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iDA grant recipients announced


Thirteen artists with disabilities from Northern Ireland have been announced as recipients of the Arts & Disability Forum’s iDA (Individual Disabled/Deaf Artists) awards. Supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, awards are made annually to Deaf and disabled artists working in a range of art forms, allowing artists to produce new works or receive professional mentoring. Pictured are 2017 iDA recipients Luna Kalo, Kevin Killen, Shiro Masuyama, Sinead O'Donnell and Nicola McLaughlin.


by Helouise O’Reilly

The Gallery is open each day from Tuesday to Friday 11am to 3pm.
It is also open 5-9pm on Thursday 6th April for ‘Late Night Art’.

There will be an ‘In Conversation’ with Helouise O’Reilly at 1-2pm on Thursday 23rd March.

The exhibition closes Friday 7th April.


Disorder is a multi-screen installation by Helouise O’Reilly, which invites the viewer to experience life through the eyes of an adult with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Attention deficit disorder is a complex neuro-developmental disorder, which may be characterized by poor concentration and memory, disorganisation, impulsivity and inappropriate behavior. In spite of these impairments, people with the disorder may find they also have an extreme focus (known as a hyper focus) for subjects they find interesting. They may have a compulsive need to paint the house at 2am, splattering the furniture and windows in the process. Or find them lost for hours in a hyper focus looking for 1970s orange typewriters, or researching shark attacks in Australasia, or the life and times of Burt Lancaster.

The installation explores what it is like to have ADHD and some of the frustrations an individual with the condition may experience. It is
centered on the internal debate of whether to medicate or accept the condition. The work questions negative perceptions of the disorder and how, with a different perspective, these may in fact sometimes be a positive.

In the words of the artist:

“There is a pressure to conform to social norms and existing outside of these can leave a person feeling isolated and misunderstood. The promise of medication is that it can solve all of your problems. But at what cost?
The decision to medicate is a heavy one, particularly if it is to control a condition that exists from birth. It may feel like the condition is holding you back, stopping you from achieving your potential and even carrying out your day-to-day activities.

If medication is taken to block the negatives of a disorder, there may be a concern that other facets of the individual’s personality will also be blocked. Where, in fact, does the person end and the disorder begin? If you remove the disorder, will the same person be left behind?

A romantic image of the tortured artist is often portrayed. A creative person may find that, whilst a condition may inhibit their creativity at times, at other times it may propel it at warp speed. Thus the
notion of taking brain-altering medication may raise serious concerns.

‘Disorder’ is an exploration of identity and self-acceptance. Whether living with a diagnosed disorder or not, everyone has their own inner conflicts…there is a pressure to be productive, to fit within social norms. It’s all about perspective. In the end, we are left wondering, is it a ‘disorder’ or just an alternate state of being.”

For more information ring 02890 239450 or email Hugh O’Donnell at


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Arts & Disability Forum
Ground Floor
Cathedral Quarter Workspaces
109-113 Royal Avenue

Tel within UK:
(028) 9023 9450

Tel from RoI:
(048) 9023 9450

(028) 9024 7770



Tuesday - Friday:
11am – 3pm

The above are our core hours but we are often working away behind the scenes at other times. If the gallery lights are on just ring the bell and we’ll let you in.