Events 2010

Exhibitions 2010

Shedd -Video installation.

Shedd -Video installation.

David Hughes:
I Run
An exhibition of digital work
text and assemblage
ADF Gallery
February 4 - March 3, 2010

One day, in the rain, I am twisting to lift my son Aaron from the car and my ankle gives way.
Will I fall and drop him? Will I injure him? Will I knock myself out and leave him crying beside his unconscious daddy?
David Hughes.

This solo exhibition premieres new work created with a grant from the Arts & Disability Awards Ireland scheme. Digital work by David Hughes is accompanied by a music score from electro-acoustic composer Tim Howle, who is Head of Music at the University of Hull.

There will be an exhibition preview with refreshments on Thursday 4th February, 5pm-7pm.

The Artist

David Hughes trained as an actor and director in the ‘70s and ran an experimental theatre company before studying philosophy and critical theory in the early 80s.

He worked for many years as a freelance arts journalist whilst editing and publishing art magazines. In the early 90s he took a post as senior lecturer on the Contemporary Arts degree at Nottingham Trent University and moved to be Head of Theatre at the University of Hull in 2001.

Following a period of deep clinical depression he left academic and publishing work behind to concentrate on helping to look after his young family, writing, making art, training to be a therapist, being in therapy himself, and occasionally reviewing art. His partner and he have two sons and have lived in Drumbo, near Lisburn, since 2005.

See more of David Hughes' work at:

Hugh O'Donnell - Invite

Hugh O'Donnell - Invite

Hugh O’Donnell:
An exhibition of new drawings and amalgamations
ADF Gallery
March 26 - April 22, 2010

The Arts & Disability Forum is pleased to present a solo exhibition premiering drawings by Hugh O’ Donnell.

Chalk, pencil, paper, pencil, paint, Tipp-Ex, carbon paper, graphite; merging all, combining some; ripping, tearing, stretching, drips, smudges, lines, shapes;  thinking, seeing, squinting, glasses on, glasses off, standing, sitting.

Hugh O’Donnell has exhibited both nationally and internationally in TRACE: installaction Arts Space Cardiff), BONE Festival (Switzerland), IMAF Mas Gallery (Serbia), Le Lieu centre en art d'actuale (Quebec City), ETNA FOUNDATION: ARES (Romania), Grace Space (New York), Waterloo Centre for the Arts (Iowa U.S.A.) and most recently Commissioned for FADO Performance Art Centre, Toronto Free Gallery (Canada) and 'In the flesh', Plymouth Arts Centre (England)

Production of this new series has been supported by a grant from the Arts & Disability Awards Ireland scheme.

The work on display has been produced through spontaneous and intuitive processes informed by Hugh O’Donnell’s performance art practice. The overall approach is conceptual, material-based and ‘auto-personal’.

The Artist

Born in Dublin, 1978. On completion of an Art, Design and Mixed Media course in Dublin, Hugh O’Donnell moved to Belfast to undertake a Degree in Fine and Applied Art and then completed a Masters in Fine Art, with distinction, both at the University of Ulster in Belfast.

Hugh O’Donnell currently holds a Belfast studio with ADHOC in Kent Street, where many of the drawings in the exhibition have been created. He is part of the management committee of Bbeyond, a performance art organisation in Belfast and, with Bbeyond he has organised and helped with performance art festivals/events on an international level.

Kathleen O'Leary - Invite

Kathleen O'Leary - Invite

Kathleen O’Leary
Different views/Viewing Difference
ADF Gallery
May 27 - June 8, 2010

The Arts & Disability Forum is pleased to present this exhibition of photographic self-portraits by women with disabilities in Leitrim and Fermanagh facilitated by Kathleen O’Leary. The exhibition will be staged at the ADF Gallery on Royal Avenue. There will be an exhibition preview with refreshments on Thursday 27th May, 5pm-7pm. The show opens to the public from 28th May until 8th June at our usual gallery times, Tuesday to Friday, 11am-3pm.

‘LIMINALITY: Different Views/Viewing Difference’ is the result of a cross-border project begun in 2006. Women Making Waves in Co. Fermanagh and Women Independently Living in Leitrim in Co. Leitrim worked in partnership with facilitator Kathleen O’Leary.

