her work, she spends her time questioning her time spent, isolating and paying special attention to moments of idleness, of boredom and “waste”.

Sorcha McNamara is a visual artist living and working in Mayo, Ireland. Her practice explores the transgressive possibilities of painting, specifically looking to dismantle how painting is framed, structured and positioned in any given space.
Together, for Threshold and then for Platform Arts, they will be exploring burnout, laziness, ennui and effort.


Threshold presents Rainbow Refugees NI

Threshold Gallery Belfast is proud to be showcasing the work of Rainbow Refugees NI. As part of Flax Art Studios’ ongoing work with this organisation, we have given our windows to further their message NO ONE IS ILLEGAL.

While the parade may be over, the fight for equality and justice never ends. Alongside Rainbow Refugees NI, Threshold Gallery advocates for joyful pride, respect, and safety for its members, and the continued campaigning for this important work.

Exhibition dates 3 – 25 August
Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday
10am-4pm

5 North Street
Belfast
BT1 1NA

Rainbow Refugees NI is a volunteer group that celebrates LGBTQIA+ people seeking sanctuary in Northern Ireland. The group holds monthly confidential social events, fosters mutual support between members and provides referrals to appropriate services.

Rainbow Refugees NI campaigns for the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ refugees and asylum seekers within the queer community in NI and seek to highlight their experiences as refugees. Our demands are twofold:

Safe Routes - The UK and Irish governments must introduce safe routes for LGBTQIA people to seek sanctuary.

Safe Housing - Home Office, Mears and Migrant Help are failing in their duty to safeguard people from risk and harm. Queer asylum seekers must be provided with safe accommodation from day one.
Rainbow Refugees NI (RRNI) has just celebrated its first birthday, won two Belfast Pride Awards, and marched again for Belfast Pride 2023 with a larger and even more colourful Parade entry.


July at Threshold - Matthew Wilson and Katharine Paisley

Threshold presents a dual exhibition featuring two artists whose work explores how the rural landscape has shaped their lives and identities. Returning as adults and challenged by their new understanding of ‘home’, this exhibition invites viewers to contemplate the influence of culture and place, and their deeply personal stories.

Matthew Wilson will create a sculptural installation - mapping place, landscape, and people across time, exploring familiar and new processes over the course of the exhibition. Drawing on the materiality of Wilson’s farm homeland, the installation renders rural domestic space in the city centre.

Katharine Paisley’s current work explores grief, rural communities, and small family farms. Filmed documentation of a performance to camera, ‘Uprooted’ explores the loss of identity experienced in the wake of a death. It marks a change within her practice as the first time Paisley has worked through a personal experience.

Exhibition opens this Thursday 6 July, 6pm - 9pm #latenightartbelfast #LNAB

Exhibition dates 6-28 July 2023
Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday
10am-4pm

5 North Street
Belfast
BT1 1NA

Wilson, a Mid-Ulster-based artist, graduated from Belfast School of Art, where he was appointed Artist in Residence, 2020-2021. He has exhibited locally and internationally and has worked on commissioned projects for Ulster University and Queens University, and community-based projects.

Paisley is a Belfast-based artist from Co. Tyrone. She has a BFA Hons, University of Central Lancashire, 2018. She completed a British Council Venice Research Fellowship in 2022 and was a Flax Emerging Artist committee member. Her work has been shown in group and solo shows locally and nationally.


Threshold presents Una Walker’s latest body of work, 'Under the Flight Path'.

This multimedia interactive installation, made up of works developed over 2020-2023, reflects Walker’s obsession with tracking flights overhead while she walks in the local area.

Inspired by the visual and aural evidence of flights, and the flora and fauna of Northern Ireland, Walker's works explore the complexity of our human relationship with technology, nature, and the environment.
Join us at Threshold gallery Belfast to immerse yourself in 'Under the Flight Path'.

Exhibition open from Tuesday 30 May
Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday
10am-4pm
5 North Street
Belfast
BT1 1NA

Una Walker is an artist and writer who has exhibited extensively in Ireland and internationally, making installations, audio/video works, and works on paper. Walker has created site-specific installations at Dublin Airport, Bangor Cathedral, Wales, military fortifications in Ireland, Scotland and Finland, and a derelict garment factory in Poland. From 2008-2015 she was a Research Fellow at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and has published widely on design history in Ireland.


