Visual Belfast: The Creative Journal

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BELFAST The Creative Journal

Volume 2 - April 2012

VISUAL


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VP VIEWS Hey Everyone, The first issue of ‘Visual Belfast’ was very well received. I want to thank everybody that has made this project realistic and that has developed this to the point that it is currently at. There is some outstanding talent within the Art College, and this Journal acts as a way of projecting this even further. When developing the second issue we had a very interesting chance to write up an article based around ‘The MAC’. Lucy Liddell and myself had a tour of the building, from Martin Forker, and we were simply blown away. The three galleries inside the building are absolutely enchanting. The programme of upcoming shows and performances was very exciting. I hope everyone will get a chance to go down. The selection of entries for the cover competition was amazing. It is brilliant to see such a diverse selection of work emerge from the Art College. Congratulations to the winner, Christopher Whiteside. His work was simply stunning, and I am sure you will enjoy reading his interview. We are still looking for students to become reviewers, so if you have interest in getting into publications or becoming an art critic, just get in touch: (vp.belfast@uusu.org) Keep a look out for the third issue of Visual Belfast, in which it will be a End of Year Show Special!

Content

Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs, Stuart Cannell

Student Interview : Christopher Whiteside 2 / Other Enteries: Brendan Carly 6 / Eoin McGinn 8 / Lecturer Interview : Mark Ainsworth 10 / Graduate Interview : Anita Quinn 14 / Loretta Hurson 18 / Artist in Residence : Samantha Dukelow 20 / Review : Cassie Howard ‘Group Portrait’ 24 / Boris Nielslony ‘Performing Art in Context’ 28 / The Mac Tour 32 / Ulster Festival of Art and Design 36 / ‘The Artist’ Review 42 / Agony Uncle : 38 Just A Thought : 40 / designed by Enyo Belfast


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The winner of this Issue’s Front Cover competition is Final Year Textiles student Christopher Whiteside. We met up with him at his workspace in the Textiles studio and heard a bit about his winning entry, his work for the end of year shows, and his plans for the future. 3


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Can you tell us a bit about your winning entry? It was one photograph of a series of photographs that I did last year titled ‘Under His Watchful Gaze’. It was a photography portfolio and that was just one of the 40 images within it. There were 6 different masks. It was about a family of animal characters who lived in this flat and the pig is just a cameo appearance from the three little pigs video (which was a separate project of mine). Why did you decide to come to Art College? Well, I really liked art and design at secondary school and I wanted to do painting. So I came here to do the foundation degree and get integrated into the university life and just how it works and things! I realised then that there was much more than painting and that’s when I got into textiles. 4

So what made you make the decision to switch from your original plan of studying painting to studying textiles? Well Rachel Glynn was the textile tutor and she said that I could still make sculptures, 3D art, as well as the painting. I could do multi-media type things there aren’t any limitations it is very broad so I kind of liked that! And then I ended up doing a video! What is it about story telling that you like? Well I love science fiction films. I really like the idea of creating my own narrative and characters. Making the masks was enabling me to create my own characters and then see the people act them and portray them and then I could capture them in the photography and film. Tell us about how you do your character development.

I think I started initially just making the masks, because I was working off a social hierarchy and I was trying to create masks that represent different kinds of people or their social status and then I just wrapped the masks around my own stories. How is it that you actually make your masks? It’s probably not obvious but I usually make the shape out of clay first and then I would put paper mache on top of it, using the clay as a mold. And then that enables me to hand sew on top of it. They are probably not the most wearable of masks, because they are huge! And sometimes people cant see out of both eyes! Not the most practical, but I think the guy who played the pig in the video was very good. I wanted him to be an abusive selfish character and he played it well! Will the story telling aspect of your work continue on to your degree


show? I am making new masks and I’m not doing the film again. I am doing all the stories with photograph and possibly, one of the stories might just be performed on the night. I want to have characters just walking around the room with the masks on. One of them is a cat, and she carries a brief case. I’ve never done any sort of performance art before. After my degree I think I’d like to be involved in film and animation. I’ve got friends who helped me film the three little pigs. So maybe I could help them and do more collaborative projects and things like that! I would possibly think of a Masters Degree in Animation and learn the tools and the software and create my own characters and animate them myself! I would really like to push that. What have been your worst and best experiences throughout your time at Uni?

