Zara Lyness Visual Artist

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 Projects and events

R-Space Gallery at the Linen Rooms - Resident Workshop Facilitator 

32 Castle Street, Lisburn, BT27 4XE

Held in the gallery space, I am delivering a range of workshops using a variety of materials and processes suitable for beginners and most age groups. The workshops are relaxed, friendly and great value, where participants can learn new skills and create personal original pieces of art and craft work. The gallery has full wheelchair access. 

For details and booking information for the workshops please visit the R-Space website or Facebook page.

Tinypricks: Tweets, Textiles and Trump, 2019

Tinypricks: Tweets, textiles and Trump

Group exhibition

Mule Gallery, San Francisco

5th - 21st April

On 8th January 2018 Trump declared 'I am a very stable genius' and that was the beginning of Tinypricks. Artist Diana Weymar stitched the statement into a an abandoned piece of needlework and posted it on Instagram. After making about 100 she opened the project to the public. In April 2019 there were around 600 tinypricks, many people contributing multiple times, exhibited in the Mule Gallery. The project will continue until Donald Trump is no longer in office.

The Odd Collection, 2019

The Odd Collection

Group exhibition

Pollen Studios and Gallery

7th - 8th February 2019

Cabinets of Curiosity, also known as ‘wonder rooms’ have displayed collections since at least the 1500’s. They have been used to categorise natural history objects, tell stories about the world and it’s history (sometimes not letting the truth get in the way of a good story) and served to establish a social ranking in society. The Odd Collection exhibition was inspired by the odd collection of favoured objects and the collection of odd objects that find their way into our homes and especially artists’ studios.

With invited artists, Pollen Gallery was converted into a 'wonder room', with a nod to the history of museum natural science collections and wink to the possibilities of undiscovered treasures.

(Exhibitor and curator)

Linen Biennale, Northern Ireland, 2018

I have been proud to have been a part of the Linen Biennale 2018 team. Based in R-Space, Gallery, Lisburn, from May -December 2018 as the volunteer manager, I have been from Upperlands to Monaghan, Belfast to Cookstown, I have met some wonderful artists and learnt so much. 

I also had the opportunity to be involved on and off-stage in the Linen Opera, commissioned for the 2020 Biennale.

Huge appreciation to the core team and the fantastic team of volunteers how helped along the way.

Booze and Peruse, 2018

I will be located in the Hop House for Booze and Peruse, hosted by the Open House Festival.


Spend the perfect summer Sunday with friends and family, cold beers and hot food, in the company of dozens of local artists demonstrating their craft. Three of Bangor's best beer gardens will host our finest local creatives as they produce stunning original pieces before your eyes – sculpting, weaving, embroidering, silversmithing, wood turning, block printing and throwing pots – these are just a few of the creative processes you'll see up close and personal. Bring the kids – relax – and be amazed.

Event details:

'Contained' , The Byre, August 2018

As part of August Craft Month 2018 I am delighted to be part of an diverse group af artists and makers invited to take part in the 'Contained' exhibition in the Byre at Frocess Yard.

Byre 2018

Opening reception Saturday 11 August 2-4pm, all welcome

Exhibition continues 12, 18-19, 25-25-27 August 2018, 11am to 5pm

Selected artists present work related to the theme ‘Contained’.  Expect to see a wide range of objects as each maker interprets that idea in their own personal way. These include bowls in glass and porcelain, wooden boxes and furniture, baskets, textiles and more. There will be practical containers for objects and more unusual items that might ‘contain’ memories or emotions.

A total of 15 artists are taking part: Anne Butler (image left), Andrew Cooke, Alison Fitzgerald, Alison Lowry, Claire Samways, Helen O’Hare, Jayne Cherry, John Piekaar, Rhiannon Ewing-James , Scott Benefield, Sharon Adams, Sinead Bhreathnach-Cashell , Sinead Black, Stuart Cairns, Zara Lyness.

Event details and location:

'Changing Environments' Community Arts Project 2018

After two months of workshops, the art work produced by the participants from Moyard House, Roseville House and the Falls Women's Centre was showcased at the Old Andersonstown Barracks Site in Belfast. 

The project has all age groups from Belfast, Poland, Somalia, Nairobi, Sudan and Egypt, coming together to share stories about changing environments. 

The art work portrayed memories from different homes, families and dreams of other times and places.

The project was funded by the Upper Springfield Development Trust.

Images below courtesy of Joshua Crawford.

Féile an Earraigh Selfie-Swap project and exhibition 2018

Upper Springfield Development Trust Arts Programme is holding their Selfie Swap Exhibition on Monday 12th March at 6.30pm in St. Mary’s University College Falls Road. This is part of Féile an Earraigh’s programme of Visual Art Exhibitions, that can all be seen on the night, and for the whole week of Féile an Earraigh. This project is funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. This is also funded by Department for Social Development’s Belfast Regeneration Office.

Artists Tonya McMullan and Zara Lyness have been working on the project and delivering art workshops with Springvale, St Gerard’s Educational Resource Centre’s Youth Club along with the Education Authority’s Youth Inclusion and Diversity Unit, and Springfield Charitable Association.

The project was based on the history of selfies, creatively examine old portraiture, an early form of selfies and bring it up to date via Snapchat & social media selfies. This was an intergenerational project with young people leading the way in terms of the new technology and current selfies, and the older people sourcing old family photos of themselves and their parents, grandparents, etc. The young people learned about old forms of selfie portraiture and were also introduced to the technical skill of painting with light. Traditional printmaking was combined with digital technology. 


