Hierarchies and Heirlooms
March 4 - April 14, 2011
The Arts & Disability Forum presents a solo exhibition of prints by disabled artist Bébhinn NicLiam. The series was made with a grant from the Arts & Disability Award Ireland Scheme.
Hierarchies and Heirlooms Workshop
led by Bébhinn NicLiam
Fri. 8th April. 1:00- 3:30
Arts & Disability Forum,109-113 Royal Avenue (MAP)
FREE admission. Registration essential as places are limited.
A chance to learn printmaking from artist Bébhinn NiCliam, whose work is currently on show at the ADF gallery. The workshop is a practical introduction to monoprinting and complements Bebhinn’s current exhibition. This session will appeal if you have an interest in printing, drawing or if you just want to get involved in something practical and learn new creative techniques.
The session will start with an introduction to Bébhinn’s ‘Hierarchies and Heirlooms’ show, followed by a hands-on demonstration and a chance to have a go. Participants will be shown techniques that are easily transferred to a home environment with results that are immediate and inventive.
The workshop is open to all, free of charge.
Tea, coffee, water and all materials will be provided.
BSL interpretation and other access provision available but must be requested at the time of booking.
“This exhibition combines different strands of my work, looking at the personal and the societal. It is an exploration of a time I have no experience of and yet am shaped by. The post war period was a time of great change and flux and optimism for a better future and yet also one of encroaching conservatism and defining of gender roles. The lives of my parents and their generation were forged by post war politics and turmoil. Memories of hunger and need were not displaced by the slow rise of consumerism. Objects were held onto, repaired and refashioned.
My work is informed by the environment I grew up in, both inside and outside. A landscape of ancient architecture and a home full of mementos, each with their own narratives. I also look at hierarchies we are all subjected to, knowingly and unknowingly.
Printmaking is a means of exploring my interests, and one which I have increasingly turned to in the last 5 years. It has a long established tradition but is not confined to the past. It suits my condition and the rhythm and way I need to work.”
April 29 - May 26, 2011
"Sorry if I’m speaking too loud but my hearing aid battery is going flat…"
Andrew Cochrane is an artist who happens to be deaf. This show consists of a series of actions to camera, influenced by the artist’s memories of childhood and reflecting his deafness. The work is playful with a humour that goes dark and begins to wear thin, creating a sense of discomfort in the audience.
“… I would say my creativity in the work is self- reflective and self-inspired. Basically a lot of my own ideas are inspirations from my own life, about me, my childhood, Childs play, nostalgia and memories. They are all pure, innocent and carefree adventures.
My passion is to create a work that expresses the difficulties I experience in everyday life and which reflects awareness of my own disability ... I like to produce playful work, humorous/dark humor, humor that begins to wear thin, creating a scene of discomfort, unease and exclusion from the audience which I experience often in life.” (Andrew Cochrane 2011)
June 17 - July 21, 2011
“… high, high-spirits, high-jinks, high-minded, buffoon joyfulness, risk taking, flamboyance, exhibitionism, bizarre actions, feeling cock-a-hoop, then restless then again more full blown energy, bang bang bang! These are just some of the symptoms of Hypermania.”
The first solo show of painting and assemblage by Trevor Wray is staged at the Arts & Disability Forum Gallery.
Born in 1958, Trevor Wray trained in Fine Art painting at York Street Art College, now the University of Ulster, obtaining a degree in 1980. He has shown in many group exhibitions from that time, especially with the Ards Arts Collective, and has also played in various bands. This is Trevor’s first solo show, exactly 31 years after he left art college.
Trevor Wray states his influences as DADA, Robert Rauschenberg, Antoni Tapies, Thomas Hirschhorn, Paul Thek, Isa Genzken, Jonathan Meese, Outsider Art, and ‘bad art’. However the biggest inspiration for this work is personal mental health.
Trevor’s first significant manifestation of mental ill health was in the final year at art college. The stress of course-work, a final show, the first time living away from home and an art student lifestyle emphasised his experience of breakdown: “I left art college with a poor degree result - a wreck and totally disillusioned with myself. I didn’t know anything about stress or mental health conditions. I took up non-art occupations like factory work and eventually became a postman. I worked at this for 10 years.” It was whilst he was a postman that mental ill health resurfaced.
Following several breakdowns, Trevor was sectioned, hospitalised, diagnosed with Hypermania and eventually this brought retirement from the GPO: “All during this time I was still making art, it was what I aspired towards and it was an outlet for my creativity, energy and Hypermania”. The next step was Ards New Horizons, a training organisation connected to Action Mental Health. Through retraining and work experience, Trevor gained a new qualification as well as self-confidence and self-belief. He is now cook in a cafe which gives sheltered employment to people with mental health issues or learning disabilities. His art practice has continued and developed and, for the first time, he is in a practical studio setup that allows for experimentation.