The project examined images of women and disability, and images of women with disabilities. It empowered women with disabilities in a post-conflict region to choose the images that represented themselves.  The result is a collection of photographs that show smiling, proud, stylish, independent women unashamed of disability or age, challenging accepted notions of femininity, physicality and social priority.

Two documentary films form part of the exhibition; one is by the artistic facilitator Kathleen O’ Leary, and the other by film-maker, Roísín Loughrey.

Project funded by the EU Program for Peace and Reconciliation (Peace II); the Arts Council of Ireland (via CREATE’S Artist in the Community scheme); and Co-operation Ireland.

The artist

Kathy is a multidisciplinary visual artist. Her studio-based work reflects how she collects and collates imagery.

She examines form, line and colour, which become abstract, often sculptural layers.

This helps her to conceptualize the idea in a way that reflects the layers of changing culture, society, history, geology and politics.

Employing the abstract space to create a pliable structure for intuition, improvisation and chance. These have become her methods for navigating the blurry terrain of memory and imagination. Kathy traces and retracing paths, mapping serves as a metaphor for searching, an implication of the unknown in wide, open spaces, and a trace of how we see where we’ve been.

Kathy O’ Leary is a native of West Cork, born in 1977.

She has completed her B.A. (Hons.), Degree in Fine Art since ‘05 at the I.T., Sligo.

In ‘05 She was given an unconditional offer on a M.A. course in Printmaking from University of the Arts London, Camberwell College, which is on hold at present due to an injury to her back from a R.T.A.

Since then she has trained as a Facilitator through the Workers Education Association (WEA) through the LDH at The Dock Carrick-on-Shannon and also trained in Final Cut Pro and DVD Cut Pro.

At present she is a resident artist with her studio at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre, LSC and launched the Public Arts show ‘Liminality, Different Viewing/Viewing Difference’ in June ’09 at the LSC.

Kathy has exhibited at the at The Model, Sligo, ’05, Frieze Art Fair in London, ’09, Richard Ling Gallery, Newcastle, Uk, ’09, ADF Gallery Belfast, ’09.

Currently Kathy O’Leary has a studio at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre.


Crippen - Invite

Crippen - Invite

Dave Lupton - aka Crippen
The World of Crippen
ADF Gallery
July 20 - August 12, 2010

“… acknowledged as the UK’s leading disabled cartoonist” Disability Arts Magazine
“He takes no prisoners when confronting the hypocrisy that often permeates the world of disability …” Kit Wells, NUJ Disabled Members’ Council

On 20th July 2010, a new exhibition at the Arts & Disability Forum on Royal Avenue will reveal satirical cartoons by Dave Lupton, aka Crippen. On 22nd July there will be an artist’s talk by Crippen, who is flying in from Barcelona for the occasion. The talk, which is part of the ADF’s ‘Conversations’ series, will be followed by an early evening reception from 5pm until 7pm. Monica Wilson from Disability Action will introduce the event and then there will be a chance for Crippen to mingle with other invited guests and ADF members.

Margaret Mann, Chair of the Arts & Disability Forum says: “The content of this exhibition is challenging and informative but it also is enjoyable. Audio description is integral – I have a strong sense of the work now and other visually impaired people will have too. The tour will reach disabled people throughout Northern Ireland and, as well as the ADF’s usual target audience, this show is attracting interest from other socially excluded groups – it’s a prime example of the Arts & Disability Forum’s genuinely inclusive approach”.

Disabled cartoonist, Crippen’s mission is to expose the barriers that continue to exclude disabled people from many aspects of everyday life. His cartoons challenge discrimination and prejudice with an impudence and irreverence which frequently make his work controversial.
The show includes pieces that have only very recently been produced and the Arts & Disability Forum has received congratulatory messages from people living as far afield as Spain, India and the USA, all of whom would like to see the work. Following this ADF premiere, The World of Crippen will live on in Northern Ireland for at least another year, touring to disability accessible venues, including day centres, libraries, colleges and small-scale arts exhibition spaces. For ADF member organisations the show will be available free of charge with venues just covering transport, insurance and publicity.

Chris Ledger, the Arts & Disability Forum’s Chief Executive says: “This work irreverently expresses ideas stemming from disability politics – as differentiated from the usual NI political concerns. Disability is a leveller, it doesn’t discriminate and it can affect people from any background. In the current general atmosphere of cuts, where there are particular fears about potential cuts to disability services, The World of Crippen is especially pertinent. The ADF is delighted to have had the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council to originate this exciting exhibition for Northern Ireland.”