Worst would be the first half of foundation year! I was a fish fresh out of water. They really break you down and re-build you! The best would probably be my whole second year. That’s when you get past the embroidery stage and after that you could do whatever you wanted. If you hadn’t decided to go to Art College what do you think you would have ended up doing? Well, I loved running. I was never an athlete but maybe I would have been going to the Olympics this year! Who knows! Can you describe your work in one word?

interested in fantasy and special effects and all the art direction that goes into those films. I think that’s what’s inspired me to tell my own stories and create my characters! What is your favourite film? The Fifth Element, Lord of the Rings and Jurassic Park! The trailer for the Hobbit looks amazing too! If you could be any character, who would you be? Ryan Gosling from Drive I think! By Lucy Liddell and Stuart Cannell

Atmospheric What is it that inspires you to do your work? Well I am actually a nerd and I love science and fiction films. I am always 5


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Brendan Carly Studying Masters of Architecture

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Stacking

Towering

Partitioning

Compartments

“The Irish language has survived as a collection of different dialects bound within one common identity. A metaphor of the Irish language, my building unifies diverse autonomous spaces. It is a proposed international Irish language and cultural centre to be situated in Belfast city centre. Its programmatic components include: library (study/ books), electronic (sound/cinema/computers), teaching (classrooms / lecture-theatre), public (conversation spots/ cafe/bookshop/minority languages exhibition). The structure, processes and circulation of the building unite to create the signature for it as a whole. This image shows how each of the component dialects is inter-reliant upon the others for overall form, identity and survival.“ 7


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Eoin McGinn

Studying Masters of Art in Public

Eyes

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Ground Down

“My core value as an artist is to make a significant contribution to the development of a new art form within street art. The conceptual thinking and the visual information within my work are focused on the complexity of the urban environment. In a way the art has brought me to the streets, and is why my work is quite different to what one normally associates with street art. After years of experimenting with different approaches I have come to the point where I am fusing different forms together in a new way. I feel that the genre of street art is maturing and developing into a serious art form, with abstraction and experimentation driving the art into new grounds. I work with stencils and paste ups depending on the circumstances of installing my work. Stencils are used when I have time (permission) to paint, and paste ups for when I hit the streets at night.� 9


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Mark Ainsworth

Course Director, Fine Art

Chance, oil on canvas, 2008 100cm x 120cm

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Stuart Cannell met up with Course Director of Fine Art, Mark Ainsworth to ask him a few questions about his life as a practicing artist, how the art college experience has changed since his time in London, and his words of advice for students today. 11


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Roman Place, oil on canvas, 2009 40cm x 50cm

Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?

for 3 years and I exhibited in London and was a full time practicing artist!

I was born originally in Blackpool and I left home when I was very young, 16. I used to work selling ice creams in theatres, doing lights and working on the scenery backstage. One evening I bumped into an art teacher called Derek Johnston who persuaded me with a group of friends to go and do a foundation course in Art and Design.

Who would you say inspired you to pursue a career in painting?

So I applied to a number of art schools and actually failed 6 times to get in. It was funny because I went back a number of years later and taught in some of those places, but no hard feelings of course. Eventually I got in to an art school in South East London called Ravensbourne College of art and I did 3 years there for my BaHons. After that I went to the royal college 12

How do you feel lecturing and teaching impacts on your professional practice?

being a practicing artist. Obviously there is time, particularly now, being course director these will be challenging times for art educations. But I think that’s offset by the enthusiasm of the students. They regenerate you. And I think working with the young and mature students is great because you have the wisdom of the mature students, and the young students who are full of “craic” and enthusiasm! It’s a privilege to be an educator and there are times when I feel a bit frustrated about the amount of time it takes up. But I made that decision and I don’t regret it at all. Its part of that journey! The main thing for me is that it makes me always question what I am doing. And I have to keep on my toes, so I don’t become outdated.