Threshold presents Amar Chekchak
22-26 May - Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday, 10am-4pm

Amar Chekchak presents a series of large-scale drawings that reference Inishmurray off the west coast of Donegal. Each one depicts a time in the history of the island - its use by humanity, animal, and nature.

Chekchak is a Belfast based artist from Algeria, trained at Ulster University in Architecture. He is one half of the collaboration ‘Gesture Artier’ with Keelan Brown. His work is currently looking at the uses of space - how adaptation, environment, and motive shape our living world.

Threshold is a street-view gallery space in the two window displays. Curated by Jennifer Alexander, it invites artists to explore presenting their work in an evolving way and offers audiences a changing site of encounter.

Threshold is an opportunity to respond to the uniqueness of this space - Belfast’s smallest and newest gallery, with its large window displays in the oldest part of the city.

Jennifer Alexander is an independent curator working in Northern Ireland. She is concerned with creating exhibitions that provoke notions of process.


Threshold presents Chloe Austin
Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday, 10am-4pm

Experience Austin’s bodily encounters with text. With an emphasis on typography and queering language, Austin is creating a body of work that develops through processes of gesture and repetition.

Chloe Austin is the first of two artists presenting work at Threshold in May, creating a dialogue between changing exhibitions across the month.

Originally from Kinsale, Chloe moved to Belfast in 2018 to study an MFA at Belfast School of Art. She is a co-founder of Re-Vision Performing Arts Festival and is currently doing a PhD at Ulster University.


Threshold presents Stuart Calvin

Opening event – Late Night Art Thurs 6 April, 6pm-8pm
7 North Street, Belfast, BT1 1NA

The exhibition is a celebration of the power of imagination and a reminder that we each have the power to shape our reality. Calvin aims to create a changing space of reflection, contemplation, discovery, exploration, creative expression and transformation. He brings attention to the concept of spiritual magic and its transformative power, inspiring viewers to consider how imagination can be used to bring about positive change.

Calvin has been looking at the work of George William Russell (1867-1935, also known as Æ), in particular 'The Candle of Vision', which describes Russell's luminous excursions into the otherworld.

‘We are indeed most miserable when we dream we have no power over circumstance, and I account it the highest wisdom to know this of the living universe that there is no destiny in it other than that we make for ourselves.’ [George William Russell Æ]

Stuart Calvin has an MFA (2016) from the University of Ulster. He was awarded a bursary from The Royal Society of British Sculptors and was the first recipient of the Annual Gerard Dillon Award.


Magnetic is a new network of 8 visual artists' residencies in France and in the United Kingdom created under the umbrella of Fluxus Arts Projects.

Magnetic is a joint Franco-UK initiative that brings together eight venues to create a new programme of artists’ residencies : four in France – CAPC in Bordeaux, CRAC Occitanie in Sète, FRAC Grand Large in Dunkerque, Villa Arson in Nice, and four in the United Kingdom –Grizedale Arts in England, Flax Art Studios in Northern Ireland, Cove Park in Scotland and Aberystwyth Arts Centre in Wales.

The programme has been designed to foster artistic development through exchange and to enhance sustainable cooperation between the UK and French visual arts scenes in the longer term. It will gradually build an expanding network of partner institutions with shared commitments and values.

Eight artists have been selected for residencies of 2 to 3 months across the network of eight institutions, in France and the four nations of the United Kingdom. Societal and environmental issues will be at the heart of this programme, the residencies will be situated, with the selected artists expected to work in resonance with each specific context –geographical or historical, societal, artistic etc.

Magnetic is a new collaboration conceived by the the Institut français du Royaume-Uni and the four UK arts funding agencies, produced under the umbrella of Fluxus Arts Projects, a charity founded and run by the Institut and supported by French and UK institutions and private donors. Over the past twelve years, Fluxus Art Projects has become a marker of notoriety for artists and venues, supporting exhibitions and curatorial research in France and in the United Kingdom.

Flax Art Studios - Azzedine Saleck

Azzedine Saleck was selected for Flax Art Studios, he is an artist based in Paris who works in sculpture, installation, video and poetry. His residency will take place with us from 8th November through to the 8th January 2023, he aims to create a body of work through sculpture, film and publication of a subjective overview of how it is to be living next to man-made borders. He will also lead community workshops.