An empty frame hanging in the exhibition will symbolise Crippen’s agreement to produce a new piece of work for Northern Ireland. Over the next few months disabled people living in Northern Ireland are invited to identify the disability issue that most warrants a cartoon and Crippen will then draw a new piece representing the issue with the most nominations. The Arts & Disability Forum will present this cartoon to key politicians as part of celebrations for International Day of Disabled People.



The artist

Dave Lupton, aka Crippen, has been producing cartoons about disability related issues for the past 20 years. A disabled person himself, all of his work is rooted in the Social Model of disability and tackles the barriers in society that disable people who have impairments (including physical, sensory and intellectual impairments and mental health difficulties). His mission is to expose those barriers which continue to exclude Disabled people.  His cartoons challenge discrimination, preconception and prejudice. Thanks to the internet, Dave is involved with an extensive network of disabled people across the world.  His work therefore reflects not only a wide impairment focus but also introduces aspects of different cultures and their approaches to disability and disabled people.

Dave produces a weekly cartoon blog on the UK Disability Arts On-Line (DAO) web site. He also generates regular work for film, television, national and local newspapers, magazines and web sites. Much of his work is produced to support the activities of many groups and organisations of disabled people who use his cartoons for Disability Equality Training and information purposes.

For more details, you can contact Dave at:


Web site:

Disability Arts Online blog:

Homemade Frock courtesy of Roisin O'Hagan

Homemade Frock courtesy of Roisin O'Hagan

Roisin O’Hagan
Ancestral Threads
ADF Gallery
Arts & Disability Forum in association with August craft month
August 19 - September 24, 2010

An exhibition of new fabric works by Roisin O’Hagan will be at the Arts & Disability Forum on Royal Avenue until 24th September.

This new series of work has been produced with the aid of a grant from the Arts & Disability Awards Ireland scheme.

Roisin O’Hagan will be in residence for a number of days during the exhibition and can be observed making a new piece in the Arts & Disability Forum gallery. If you want to meet Roisin or to see her at work, check the Arts & Disability Forum’s website,, for specific dates or contact Leo Devlin: 028 9023 9450.

The Artist

Trained as a painter, Roisin now considers herself a painter who uses fibres. The current work is a series of small pieces made from wool, linen, silk and cotton, some of which use old family linens, including tablecloths and runners. Roisin hand-dyes, then tears the dyed fibres and fabrics into smaller parts. Using a machine embellisher, she ‘paints’ by forcing fibres into a backing fabric – a technique not unlike felting. Using old photographs mainly of family members as reference, she then ‘sketches’ portraits onto backgrounds, by hand stitching. Within the backgrounds are representations of old stories: everyday accounts of the artist’s rural ancestors and of her current extended family inspire her work.


Arts and Disability Forum
contributes to
Culture Night
5-9pm FRIDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2010

Culture Night Belfast offers live music, film screenings, dance performances, literature readings, art exhibitions, open studios, guided tours, drawing and painting workshops, lectures, dance classes, theatre performances, children’s activities and much more, reflecting the broad cultural landscape of Belfast. All activities on Culture Night are family- friendly and free of charge.

The ADF’s contribution to Culture Night is a late night opening of our current textiles exhibition, ‘Ancestral Threads’ by Roisin O’Hagan. Roisin will be in the gallery working on a new piece and will be pleased to discuss new commissioned pieces if you’re planning early for Christmas gifts. This is a good night to drop by and chat with ADF staff and Board members or to find out about our talks and events and grants for disabled artists. And for this financial year we’re giving free membership to disabled people who have an interest in the arts: you can sign up on the night.

Flowing into the streets, you can hobnob with stilt-walkers who have learning disabilities outside the ADF and next door, for the first time ever, the Belfast Coffee Company will host short demo sessions by disabled musicians.

Culture Night: it’s inclusive; it’s in the Cathedral Quarter and it’s not to be missed

Abnormal - Invite

Abnormal - Invite

Ju Gosling aka Ju90
towards a scientific model of disability
ADF Gallery
October 15 - November 25, 2010

The Arts & Disability Forum presents the NI premiere of an exhibition by London-based disabled artist, Ju Gosling, also known as Ju90. To mark the launch, the artist will give a talk at the Arts & Disability Forum on Thursday 14th October at 2.30pm and this will be followed by an opening view from 5-7pm. The exhibition will be open to the public until 25th November, during the ADF gallery’s usual public opening hours of 11am-3pm, Tuesday to Friday.