It’s very hard to find a balance and

Can you tell us about the best

There have been many people but I think one in particular, there was a chap called Brian Fielding, and Brian was a teacher in Ravensbourne College of art. He also sold quite a bit. Brian went to the royal college of art in the 1950s when it was really hard to make contemporary art then, when it was very difficult to break away from a very stuffy English tradition. He was a breath of fresh air and a free spirit.


Nocturne, oil on canvas, 2006 100cm x 120cm

experience you’ve had so far in your career? I think probably getting into the royal college was about the best experience I ever had. When I got the letter; that was probably the best experience because I had worked hard to get that success and it was just a great opportunity to develop as an artist over those 3 years. And what about experience?

your

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Probably some of the criticisms I’ve had from various art magazines! I also remember doing a lecture at Leeds polytechnic and it was the first time I had to give a lecture on my work. They were all Marxist and left wing and they didn’t take to my love of American art, it had to be all art for the people. They were quite

an intellectual lot and I learnt the hard way and I was taken to task on all my enthusiasm! That was a very negative experience in teaching and ironically they offered me a job! They must have liked how I stood up for myself! I say to any student, you’ve got to keep trying because it’s a competitive world! When was your last exhibition? I’ve got some paintings round at the Cullen gallery now and I was showing in the London group in October. But I generally just show one or two paintings. And I had a show round at the PS2 gallery down the road and I left a painting down in the foyer also. I am working on a series of figurative paintings at the moment and I hope to have a show in the New Year.

Looking back on your career, do you have any regrets? Not really! I think Id like to have shown a little bit more work. I still have ambition for success. I have been very fortunate to have a job in a vocation that I love! Any advice for students? I think a lot of it is to do with confidence and application. You have to work on your strengths and you should after three years know what your strengths are. Failure is also part of success and you’ve just got to go out and try! By Lucy Liddell and Stuart Cannell For more information on Mark Ainsworth visit www.markainsworthartist.com or email m.ainsworth124@btinternet.com 13


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Anita Quinn

BA Hons Architecture

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section through cultural centre

Visual Belfast’s Louise Younger catches up with Architecture Graduate (2010) Anita Quinn. Here she tells us a bit about the scary “world of work” and how hard work and determination always pays off at the end. 15


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outside project

Hi Anita! Could you tell us a bit about what sort of things you have been doing or projects you have been involved with since finishing college? Only the lucky ones fall into a job straight after finishing up college, fortunately I am one of those lucky ones. It was a strange transition to finally graduate and enter ‘the world of work’. Since graduating, I’ve secured a full time job, low paying yet a job none the less, where I have been involved in several exciting large scale design projects and competitions. As well as being involved in large scale designs, I have had the chance to express my creative side in smaller scale sketch designs for clients alongside the more mundane, yet necessary, planning applications and surveys. I have been given various opportunities 16

since graduating, not all Architecture related. I’ve modelled at a number of events for well-known knitwear designer, Edel MacBride, along with being selected to take part in the Rose of Tralee International Festival, where I was kindly sponsored by my current practice, I enjoyed the surreal experience even though I was unsuccessful. It was a childhood dream fulfilled at least. How exciting! You are very lucky! So tell us, what is life like for an architecture graduate? What are you doing with yourself at the minute? Apart from getting my freedom back since finishing my Hons Degree, I’m currently working as an Architect’s assistant, in a busy Practice in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, life is no longer only focused around

work, I leave the office at 5 o’clock, and, well apart from occasional all nighters and a few late nights, I leave Architecture at 5 o’clock as well. I finally have time for hobbies again and I couldn’t be happier, however I’m also in the process of applying for entry to MArch Architecture at Art College. I know that this year is the right time for me to go back and reach my goal of becoming an Architect, so fingers crossed the University accepts me. We wish you the best of luck!! A lot of our students will be panicking about life after Art College. How did you find out about these sorts of opportunities? Or did they come to you? I was one of those people, everything was very uncertain, I couldn’t predict what would lie ahead for me in the


concept model

forthcoming months/years, up until that point I knew what I would be doing next. I was worried about being unemployed even before finishing up at the Art college, I began searching for work as soon as I wrapped up my final project. I would like to say I was spoilt with opportunities coming my way however in the end I had sent out a total of 300 CVs resulting in only two interviews, one being unsuccessful for a practice in Cardiff and the other, successful, so successful that I was told at the beginning that I would be hired for a maximum of three months, and here I am 18 months later still in the job. Times are hard, but perseverance always works out in the end! What is the best memory you have from your time studying here?