Azzedine Saleck is a poet and an artist currently living between Paris and Nouakchott. Of Mauritanian and American descent, raised in Mauritania and France, Azzedine Saleck captures the complexity of fragmented cultural influences at the intersection between language and form. His practice involves language-based sculptures, and the design of spaces that create intimacy and affective responses. Dislocating references (Litany, 2016), Saleck's recreation of fictional spaces and habitat (She said what he said was what she said, 2017) refer to and induce ritualistic behavior. These resulting situations capture and trigger
transformational moments of awareness. They act as testimonies of moments of subjective and collective histories.

Saleck has exhibited at the Gulbenkian Foundation, Paris, and the Confort Moderne, Poitiers, Southard Reid gallery in London, High Art gallery in Paris, and the artist run space Treize in Paris, Villa Arson in Nice, Palais de Tokyo and Centre Pompidou inParis. His work is published in Talismans, The desert between us is only Sand, Gulbenkian
Foundation, 2018, Year, Komplot, 2016, Alter Zombie, TBA, 2015.
Flax looks forward to working with the French visiting artists and to partnering with the other organisations.


Mediating Signals

Flax Art Studios, Havelock house, Ormeau Road, BT7 1EB

29/6-10/7/2021

Julie Louise Bacon | Martin Boyle | Peter Glasgow | Helena Hamilton | Michael Hanna | Una Walker
Curated by Edy Fung

Flax Art Studios welcomes you to 2045, the world after technological singularity is reached. We are giving our human and non-human audiences a retrospective of the evolution of interpretants in art exhibitions. We are looking back at the time prior to the proliferation of quantum computers and brain–computer interfaces — when machines could not read our gestures, penetrate our minds and express ideas for us. How did we convey our messages? How was information transmitted?

This is an offline exhibition, showcasing works of Belfast-related artists on the rare occasion of the physical world in the previous UTV production studios, the setting of pre-internet mass media broadcasting.

Mediating Signals is in two parts: Tracing Algo-rhythm and Assigning Ambiguity, respectively running from 29 June to 3 July and from 6 to 10 July 2021.


Tracing Algo-rhythm

Julie Louise Bacon | Helena Hamilton | Una Walker

Exhibition runs | Tuesday 29th June to Saturday 3rd July 12-5pm |

Reception 1/7/2021 6-8pm (Belfast Late Night Art)

Flax Art Studios, Havelock house, Ormeau Road, BT7 1EB

“Tracing Algo-rhythm” reflects on the speed and accuracy of machine application since the digital age. Showcasing works by Julie Louise Bacon, Helena Hamilton and Una Walker, the exhibition demonstrates scenarios of the digital trying to understand the physical, how our artificial allies have worked their ways to perfecting its reading upon characteristics and necessities of humanity. Underneath the visual and sonic signals surrounding satellites, database, 3D scanners in this exhibition, the exhibition enables us to imagine and feel information travelling through various times, geographical distances and scales.


Assigning Ambiguity

Martin Boyle | Peter Glasgow | Michael Hanna

Exhibition runs | Tuesday 6th July to Saturday 10th July 12-5pm |

Flax Art Studios, Havelock house, Ormeau Road, BT7 1EB

Before machines fill in where mankind falls short, what are the values of human flaws and limits in communication? To what degree can we embrace our misinterpretation, misguidance, and misuse between individuals, societies and culture? In the second of the serial exhibition Mediating Signals, “Assigning Ambiguity” will address the play of connotations, metaphors and understatements in the inception, process and product of meaning formation. Exhibiting works by Martin Boyle, Peter Glasgow and Michael Hanna, the show explores language expression, rhetoric and improvisation, endorses mistake-making, and celebrates gaps in representations and interpretations of meaning.


December 2020

The Occasional Man

Flax Art Studios, Havelock house, Ormeau Road, BT7 1EB

The Occasional Man is an immersive film installation following the protagonist 'Duncan', a recently retired Glaswegian embarking on a failed attempt to become an actor. The audience will be guided through scenes from his disillusioned life, across several rooms of the former UTV Studios at Havelock House.

The piece is a collaborative effort from Sighle Bhreathnach-Cashell (Belfast) and Richard Martin (Glasgow).

This project has been made in partnership with Flax Art Studios and Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive.