Abnormal has grown from the artist’s residency at the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR). Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the residency explored ideas about normality, and asked whether there is a ‘scientific model of disability’ that is distinct from the ‘medical model of disability’.

Ju Gosling looks at how science affects ideas of disability and ab/normality. Her work investigates how science and scientists influence society’s attitude towards and treatment of disabled people.

“The exhibition brings to Northern Ireland some very challenging ideas on disability, stereotyping, gender, sexuality and body image, all tempered by the dry humour that is Ju90’s hallmark. The Arts & Disability Forum is delighted to be able to showcase Ju’s work and to link in with local organisations like Outburst Queer Arts Festival and Queen’s for complementary activities. Abnormal is a great example of the power of the arts as a tool for communicating complex ideas” said Chris Ledger, Chief Executive of the Arts & Disability Forum.
  • Artist’s talk Thursday 14 October, 2- 4:30, part of the ADF’s ‘Conversations’ series.
  • Opening view Thursday 14 October, 5-7pm
  • Exhibition open to public 15 October to 25 November, 11-3pm, Tuesdays to Fridays
  • Visual arts workshop Saturday 20th November, 11am-4pm (Outburst)
  • Public discussion featuring Ju Gosling: ‘The arts, sexuality & disability’, Friday 19th November, 2pm Brian Friel Theatre, 20 University Square (Outburst)

Abnormal has been programmed in collaboration with this year’s Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s and Outburst Queer Arts.

The Artist

Raised in the marshlands of Essex and originally trained as a dancer, Ju Gosling, aka ju90, is a 40-something disabled webmaster and multimedia storyteller who works mainly with digital lens-based media, but also with performance, text and sound. Ju works largely within the theories and traditions of the disability arts movement, and has gained an international reputation over a number of years. For further information see

Trevor Wray - Xmas Show Invite

Trevor Wray - Xmas Show Invite

ADF Winter Exhibition 2010
Andrew Gahan, Angela Emsen-West, David Hughes, Gill Hartley, Grainne Doyle, Hugh O’Donnell, Jan Taggart, Joe Ryan Kim Lennon, Ruth A Scott, Sinead O’Donnell, Trevor Ray, William McKnight

ADF Gallery
December 16 - February 17

The Arts & Disability Forum presents this year's winter group exhibition, which has been selected from open submission and shows the work of twelve artists from both Northern Ireland and the RoI. 
We will hold a celebratory event on Wednesday 22nd December 4-6pm, so you are all very much welcome to come down and begin the Christmas celebrations early. Everyone is welcome so please do bring your friends and relatives.The exhibition features a distinct range of work that celebrates the diversity of the artists involved in the Arts & Disability Forum. For the event on 22nd, please get in to touch by 16th with access requests such as BSL.In the current funding climate the future is uncertain for small arts organisations like the ADF but we make a big difference to the lives of disabled people and to the wider social inclusion agenda. You can register your support for public funding of the arts here: Or send a message to the ADF via our website, where we will soon have a new facility for making online donations.

The Artists

David Hughes

Pareidolia I & Pareidolia II

“One of the threads of my recent work is making monoprints that exhibit a potential for pareidolia."

Monoprinting is a painterly method among the printmaking techniques, and is essentially printed painting. The characteristics of this method are that no two prints are alike, it is spontaneous and indeterminate and is a combination of printmaking, painting and drawing.

When I paint I frequently use the painted surface as a source for prints, laying art paper over the canvas and pressing it. Each subsequent print will be different, a little less paint here, a lighter shade there and so on, until in the end maybe only a few commas or spots of paint remain wet enough to be transferred to the art paper.

Because of the inevitable smudgings of paint, the print is a lot more ‘abstract’ than the original painting might be. In these vague and random patterns and textures it is possible to make out faces, scenes and other objects. This phenomenon of ‘seeing’ clear images in random and vague textures is known as pareidolia.

Bill McKnight

Granda & Bingo Wings

Bill McKnight(poet)  was  born in the Tigers Bay  area of Belfast , a stone’s throw away from the docks and in the shadow of Cavehill. He has lived most of life in North Belfast.