There were a number of memorable moments throughout my three years at the Art College, my friends being responsible for most of them. However my best memory took place on “End of Year/final degree show” where I was given the award of “BA Hons Best 3rd year Performance”. I was ‘speechless’, it was my proudest moment at College. I was so proud of myself and delighted that even though I wasn’t achieving the highest grades of my year, all my hard work and determination had been recognised and appreciated more than I knew, it was worth all the sleepless nights after-all.

recommend starting a project AS SOON as you receive your brief. I was leaving a lot of work to the last minute and as a result my grades suffered. Set yourself goals and a time to achieve these by. And stick to it!! Procrastination is not an option in final year! Amen! Finally, could you describe your time at the art college in 3 words … Exhausting, life-changing, unforgettable. Interviewed By Louise Younger

That’s fantastic! Well done! If you have any advice for our students, what would it be? Well, even though I didn’t always take my own advice, I would definitely

For more information on Anita Quinn email anitaquinn123@hotmail.com 17


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Loretta Hurson

BA Hons Photography

How did you decide what to do after graduating? Did the Art College Degree show provide you with opportunities or did you go about finding your own? If so, how?

Visual Belfast’s Louise Younger chats to Loretta Hurson, Photography graduate 2011. Here the talented Miss Hurson talks about life as a freelance photographer and her hopes for the future including her business venture… “You Them Us”. 18

After researching photography jobs, I found that freelancing would be the best option for me. Photography jobs are few and far between so I had to go and create photography job opportunities for myself. In setting up my own company I am able to explore different aspects of photography that I was unable to during my time in Art College. Is life difficult as a photographer, with the medium being so readily available nowadays? It’s more competitive if anything, but yes because “anyone” can be a


photographer now, you have to go further in skill. Not necessarily all the time, but I believe in most cases it takes skill to take a great image. So what sort of projects have you been doing since graduation? Your work was recently shown at Electric Picnic Festival this Year!! How did that come about? The beauty of working for yourself is being able to take on new and exciting projects. Yes I did take photographs for De Paul Ireland’s blanket appeal, Electric Picnic’s chosen charity and the posters were featured at Electric Picnic 2011. It was collaborative project with my brother (graphic director at Hurson). I have also worked with arts care NI, Documenting their 21st year. So explain to us a bit about your

business venture YOU, THEM, US? You, Them, Us is everybody. I photograph different people from different backgrounds in different situations , you name it ... I wanted a business name that incorporated everybody. Do you think that setting up your own business is a good idea for graduates? And do you have any other advice for students still in College? Why not?! If you’re good at what you do and you have a passion for it then go for it. I’m not saying it’s easy, you have to able to go out and find work for yourself, get your name out there. A lot of work nowadays comes from word of mouth. What does the future hold for you?

Just to keep taking pictures. I can’t think of a more fulfilling career for myself, making memories, capturing the truth, beautiful moments. Weddings, Kids portraits, I love it all! It’s the best. And finally, could you describe your time at the Art College in three words? I’ll just say I had a lovely time. Interviewed By Louise Younger

For more information on Loretta Hurson visit www.youthemus.com or email info@youthemus.com 19


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Samantha Dukelow

BA Hons Photography

Gun-animal

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Elephant

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Why did you choose to come to Art College over other courses, and other universities? I think an art-based degree had always been top of my list when thinking about university. I came to UUB through the foundation year, I had heard good things about the course and being unsure of what direction to follow, it seemed like the right choice for me. I enjoyed it so much I ended up staying to complete my degree in photography. It was a new course when I started, only the second intake year, but the reputation of the tutors convinced me it was worth sticking around for.