A Conversation During Lockdown

Flax Curator in Residence Edy Fung with Flax studio artist Shiro Masuyama

To a lot of us, 2020 had been a big year to look forward to. I had the pleasure to chat on Skype with Shiro Masuyama during lockdown, who as we all know introduced himself as the ‘only Japanese artist in Northern Ireland’ in a hyperbolic tone. Masuyama has been preparing an incredibly meaningful work with Alaskan farmers related to muskox and the Inuit tribe since last Autumn for inclusion in the Sapporo International Art Festival 2020, which is now cancelled unfortunately due to the pandemic. The artist would not have known at the time he created “​Tokyo Landscape 2020​” that it was going to have a greater symbolic aftermath than he initially thought.

One can see the influence of architectural thinking in Masuyama’s practice, which demonstrates a great consideration on how all of us are participating in society in a certain way, and on what role his art is taking to catalyse transformation to these social conditions. Previously, he has also realised "​Tama River Project​", Public Art at Tama River, Tokyo, 1996; "​Love Bench Project​”, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2006; “​Parky Party​”, MAK - Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, Vienna, Austria, 2006;​ “​New-style Bar 'All Alone’​”, Sendai, Japan, 2004, all of which are works that incorporated levels of social engagement. As I asked the artist how this pandemic would change the way the industry approaches social engagement art, he mentioned that these works of his can be presented again as they are already really fit for the purpose of social distancing under the current context. In his opinion, the most important skills an artist should have when working with communities (including indigenous peoples for ethnographic related work) is to respect their tradition, culture, society and to treat people with a modest attitude. He believes this respectful disposition will also reflect on your behaviour and communication with people.

‘What do you do when you crave Japanese food, living in Belfast?’ I also asked. He makes his own cuisine after he collects ingredients in Asian supermarkets. ‘But I really miss Ramen noodles sometimes as there are no good Ramen noodle restaurants in the island of Ireland.’
This is what I thought too, Shiro!



Gail Prentice, Director of Flax Art Studios discusses our new Sculpture Workshop and studio provision in Northern Ireland in Visual Artists Ireland sculpture-themed March/April issue 2020


Curators in conversation

Edy Fung with Julie Louise Bacon

| Thursday 19th March 2020 | 5pm
Green Room, Flax Art Studios, Havelock house, Ormeau Road, BT7 1EB

Julie Louise Bacon, Artspace Sydney 2017, image courtesy of the artist.

Join us at Flax Art Studios next Thursday 19th March for a conversation between Flax curator Edy Fung and Arts Catalyst associate curator Julie Louise Bacon. The conversation will explore the role of digital technologies in shaping our experience of time and constructing impressions of the past and future. The event takes place in the context of Julie's current curatorial residency at Arts Catalyst and her broader work on The Habitat of Time research project.

Dr. Julie Louise Bacon is an artist, curator and writer. Her research explores the relationships between social, physical and mental life, as they are shaped through time and the interaction of technology and culture. She leads the international research project The Habitat of Time (2018-2021), in its fifth iteration at Arts Catalyst where she is associate curator. In addition to presenting performances and installations in festivals and galleries worldwide, she has curated large-scale events investigating the layered time of archives, media, histories and sites: Tone- A Meeting of Sound and Light 2014 , Signal-Art and Network Technologies 2012, and Per-forming the Archive 2007-8. Bacon has held executive, directorship and curatorial posts in art centres in England, Northern Ireland and Québec and acted as an advisor and consultant for organisations including European Capital of Culture Leeuwarden 2018, and the Arts Councils of Northern Ireland and Québec. She has published widely on contemporary art and cultural theory and is based in Sydney, where she is a Lecturer at UNSW Art & Design and a researcher at the National Institute for Experimental Arts.

This curators-in-conversation event is a prelude to the upcoming programme 'Curating Signals' - a dual exhibition to test speculative subjects with Flax studio artists.


Exhibition Launch

Our two international residents from Japan, Nozomi Suzuki and Yuji Ota will be showcasing work made while on their residency with Flax

| Thursday 27th February 2020 | 6-8pm
Flax Art Studios, Havelock house, Ormeau Road, BT7 1EB

Nozomi Suzuki

Light of Other Days - ‘The Rings of Saturn - An English Pilgrimage’

Nozomi Suzuki (b. 1983) our international resident artist from Japan, is currently enrolled in a PHD at Tokyo University of the Art and has spent the last year in the UK thanks to a grant from the POLA Art Foundation for overseas research. She completed the Visiting Student Programme at University of the Arts London from October to December in 2019 before returning for the second part of her research residency at Flax Art Studios. Selected solo exhibitions: 2017 "Mirrors and Windows” (Omotesando Gallery, Tokyo); 2017 "Monologue of the Light” (rin art association, Gunma, Japan). Selected group exhibitions: 2018 "MOT Satellite 2018 FALL - To become a narrative” (Kiyosumi Shirakawa, Tokyo); 2017 "Photographs of Innocence and of Experience Contemporary Japanese Photography vol.14” (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo)

Suzuki’s work is predominantly research and object based, she uses photography to visualise the memory of traces of concealed light in daily life. In her work she aims to capture memories that are concealed in ordinary, everyday objects and use photographic principles attempting to make them visible. She creates 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.