Trevor Wray says “Hypermania is the polar opposite of depression and being so it is optimistic in its outlook on life. You can be too bubbly and that’s where the problem lies; it goes on 24/7. A person with Hypermania goes on and on, until they run on empty – and then people can see this is a powerful illness. The next stage is 'the downs': guilt, exasperation, doubt and paranoia.” Trevor now purposely uses some of these elements in his art making, as a visualisation of Hypermania. This brings a dilemma in that some would say he is exploiting illness for effect but he feels he has come to a better understanding of his own life - and that in turn this has given an empathy with the foibles and emotions of others.
With treatment and a healthy lifestyle, and with outlets for his energy, Trevor has been pretty stable for the last 15 years, but still has mild incidents. Because relatives, friends and work colleagues understand his condition, they accept occasional oddness and outbursts. “It's just Trevor off on one!” is the title of one of the pieces in this unsettling exhibition.
“In the last year or so I have obtained my first practical art studio. Prior to this I worked at home and I found that with this new studio practice the work changed, not just in scale but that I have refined the work method. I found that when the art gave me what I think of as the 'oomph factor', it worked. This 'oomph' has no rational explanation, it just exists, it exists in the region beyond the known, but creates in me a tangible emotion when it happens. To me the work is hare-brained and potty but - it works!”
August 5 - September 23, 2011
“I visited Japan in 2008 and was just so moved by what I saw at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I feel passionately about the nuclear threat and this work creates calm and peaceful environment for people to come in and contemplate the meaning of what was done and what the future holds.” Stacia Blake, 2011
An emotive installation of paintings and origami cranes is staged at the ADF Gallery on Royal Avenue in Belfast. The installation is the work of Irish artist, Stacia Blake, who has dedicated her life to creating artworks commemorating all the people who died as a result of the Hiroshima (August 6th) and Nagaskai (August 9th) bombs – an estimated 246,000 people. In Stacia Blake’s paintings, a circle represents each person who died. So far she has completed around 20,000 circles. The show has been programmed as part of August Craft Month, which is an annual celebration of craft in Northern Ireland. As well as paintings, the installation will included collectively produced origami cranes.
The cranes are linked to Japanese girl, Sadako’s quest to create a thousand cranes in the hope she would recover from the Leukaemia that resulted from radiation experienced in the blast when she was two. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane. Sadako died before she reached her goal but classmates finished the rest after her death. There is now a tradition of sending paper cranes to the explosion sites to coincide with the anniversary deaths.
During August and September, Stacia Blake will work with local people to make paper cranes. Others will contribute cranes from a distance. The ambition is to reach a thousand paper cranes and have a wish granted for the future of Northern Ireland. “The project, which will continue into September through to World Peace Day, brings disparate people together to collaborate in an unthreatening and enjoyable project that has at its heart the desire for peace” said Chris Ledger, CEO of the Arts & Disability Forum. “The installation will grow as Stacia engages with local people to reflect on conflict and peace, and as they each make just one item – a paper bird.”
If you want to book into a workshop at the ADF or book a workshop where Stacia will visit your group please contact Hugh O’Donnell, Outreach Officer via firstname.lastname@example.org or 028 9023 9450. Workshops will start in the week beginning Monday 15th August. The cranes will be archived and each person who takes part will have the option of writing or drawing a private wish or expressing their individual commitment to peace. Participants will all be invited to an event on World Peace Day.
On 23rd September at 2pm there will be an artist’s talk by Stacia Blake as part of the ADF’s Conversations series. The gallery will then be open late for Culture Night, bringing a last chance to see the work, meet the artist and contribute another paper crane.
October 14 - November 17, 2011
“As an artist I feel it’s fundamentally important for arts practice to both reflect and engage in a meaningful way with the community it seeks to represent.” Rowena Keaveny, 2011
This exhibition of digital collage presented on canvas and paper examines how the articulation of protest – or of language formulated into political slogans – relates to place and time.
Irish artist, Rowena Keaveny, will give a talk about her work as part of the ADF’S ‘Conversations’ series on Thursday 13th October at 3pm.
The work displayed builds on previous solo exhibitions, ‘What Do We Want? When Do We Want It?’ at the Source Arts Centre, County Tipperary and the Grand Opera House in Belfast, both in 2010, and ‘Everything and Nothing Has Changed’, at the Courthouse Arts Centre in County Wicklow 2011.
Using paint, collage, text and digital print, with a gorgeous array of colour and texture, Rowena Keaveny has spent the last two years looking at what people are saying and why they might be saying it. ‘Vocalise’ examines the changing global, national and local context, showing citizens faced with unprecedented circumstances, forced to find voices and to verbalise objections to the threats that erode autonomy.
The show includes a collaborative digital media piece – ‘Life in 100 Words or Less’. This piece examines and celebrates loss, love, life, and the passing of time. It is still growing and Rowena hopes that exhibition visitors will contribute their own stories. See http://lifein100wordsorless.wordpress.com or facebook 100words. Contributors from the USA, Canada, Finland, Italy, France, Australia, Russia, Australia, Venezuela, Ireland, India, and the United Kingdom have been published, and there are plans for a publication and short film to accompany the project.
The artist credits much of her artistic development over the past few years to funding from the Arts & Disability Awards Ireland scheme.
The Christmas Exhibition
December 1 - December 22, 2011