Piece by Piece Exhibition 2017

In November 2017 Ulster University hosted the Peace Walls Exhibition, part of the Department of Justice Interfaces Programme. As Artist in Residence I helped facilitate and curate the exhibition. 

NVTV talk to Belfast Open Studios 2017

Representing Pollen Studios at the Belfast Open Studios event hosted by Visual Artists Ireland in the Black Box, Belfast. Open Studios interviews start 18 mins into the programme.

Liminal - Hydrangea Project Still Bunker 3, August 2017

Hydrangea Project Belfast-Chicago. Still Bunker 3

Friday 11th -Sunday 13th August 2017

Presented by Bronagh Lawson and Suellen Semekoski

In Flux 'Process and Duration' evolved into In Flux 'Breaking barriers and Building Connections'. Through the invitation to share stories and build connections, visitors to the exhibition participated in the rearrangement of over 200 porcelain bricks over the course of the exhibition. Each participant described their reaction to the work, surprised by the weight, texture and history of the objects, adding to the shared experience of coming together in a location more associated with historical conflict. The comparison of the risk of building with porcelain bricks and the vulnerability of sharing stories with unfamiliar people was recognised by participants from as far apart as Canada and Italy. 

NVTV Degree Show Interview, June 2017

NVTV Belfast local TV station video 'Concepts of Life', 2017 Graduate Degree Shows interviews hosted by Mo McDevitt. (Artist interview starts 9.47  mins- 12.32 mins)

Belfast School of Art, 2017
End Of Year Review/interviews

Full End of Year 2017 Review film by Paul Marshall Media. (Link

 Zara Lyness, interviewed as Fine Art representative,

1 min 27 sec, 4 min 18 sec, 6 min 38 sec, voicing the thoughts of so many graduates who have had the Belfast School of Art l;earning experience.

Dialogical Interventions, 2016- ongoing

Dialogical Interventions 2016-

Dialogical Interventions is a collaborative art project realised in the Department Art and Communication Practices of the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Interviews conducted by students with international experts (artists, theoreticians and curators) investigate the theoretical background and foundation of dialogical art. Within the scope of the project dialogical performances will be developed together with students from the Ulster University over the period of two semesters. These projects will be prepared via regular Skype meetings and realised during a one week stay in Belfast in the Spring of 2017. In the lead up to this, workshops by experts will reflect the ideas, concepts and outcome of this collaborative undertaking. 

The project Dialogical Interventions investigates how dialogical art navigates between the poles of social engagement and aesthetic autonomy and when it becomes relevant for societal change. The central questions are: What role does artistic research play in dialogical art? Is dialogical art a form of everyday life / research? What is the aesthetic quality of dialogue in art? When does art become political?

Ri-Ve-Be-Ro, 2017

Riverbero a Mak9 Project 2017

Last minute invigilation and general helping out. From exhibition set up to the walk to St Martin's Church. It was a pleasure getting involved in some way in this project, meeting and talking to the artists and visiting the exhibition.

Eastside 20/20 Arts Festival, 2016

The Wish Tree Forest - Artist Deirdre Robb (2016)

(Assisted by Lesley Cherry and George Robb)

Creative Exchange Studios, Belfast, as part of the Eastside 20/20 Arts Festival, hosted several visual arts events. Along with managing the volunteers for The Engine Room Gallery Exhibition I also spent a day at Connswater Shopping Centre helping with the Wish Tree Forest. This was an unexpectedly emotional experience as some of the visitors opened their hearts and told their stories as they made wishes for themselves, for others and their community.

Murmuration, 2015

Belfast International Festival of Performance Art, 2015

Hillsborough International Oyster Festival, 2013/2014

The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival features a Gala Ball each year. Through Southern Regional College I was involved with dressing the marquee in 2013 (Titanic Theme) and 2014 (A Night at the Oscars)

Photograph of the artist (performing) and providing documentation for South Eastern Regional College during the 2014 Night at the Oscars Gala Ball, followed by a full day of photography work at the Charity Super Car Dream Ride event for Red Eye Photography.

Old Warren Women's Group Community Project, 2014

Drug Awareness community project in association with ASCERT and the Old Warren Women's Group. The women of the group designed a mosaic and brought it to life with colourful glass and plastic recycled from drug paraphernalia confiscated during police drug raids. The finished piece was unveiled by the Lady Mayor of Lisburn at an event in the Enterprise Community Centre in Lisburn, 2014, where the artwork is now on permanent public display.

Twilight Night by Fairy Light, Halloween Event and Workshop, 2013/14

As part of the Lisburn City Council Twilight Night by Fairy Light Halloween Extravaganza events in 2013 and 2014 South Eastern Regional College collaborated with the Island Arts Centre. Students from the college produced a series of willow sculptures, placed around Wallace Park for the event in 2013, including a 9' Pegasus. I also led a willow workshop  for the Ashgrove Community group in Portadown Community Centre making willow lanterns with the members made possible by the Island Arts Centre. For the 2014 event the performing arts students interacted with the public in 'pop up' theatre style dressed in costumes designed and made by the Art and Design students. 

Off the Cuff, 2013

Londonderry City of Culture, 2013

The brief - to design a garment or accessory to the historical Shirt Industry of Derry. The competition culminated in a fashion show in North West Regional College attended by participants from across Northern Ireland, Glasgow and Nuremberg. 

The inspiration for the head piece came from stories about the young factory workers whose job it was to collect any of the precious mother of pearl buttons that were dropped in the making of high end dress shirts.