In this exhibition, Suzuki attempts to visualise memories of objects which relate to vernacular culture in the UK. During her year in the UK she has researched the history of the things that she encountered on her journeys. In particular, she selected objects that have evolved with the invention of photography and from that have expanded human vision.
The exhibition’s title ‘Light of Other Days’ is borrowed from a novel written by Bob Shaw in 1966. Shaw a science fiction novelist from Belfast uses the idea of "slow glass" which traces the light of the past with delay.

‘The Rings of Saturn’ is borrowed from a novel by the German writer W. G. Sebald written in East England where he spent his later years. He describes the places he saw and the people he encountered, and discussed various episodes of history and literature on European imperialism with repeated derailments and associations. Suzuki references these contexts in her work.


Yuji Ota

Geopolitics of The Rabbit and The Hare

Yuji Ota (b. 1980) Japan is our current international resident artist.
He is a a visual artist based in Tokyo with an MFA from Tokyo University of the Arts. Ota’s work is predominantly object and video based. Selected exhibitions: 2018 "The Artists´ Kalevala, ECHOES FROM THE PAST | TOKYO | BERLIN | KERAVA, Kerava Art Museum, Finland, 2018 "Ongoing FES 2018" "Art Center Ongoing, Tokyo. 2017 ”Universal Nature -Rediscovery of Kalevala by 6 Contemporary Japanese Artist - " SEZON ART GALLERY, Tokyo 2016"Make a Kyougen" LAD GALLERY, Nagoya, 2017. "The Latest Work by Jackson Pollock” (AIKOKO Gallery, Tokyo)

Ota explores the theme of “untruth” or false information in his work. Ranging from a simple fib to a vicious lie, false Information has the power to influence our perception of reality, and so we have to be cautious about its authenticity. He holds an idea that all communication contains a kind of untruth in the form of fiction. By using untruth as a trigger to connect with people and the world, he searches for moments to reveal what can’t easily be seen.

He sees the potential of art as a trigger to stir things up to re-realise and re-define social values. He takes actions against the world by releasing his works and challenging the structure of society.

During Ota’s first part of his residency with Flax in 2019 he learned about the current state of the place and the people's lives, about the long history of religious and political conflict, as an outsider he grappled with the complex situation he found himself in.

During his research, he became interested in the differences between rabbits and hares on the Island of Ireland. Hares are native to the island of Ireland, and rabbits are said to have been brought to the island of Ireland by Normans in the 12-13th century. Hares appear frequently in Irish folk tales, but rabbits do not. The two species co-exist, but do not cross-bred. Ota has made work influenced by this research.


Edy Fung + Mark Buckeridge

Q + A

‘I don’t particularly like ‘real life’ social situations so I produce situations in the field of art that I find interesting.’

Flax Artist Mark Buckeridge on his upcoming exhibition 'Garage Song' with curator in residence Edy Fung.

10.02.2020

Edy Fung: So excited to be in your studio to find out all the preparation going on for your next show, ​Garage Song​ at Scaffold Project Space on the 13-16 February 2020.
What should we ​expect​?

Mark Buckeridge: You can expect to see a three-piece band performing in the context of a suburban garage adjacent to a series of houses in North Belfast. The group will be surrounded by a set that I have designed and made including painting, posters and sculpture.

EF: The venue is a space renovated from a former garage. What is the role of architecture / spatial environment in your work?

MB: I often respond to buildings as they have a certain history and a perceived expectation of what the space should function as socially. I like to disrupt these expectations by placing artworks and performances that play with these architectural features.

EF: Why do social situations interest you, and how do we see those influences through the medium you use?

MB: I don’t particularly like ‘real life’ social situations so I produce situations in the field of art that I find interesting. Different mediums affect the audience in different ways, the viewer cannot encounter a medium without thinking of their own relationship with the medium itself and will often project their own experience and meaning onto this. I play with this when I make artistic situations.