Bill currently works for a Health and Social Care Trust. His work takes him onto the streets of North and West  Belfast where he has the opportunity to work with and share his experiences of mental illness with others who have serious mental health problems.

Bill enjoys writing poetry, which he views as a way of expressing his experience of life and faith. Using his poems, Bill seeks to challenge myths and mind-sets in an attempt to lessen the misunderstanding and stigma which surround society’s attitude to mental illness.

Sinéad O'Donnell


Performance art video document. Location - 'Open Space Gallery', Victoria, Vancouver island, Canada, 2010. Event - 'Chaos'. Supported by - Arts Council of N.Ireland, S.I.A.P award.

At the begining of this year I began to use the sound of the word ‘violent’ rather than the physical force in my live work, it was a way of depicting a past experience of domestic violence combined with  living in a society surrounded by violence. During some of this ‘violent’ series of performances I have made actions such as colouring in my nose black to express feeling of isolation and dislocation- stacking dinner plates so high they tower above my head and then collapse to demonstate the fragility of life while also making a series of ‘live fragmented sculptures'

Joe Ryan

Wrought Iron & Monolith

Lives and works between London and Dublin, studied at Middlesex University and University of east London, where he will be undertaking doctoral research in fine art. Currently on a residency in Mountwood Community Development Project involving establishing a gallery within the centre which is run by user groups, also setting up a dialogue where youth groups engage with local community, through a series of commissions and site specific murals.

Currently working on a series of large scale etchings inspired by Piranesi’s “Imaginary prisons” series, and is presently researching imagery and preliminary drawings involving the dynamics and relationship between the architecture and psycho geography of the Four Courts and Smithfield area of Dublin. He has exhibited widely in the U.K. and Ireland and held in collections in Asia.

Gil Hartley

The Mistress: 2010 oil on canvas 40 by 60 cm

"I see my medium as life and paintings, moments to which one can return time and again or as I like to say “music for the eye”. Before painting in my mind I create an arena of colour and composition within which the spontaneous can happen. I try to capture life as much with the actual brush stroke as with the subject matter, so that the painting really is a moment of life using what I term”the profundity of colour”

Having completed my foundation year at Castlereagh Collee in 1999 I went on to Manchester University where I spent a year before having to leave due to illness. When in Manchester I was thrown very much into the conceptual scene there and it took me 7 or 8 years to develop my own ideas in response. I began painting again about two and a half years ago, having redeveloped my drawing skills. I had two exhibitions in Musgrave Park Hospital and in the Tower Gallery, BCH in December 2009 and January 2010."

Grainne Doyle

 4 x Acyclic works

Grainne Doyle from mindwise produces small abstract acrylic works. This is the first time Doyle has shown work at the ADF. The selected works presents us with a range of ‘painterly’ actions or gestures in with rich colour.

Andrew Gahan

Goat and Kid, Burron Co. Clare &  Upper lake, Tymon Park, Co. Clare &  Glenreagh National park, Dublin & Connemara, lake and Mountains.

The award winning Irish artist who has made his mark on the art scene worldwide where his many prestigious commissions grace the homes and boardrooms of private and corporate art collectors. A skilled watercolourist he also works in other mediums. He has been drawing and painting from an early age.  As an artist he has represented Ireland on many occasions including at the European Commission in Brussels celebrating Irelands Presidency 1990 and 2004. His "Heavenly Bodies" a collection of works on an astronomy theme is a spectacular exhibition premiered at the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin. 8."

Kim Lennon

Moonlight Hares Triptych &  Beside the lake, beneath the trees &  Untitled

Animals in nature

I am a full time wheelchair user and I have become increasingly interested in accessible images in nature. I want to create images that are aesthetically pleasing to everyone. I want my own work to be naturally accessible and I want to recreate natural scenarios.

Jan Taggart

The moon ball

Ruth A Scott

The Five tinty whistle &  Away with the fairies

Trevor Wray


Hugh O’Donnell


''In school when you had to pack up your books to head off to the remedial lessons, them being Maths or English. You had to break away from the mainstream lesson within those subjects. I/We that had to leave the class at a certain time for the alternative lessons (as they were called) we were referred to as the ''REMO'S'' by the other ''NORMAL" kids in the class. This term 'REMO' was also quite popular in secondary schooling too.

I think by the time I was in University things changed? Or did they?



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