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Do you regret choosing to study a creative degree? No, I never regret it. I think if I hadn’t done a creative degree now, I would have come back to it later in life. If you had to choose one other discipline that you would have liked to pursue, what would it be and why? I think probably printmaking as some aspects of it can be closely related to photography. I was fortunate enough to learn a little printmaking in foundation and during my degree, and I think it is something I would like to try again.

If you had to give yourself advice when you were in 1st year, what would it be? Believe in your ideas more, work harder, read more and take more photos! Please tell us about your most recent work. The last major work I did was based on the statistic that for every person in the world sixty two Lego bricks have been manufactured. It resulted in a typology of sculptures made by a variety of people as a sort of alternative portrait. Its something I’ve been planning on expanding


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over the coming years. Apart from that, a proposal I had put forward has just been rejected so a little bit of redesigning is underway at the minute. Could you describe your work in 1 word? That’s really difficult…I’d like to say playful. What inspires you to do your work? All the great photographers whose work I’ve seen and especially the photographers I have the pleasure of knowing.

Who is currently your favourite artist and why?

really sure at the minute, but I hope it’s something good!

I found some work quite recently by photographer Luke Stephenson. He has one project called The Clown Egg Register, he basically photographed the eggs that clowns use to register the designs for their faces. I’m jealous of that project, it’s just so interesting.

If you had 3 tips for success what would they be?

What does the future hold for you? I’m looking forward to being involved with some upcoming events with Belfast Photo Factory, a new photographic collective that some graduates from the university have set up. Apart from that I’m not

I wouldn’t say that I’m successful yet, but I think you need to work hard, network when possible and keep up with what is current in the area you’re working in. By Stuart Cannell

For more information on Samantha Dukelow visit www.samanthadukelow.com www.belfastphotofactory.com or email sdukelow@gmail.com 23


The Third Space Gallery Cassie Howard: ‘Group Portrait’ Review

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Group Portrait Acrylic paint on paper 147Ă—216 2012

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The Third Space Gallery Cassie Howard: ‘Group Portrait’ Review An exhibition of paintings by Cassie Howard is currently on show at the Third Space Gallery. Howard’s fine acrylic paintings show figures and public objects seemingly dropped at random into the vast white space of each page. Are they suspended or grounded or lifting off? The figures are anonymous – we look only at their backs - but they are painted accurately. Their fashion, stance and shopping bags give them each a personality that we can identify. The largest painting, ‘Group Portrait’ depicts a group of tourists standing with their backs to us, slightly turned inwards and looking up. A sense of height is suggested in the expanse of white space above the figures by the turn of their heads. The line of people give a weight to the picture so that we not only look to see what attraction they are visiting, but feel that we too could step in and join the line. The small paintings ‘Meeting Place’ and ‘Row of trees’ hold a feeling of expectation. We know we are out of doors, we know the time of day by the light and shadow but there are no people and no knowledge of where we are. ‘Meeting place’ shows an empty band stand positioned at the top right of the page. With no firm line to ground it, the object seems suspended there. ‘Row of trees’ differs from the other paintings in that the trees seem to dissolve into the background. The paint varies in thickness so that as we move into the distance they seem to filter out into the white of the page. Reflections in the glass of the frames can only add to the images, particularly so in ‘Red Shoes’. A couple are walking away from us, their arms linked. They aren’t full height figures but give a real feeling of tangibility. There is a sense of watching and being watched. Their feet are lifted to take their next step and it seems that it may be to step out of the picture. In a talk at the University of Ulster on Friday 17th February 2012, Cassie Howard said she wished to play with the act of perceiving. Her detailed, observational images isolate figures and objects, turning it round to the viewer to question themselves – What are we looking at, what are they looking at, what do we see? By Brónach McGuinness

For more information on Cassie Howard and to see more of her work visit www.cassiehoward.net or www.thethirdspacegallery.com

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Blue bag man 25x32cm Acrylic paint on paper 2009

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PS2 Gallery

Boris Nieslony: ‘Performance Art in Context’ Review’

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Photography By Sinead O’Donnell 29