EF: Give me 3 words that describe the process of your artistic production.

MB: 1, 2, 3

EF: You drink tea, you meditate and you talk about Yin and Yang. What does the word ritual mean to your art?

MB: Rituals are just a series of exercises I often use to situated myself in a place of not thinking.

EF: You've moved to Belfast after finishing your MFA at Sandberg Instituut. What hopes do you have about life and the artist community here in this city?

MB: Learn and share interesting conversations with people that exist in Belfast. Develop a small vegetable patch and continue making things.


F R A C A S | Sound Installation

Exhibition Launch | Thursday 23rd January 2020 | 6-8pm

Flax Art Studios, Havelock house, Ormeau Road, BT7 1EB

Flax Art Studios is delighted to host an exhibition featuring the work of recent graduate award winner Johanna Nulty. This pop up show is a presentation of new sound work developed by Nulty during her time at Flax Art Studios. Curated by Flax Curator In Residence, Emma Brennan.

Johanna Nulty is a visual artist based between Cavan and Belfast. Nulty has a BA in Fine Art from Institute of Technology Sligo and received her MFA from Ulster University. Nulty’s work is predominantly object based, exploring sound from mass produced materials and found objects. Her practice explores the possibilities of the subconcious movement of everyday material and often results in an amalgamation of audio videos and sound pieces.
In 2017 she had her first solo exhibition ‘A Portrait of this Region’ in Townhall Gallery, Cavan. Other notable exhibitions include ‘Photophobia Contemporary Moving Image Festival, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada, Flax Art Studios 30th Anniversary, Flax Art Studios, Havelock House, Belfast and Catalyst Audio Tracks 002 Resonance, Catalyst Arts, Belfast, 2019.

Flax Art Studios is now in it’s 30th year and continues to aim to significantly contribute to the regions visual art practice through studio provision and resources and is the only studio dedicated to sculptural practice in Northern Ireland. Flax acts as a hub for professional development, international networking opportunities; and fostering greater understanding through outreach and engagement activity.


BELFAST OPEN STUDIOS

| Saturday 19th October 2019 |

Flax Art Studios, Havelock house, Ormeau Road, BT7 1EB

Flax Art Studios will be participating in Belfast Open Studios on Saturday 19th October from 11.00am to 5.00pm. Tours of the space will be taking place at 12 noon and 3.00pm. Hope to see you there!


Flax Art Studios 30th Anniversary Launch

Flax Art Studios is delighted to celebrate it’s 30th year with a launch, exhibition and tours at Havelock House on Thursday 26th September at 6pm-8pm.

Flax continues to aim to significantly contribute to the regions’ visual art practice through subsidised 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.

Flax Art Studios has recently moved premises to Havelock House former home of UTV in the city centre location of Ormeau Road. Havelock House sits on a 1.78-acre site and has almost 60,000sq ft of office style studios, production space and industrial workshop. We are delighted to have the opportunity to have full use of this space which has such an illustrious history steeped in Belfast’s heritage.

Flax Art Studios provides space to some of the most exciting artists in Northern Ireland including: Declan Byrne, Alastair MacLennan, Elvira Santamaria, Sinead O’Donnell, Deirdre McKenna, Barbara Freeman, Rebecca Smyth, Johanna Leech, Julie Lovett, Liam Crichton, Catherine McLaughlin, Conan McIvor, Barry Mulholland, Marta Dyczkowska, Jacqueline Holt, Shiro Masuyama, Erin Hagan, Joey O’Gorman, Niamh Seana Meehan, Isabel English, Martin Boyle, Justine McDonnell, Una Walker, Tony Hill, Helouise O’Reilly, John Rainey, Stuart Calvin, Gary Shaw, Jane Butler, Peter Richards, Michael Hanna, Lesley Cherry, Hugh O’Donnell, Helena Hamilton, Jan McNeill, Rachel Campbell Palmer, Mark Buckeridge and Dorothy Hunter. In our Graduate/Emerging artist hub we have: Silvia Mandic, Katherine Paisley, Gemma Hamilton, Chris O’Rourke, Siobhan Kelly, Susan Hughes, Claire Fox, Alexandra Brunt, Philip Keers, Brennagh Meehan, Leoni Hill and our Graduate Resident – Johanna Nulty.

