Friday, September 28, 2018

'I Am Here Too' at the Orpheum Annex

If you happen to attend a show at The Annex in the next three months, you will see my new show. The date for the open house is still pending but I will update when I have the details. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Exploring the Glen

I went for a wee walk yesterday. I came across this locked gate and asked a woman how to enter the park. It's impossible to take shortcuts here; there are fences everywhere. Big fences, small fences, brick fences, charred fences, fences with razor wire... you get the idea. 

"How do I get in there? All the gates are locked!"
"Aye, I wouldn't go in there if I were you. Lots of undesirables in the park, if ya know what I mean." 

I didn't know what she meant, but I nodded anyway. She had just said my magic words. 
Don't go in there.  

"It's your choice of course. But I wouldn't go in."

I walked down the street and found the entrance to Colin Glen Forest Park. 

The visitors centre woman gave me a booklet where I read about the booming linen industry that grew here, alongside centuries of rivalry between Catholic and Protestant townspeople. I didn't meet any "undesirables" but could hardly ignore the signs warning against "anti-social behaviour". 

I will probably come back. The ideas are percolating.


It's not everyday that a textile artist lands in 'Linenopolis'. What I didn't know before I came to Belfast is that it supported the largest linen industry in the world in the second half of the 19th century.

This week I explored the city through graphite rubbings on fabric. It seemed like a good starting point. I did a similar project in London because there were so many monuments. In Belfast, monuments and commemorative plaques play a different role. Instead of honouring adventures who left to fight in foreign wars and conquer the rest of the world, these words honour the freedom fighters (or terrorists, depending on which side you're on) in their own country. Men who died as a direct result of the hunger strikes during The Troubles, graves marking the deceased from Catholic and Protestant communities. Brick and steel walls called Peace Walls that separate neighbours from any form of interaction.

The piece below collects words from West Belfast's Milltown Cemetery. I would go on about how imfamous this place is, but it's not necessary. Is there a piece of land in this city that hasn't seen sectarian violence?

Years ago I wanted to work towards a show called 'Rend/Mend'. I dropped the idea at the time, but it's resurfacing.