PS2 Gallery Boris Nieslony: ‘‘Performance Art in Context’ Review Mapping ‘Performance Art in Context’; a map work by Boris Nieslony and Gerhard Dirmoser. Curator: Sinead O’Donnell. Part 1: 7 February - 03 March 2012, Part 2: 12- 24 March 2012. From 17th – 29th February this year, students from BA Hons Fine and Applied Art, STVP, were invited to respond to a map work, Performance Art in Context, by German artist and curator Boris Nieslony. The idea of this piece, as Nieslony explains, began as a way for him to gain an understanding of what the term “Performance” actually entailed; As a vehicle to decrypt the ideology behind Performance Art, beginning as lists of words and then developing the structure of the archive (with the help of scientist Gerhard Dirmoser), to eventually, 15 years later, end up with a diagram that could potentially (and purposely) be used as a tool for others to develop and gain from. What began as a self-seeking activity, has become an inclusive implement that invites others to invervene. How fitting then that as a class, we were invited by the exhibition curator Sinead O’Donnell to respond to the piece located on the window of PS2 Gallery. She explains, ‘I wrote to Boris to say that although the map provides a huge landscape of information for the artist, performance artist and researcher, in terms of access, it’s just not accessible. So I asked Boris if he would consider allowing me to expose his map and open it up in terms of access and communication. Not everyone has the ability to read this format of mapping, let alone understand an art form that is very young, quite abstract, interior in meaning, time-based and ephemeral. It is an art form that is very much about presence and energy and I want to share this excitement with a wider audience’. After working actively in the gallery for a number of days creating works responding to the space and Nieslony’s ideas, the artist returned and likewise, successively and simultaneously responded to us. It allowed for a continuous cycle of action and reaction – Us reacting to the environment and the other artists bodies (of work) within it, through action, and vice versa. This mirrors the form of the map itself – the circular “All-seeing eye” - the process of looking and reacting both internally and externally, both to ourselves and to others. On the 1st March 2012, the public were invited to view the works, with some artists choosing to continue working through the hustle and bustle of the busy crowd. The experience as a whole was invaluable. It allowed each of us to question our own position as artists, and in turn the position of others around us (both physically and ideologically). It allowed us to map our own histories, our own ideas, our own practices, cohesively contemplating the connections and relationships between them, all with the hope of finding our place and making our mark.

By Louise Younger

For more information on Boris Nieslony visit www.asa.de For more information on Sinéad O’Donnell and THE CAUTION PROJECT see: www.sineadodonnell.com 30


Photography By Sinead O’Donnell 31


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It’s finally here, and Visual Belfast get a sneak peek,

The Mac Tour. 33


Photographs provided By The Mac 34


The Mac Tour. On Monday 5th March, VP Stuart Cannell and Lucy Liddell were lucky enough to have a sneak preview around the new arts complex in St. Annes square, The MAC. We were shown around the new space which when it opens will provide local and international art, theatre, dance and music along with bars and restaurants, all under one roof. Here is our report on what exciting things the students at UUB can look forward to when the space is opened officially. Held within the deceiving walls of the MAC building there are 2 Theatres (a 350 seater and 120 seater), 3 Art galleries, 1 Rehearsal space, 1 Dance studio, 3 Education and workshop rooms, 4 offices for resident art groups, 1 Café and Bar, 1 Artist-in-residence studio and 1 permanent artwork. The Mac will open to the public on 20th April 2012 and will be offering free admission to its galleries 7 days a week from 10am. This will encourage a diverse range of people to come and view the art that is on show. As part of the MAC’s opening exhibitions ‘A People Observed’, is an exhibition that brings together, for the first time, two of our most popular artists L.S. Lowry and Belfast-born William Conor, as part of the ‘Our Time, Our Place’ celebrations of Northern Ireland’s heritage and talent. The exhibition draws on Belfast’s industrial heritage and celebrates the labour, which contributed to the historical significance of cities such as Belfast, Manchester and Salford. This exhibition sees Lowry’s work coming to Northern Ireland for the very first time. Also on offer at the time of the MAC’s launch is the brand new stage production Titanic (Scenes from the British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry, 1912). This brand new MAC production commissioned by Owen McCafferty is an exciting courtroom drama, which seeks the truth behind the tragedy, uncovering the human stories of the ship’s survivors in their own words. It will be the very first show in the MAC’s 350-seat theatre, opening 22 April. Also on offer in the first few months of the MAC’s opening is Sweet Charity, the musical sensation of the year. The MAC has teamed up with popular Belfast-based Bruiser Theatre Company to bring this Broadway smash-hit to life. Featuring hits such as Hey, Big Spender and The Rhythm of Life, this feel-good show runs from 29 May to 17 June. Ticketing for all these exciting events works just like the airlines, prices will change over time - so if you fancy something don’t delay. To ensure the best deal, check all prices online at www.themaclive.com or contact Box Office team on 028 3023 5053. Premium To guarantee the best seat in the house choose one of our Premium Tickets. ‘Take a Chance’ Grab yourself a bargain with a Take a Chance ticket for just £9.50. You’ll find out which seat you have on the day of the performance.