We have been developing our unique space to provide a fabrication workshop, wood workshop, plaster/casting workshop, outdoor yard, photographic/film studios and voice recording booths. Flax Art Studios workshop is the only facility of it’s kind in Northern Ireland and we aim to make it accessible to all artists in Northern Ireland.


Exhibition Launch

HOBO VODKA || THE ART SHOW

Exhibition Launch | Thursday 29th August, 2019 | 6-9pm
Flax Art Studios, Havelock House, Ormeau Road, BT7 1EB

Flax Art Studios is delighted to host an exhibition featuring the work of Eva Avenue, multimedia artist from the USA, with her most recent edition of The Art Show. Hobo Vodka tells the confessional and hysterical true story of a woman called Marcella’s daily life growing up in New Mexico. As part of a ten-year retrospective documenting her life in the States, Avenue has used methods of collage, writing and painting to publish these stories into monthly installments of The Nightly Noodle Monthly.

Avenue is an inter-disiplinary artist who engages with a variety of media to tell stories. Born in Amsterdam, Avenue spent her early childhood in Portugal before moving to Florida where she studied visual arts studies at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts in St. Pete, FL. She later developed her practice at Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts in NYC and is currently based in Flax Art Studios, Belfast. In addition to her artistic practice, Avenue is also a musician and writer.

Hobo Vodka: The Art Show takes place in Studio 2 the former UTV studio now Flax Art Studios, Havelock House. The exhibition tells a story through audio, video, print, collage, zines, found objects and painting, it draws parallels between Belfast and New Mexico in a poignant and sometimes satirical way. Curated by Flax Art Studios Curator In Residence, Emma Brennan.


Exhibition launch

Glasshouse V

Shankill Library, 298 Shankill Road, BELFAST

Exhibition Runs: 4th April – 31st May 2019 Preview: Thursday 4th April 2019 at 6.30pm.

This is the fifth year that Flax Art Studios one of Belfast’s most celebrated and established visual artist studio groups. The Glasshouse Gallery at the Shankill Library presents a wonderful opportunity for Flax Art Studio group to have a visible presence in the city where it has been operating since 1989, firstly on the Crumlin Road, and now in Havelock House (former home of UTV). Flax Art Studios operate as one organisation providing a portfolio of subsidised studio provision for the needs of emerging, mid-career and established artists. Particularly those working with sculpture, installation and new/time-based media.

Flax Art Studios was founded in 1989 by a group of recent graduates seeking space to make large-scale sculpture and installation artworks. Flax Art Studios is committed to developing and strengthening the visual arts sector in Belfast, and has provided 30 years of best practice work at the cutting edge of contemporary art. Flax Art Studios provides long term studio space for up to sixty artists, graduate resident hub, and international residents. The main aim is ‘to contribute significantly to the region’s visual art practice through studio provision and resources; acting as a hub for professional development, international networking opportunities; and fostering greater understanding through outreach and socially engaged activity.’ Flax Art provides space to some of the most exciting artists in Northern Ireland. These artists have been integral to the artistic development of Belfast, not only through their personal practice, but through the organisations they have helped to build - for example Catalyst Arts, Bbeyond, Golden Thread Gallery and Ps2, and through the outreach, educational and development projects that they are involved in, showcasing Belfast’s unique identity.

The exhibition is not themed, it presents recent work from the artists that has not been shown in this way before. This emphasises the continuous studio process of making, testing and experimenting, and this also reflects the nature of the studio organisations as a space for individual practice. The span of work ranges across painting, video, sound, performance, sculpture, installation and public art, it is a rare opportunity to see the work of studio members work together, and to see the links, disjunctions, shared concerns and differences in their approaches to art practice.


60-120 Breaths (solo performances)

as part of Humanism NI Process & Late Night Art Belfast

Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 7 PM – 9 PM
Flax Art Studios, Havelock House, Ormeau Road, BT7 1EB

The Northern Irish society has experienced significant advances on equality matters and reconciliation after the Troubles. However, in an uncertain and volatile economic context worldwide, equality and respect for human rights must be cultivated on an ongoing basis. Art has a very important role to play in the realisation to this: influencing social customs, family and social relationships and inspiring individual in the interest of the collective. Performance art is based on human acts and behaviour, and has played a important role in the recognition of human diversity and the reinvention of forms of coexistence in many societies. Elvira Santamaria