By Lucy Liddell and Stuart Cannell 35


Ulster Festival of Art & Design

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Kirsten Gillespie and Lucie McLaughlin from Style Academy, model T-shirts from the University Multiples and Art Editions exhibition and ‘pop-up’ shop, to mark the launch of the Ulster Festival of Art & Design 2012. Photograph from Ulster Festival of Art and Design.


Ulster Festival of Art & Design The Ulster Festival of Art and Design ran form 17th – 25th of March this year. This gave the students a better chance to get more involved with lectures and workshops. Most of the programme was well attended by students, staff and the general public. There were two lectures that stood out for me that were fascinating and inspiring. The first was Garth Clark, who is an art dealer, collector, curator and writer. The lecture was based around new Native American pottery, however, Garth Clark also went back in history discussing a variety of techniques used, and the symbolism they had. One that I was unaware of which I found particularly interesting was the meaning of a broken circle in Native America. This was so that any spirits trapped would be able to escape through the gap in the circle. The way in which Garth Clark brought, what may have be seen as quite a mundane subject, to life was outstanding. It was very intriguing to listen to him about his life and the in-depth nature of this type of pottery. Whilst at another lecture I stumbled upon a quote that I thought summed up about of problems that artists may have, or on a wider scale people. “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: try to please everyone.” (Herbert Baynard Swope) Sir John Sorrell delivered the main lecture that I previously described as ‘Inspiring’. He had set up one of the biggest design businesses in Europe along side his wife. He set up The Sorrell Foundation in 1999 with the aim of inspiring creativity in young people and improving the quality of life through good design. He talked about perceptions being 20 years old, and if you want to do anything, you have to win. When talking about Belfast on a European scale, he noted that one thing we lacked which could bring us up to an international level in the world of design is a more multicultural society. Finally, he explained why we are entering into the ‘Age of Creativity’ and how important it is to be a leader on a global scale. Sir John Sorrell was very sincere and had a depth of knowledge that was unrivalled. If you are interested in design, you must research him. By Stuart Cannell

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A

He is thee most amazing, super-dooper, fan-bloody-tastic Agony Uncle of all time, EVER!

y n o g

*If you would like to get some advice from Visual Belfast’s very own Agony Uncle please get in touch by emailing: vp.belfast@uusu.org

Dear Agony Uncle, I have noticed that some courses have separate ‘Master-Classes’, that are specifically ran by professional external artists organised in-house for students. Is it not possible for other departments to do this as I feel it would add so much more to my work (even if I had to pay for them!) Cheers, Anonymous. To Anonymous,

D Agony

I am currently a secon Fine and Applied Arts. I am up an exhibition within the U although I am unsure how to have any tips or contacts to spea

I’ve heard there are certain courses that have brilliant master-classes. If this is something you feel passionately about, I would suggest this to your tutor or your course director. If something is set up, it could easily pay for itself, and not have any cost implications onto the department (it might even make some money for the department as well). Master-classes are a brilliant idea, and I would strongly suggest you Hi Steven, talk to someone about this, or even bring it up to your class representative, and they could pass it on. Thanks so I think setting up an exhibition is a g much for getting in touch. Good luck! gives you a great chance to see how your final year show. If you want to h AU. be able to use ‘The Project Space’, w ‘University Gallery’ and ‘The Streat’. T talk to the university’s curator – Hug University website to find his cont have a date to launch it and the g mit is to promote it! This is a ve e-mail as many newspapers a etc. Even go to the Students any support also. Good 38


y Unc le

Mr. Agony Uncle, Who are you? I think we should hook up. Miss. Agony Aunt x. To Miss. Agony Aunt, I am very sorry, but I can’t release my identity. I would also appreciate it if you were to stop harassing me with your e-mails. All the best. AU.

Dear Agony Uncle, It has recently dawned on me that I need to start entering competitions and searching for commissions to try and get my name out there more in the world of art. Where is the best place that I could search for things like this?

Dear y Uncle,

nd year student studying m very interested in setting University of my classes work, go about doing this. Would you ak to? All the best, Steven P.

great idea, especially in second year as it it is done and gives you preparation for hold it within the University, you might which is the white space between the To check it’s available, you will need to gh Mullholland (Just search him on the tact details). You next step after you group of students with work to subery important aspect of any event, as possible and also mailing lists s’ Union to see if they can lend d luck for your exhibition! AU.

Maggie. Hey Maggie, Artist Newsletter (www.a-n.co.uk) is a really great site for what you are talking about. It contains information on current open- submissions, commissions, competitions and also residencies. To get a log in for the website, simply go up to the Library and enquire, they will give you the log in details to use. Then feel free to browse at see all the possibilities and opportunities available. Happy searching! AU.

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Just a thought...What are the top ten most popular books from the Belfast LRC?

1.NeoCraft : modernity and the crafts Edited by Sandra Alfoldy [745/NEO]

2. Photography : a critical introduction Edited by Liz Wells [770.1 PHO] 40

3. Architectural modelmaking Nick Dunn [720.22 DUN]

5. Logo Michael Ev [741.6 EV

4. Architectural drawing David Dernie [720.284 DER]

Joru


o vamy VA]

7. Architecture’s desire : reading the late avant-garde Michael K. Hays [724.6 HAY]

6. Craft in transition unn Veiteberg [745 VIE]

8. Architecture in detail II Graham Bizley [721 BIZ]

9. Architectural graphics Francis D.K. Ching [720.284 CHI]

10. New directions in jewellery II Lin Cheung ... et al [739.27 NEW]

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The Artist Review PG cert, 100 min Dir: Michel Hazanavicius; starring Jean Dujardain, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell. This silent film which was the last major release of 2011, effortlessly captures the dreamy atmosphere of the Golden Age of Hollywood. It is centerd on an established film star (George Valentin) and a young and upcoming actress (Bérénice Bejo), during the introduction of the ‘talkies’ to cinema theatres. Therefore, if we are to categorise it, we can say, that it is essentially a movie, about the movies. The lack of dialogue at the beginning seemed unusual, slightly disturbing, yet I soon became used to it. It forms the uniqueness of the film. Shot in black and white, with a 1920s setting, The Artist also provides us with a sense of nostalgia for the old film theatres typical of the period and it instantly brings to mind films such as Singin’ in the Rain and Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight. The lead character Dujardin (George Valentin) is well-suited for the silent role, with his perfectly styled moustache along with his charm, humour and mischief, who most often is seen with his pet Jack Russell, who will go down well with many dog-lovers. Hazanavicius (director), I feel, has succeeded in generating an energetic and enjoyable aesthetic; containing style, substance and technique. Rather than focussing on colour and sound, like most modern films, it pays homage to monochrome and silence. Gloria Swanson said, “We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces!” However, it does to some extent require the audience to use their imagination, as there is just one spoken line in the film. There were a few times when I forgot I was actually watching a modern piece of film-making as the movie itself was shot in the ‘Academy ratio’, following silent film custom. The Artist combines the old, with the new to produce a thoroughly entertaining film which, if even for just a short time, is able to draw you into an old-style cinema experience. 42

By Caroline McCusker