The Expanded Studio Project is a 6 month collaborative initiative between Belfast based artists and artists based at Primary Studios, Nottingham. The aim of the project is to develop external relationships, exchange ideas and explore different modes of collaboration.
The project is based on a pilot programme which ran between Primary Studios in Nottingham and Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridge in 2014-15 where artists engaged in a period of dialogue and exchange over a four-month period. The challenge this time was to initiate and sustain collaboration across further geographical distance between England and Northern Ireland. In addition the Belfast participants are based across several different artists’ studios. These include QSS (Queen St Studios); FLAX Studios;Array Studios; Creative Exchange Artists Studios;
Platform Arts; Pollen Studios;.
Through planned visits to each other’s cities and continued conversations and emails, artists began either ‘partnering up’ or discussing ways that they could come together in groups to find a way to work together through continued communication and find a means to respond to each other’s ideas.
Expanded Studio Project: Belfast and Nottingham, March- August 2019, was initiated by Jane Morrow, PS² Curator in Residence. It is jointly co-ordinated by Deirdre Morrissey (Belfast) and Nastassja Simensky (Nottingham).
Participating artists based in Belfast
Alex Brunt; Barry Mulholland; Hannah McBride; Declan Proctor; Esther O’Kelly; Zara Lyness; Gerard Carson; Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell; Robin Price; Jackie Wylie; Thomas Wells; Heather Dornan Wilson; Sinead McKeever; Grace McMurray
Participating artists based in Nottingham
Chris Lewis Jones; Roger Suckling; Bex Gamble; Bruce Asbestos; Christine Stevens; Frank Abbot; Georgina Barney; Ines Garcia, Louisa Chambers; Marek Tobolewski; Mik Godley; Paul Webber; Pete Ellis; Nadim Chaudry; Rhiannon Jones; Sarah Tutt.
Recent Projects and Exhibitions
EXPANDED STUDIO PROJECT
Belfast and Nottingham—Exhibition of collaborative outcomes by 24 artists
14 artist from Nottingham & 14 artists from Belfast
Ends 31 August 2019
Participating artists based in Belfast Alex Brunt; Barry Mulholland; Hannah McBride; Declan Proctor; Esther O’Kelly; Zara Lyness; Gerard Carson; Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell; Robin Price; Jackie Wylie; Thomas Wells; Heather Dornan Wilson; Sinead McKeever; Grace McMurray
Participating artists based in Nottingham Chris Lewis Jones; Roger Suckling; Bex Gamble; Bruce Asbestos; Christine Stevens; Frank Abbot; Georgina Barney; Ines Garcia, Louisa Chambers; Marek Tobolewski; Mik Godley; Paul Webber; Pete Ellis; Nadim Chaudry; Rhiannon Jones; Sarah Tutt.
Exhibition of collaborative outcomes
What is presented in PS² is not an exhibition of finished work rather a showcase of peer outcomes created through collective ideas, conversations and self-directed activities.
On the 28th September a symposium will take place in Primary Studios, Nottingham where the full group of artists will reconvene to discuss the project, its challenges and possible further development.
What form will the project take?
The content of the programme will be generated by the participants to remain bespoke and responsive to their needs. Self-directed activity will be encouraged between collaborating pairs – in the form of presentations/ performances/ screenings, a website and artist-facing sharing mechanism. Public and more broadly peer-facing outcomes include a touring exhibition between both sites, and a symposium/ knowledge sharing event. Proposed considerations throughout:
-How do Belfast and Nottingham differ as places to work/ live as artists?
-How do our cities, as cities of culture, continue to support individual artists, studios and the sector?
-How might divergent media/ approaches find commonalities?
- How do both Belfast and Midlands-based artists feel about working together and further afield after Brexit?
-Why artists travel - how do we navigate the 'luxury' of being able to travel freely? And why is it important to have a wide network and collaborate nationally and internationally?
PAPER GOTHIC, BAPS
August 2019, Framewerk Gallery, Belfast
Exhibition open 24th August - 14th September 2019
We cannot escape the darkness that lies beneath the facade of normality, it is the smile at the accident, the crack in the clown mask, the uncanny event.
Belfast Artists Paper Society will explore what is behind the locked door at the top of the dark stairs and ask, ‘What do we fear in our society today?’ Do we fear women, sex or the unknown? Are these old fears or new ones born of our society today? Did something nasty actually happen in the woodshed?
WHERE YOU ARE LOST, WE ARE SÍDHE
May 2019, Engage Art Studios, Galway
Curated by Moran Been Noon
Where you are lost, we are Sídhe | (Project Page), 2019
A group exhibition at Engage Art Studios in Belfast. This was the Engage Art gallery’s inaugural exhibition.
Where you are lost, we are Sídhe features work by artists Monique Blom, Zara Lyness, Ilaria Pellizzaro, Anushiya Sundaralingam, and Ruby Wallis.
The opening was on the 25th May 2019, running until 29th June.
The event included a performance by artist Zara Lyness.
“[This] prompted me to wonder if ‘woman’ and ‘interior’ were synonymous.” Julieanna Preston, Performing Matter: Interior Surface and Feminist Actions
Where you are lost, we are Sídhe is exploring ideas situated between land art practice, traditionally-feminine creative crafts, and contemporary art practice. Each of the artwork presented is rooted to an action that began outdoors. The artists look at natural landscapes and social structures and explore their place within them as women, as artists, as occupants of space. Their actions are different from those of men artists who work with landscape: They do not conquer, they do not reshape, displace, or replace. They place a body or a texture, they harvest to create.
April 2019, Mule Gallery, San Francisco
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
February 2019, Pollen Studios and Gallery
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, the 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.
Participating artists : Aimee Magee, Aisling Magee, Aisling O’Beirn, Alice Clark, Deirdre McKenna, Jayne Cherry, Jenny Davies, Johanna Leech, Kate Ritchie, Locky Morris, Nathan Crothers, Sharon Adams, SInéad Breathnach Cashell, Zara Lyness.
March 2019, Framewerk Gallery, Belfast
Tread carefully. Don’t put your foot in it. If the shoe fits, wear it.
Cinderella is a story of a girl controlled and exploited by her new family after the death of her mother. The Grimm version involves mutilation, denial and control. The need to fit in ruins some and independence is lost for others.
Not a shoe and not a foot, these are the in-between traces left after many footsteps. As interactions and relationships affect us, their influence leaves an indelible mark in our lives. There is plenty of advice to be had, encouraged or not. We will find ourselves in unexpected circumstances. Trying to fit in, (or not,) we are affected by external forces. Perceiving ourselves through these reflections of others can influence our behaviour and at times affect our decisions. Life is no fairytale.
THE BIG RED BUTTON
May 2018, Belfast Artists Paper Society, Pollen Studios and Gallery
Paper collage based around the theme of Armageddon. The Belfast Artists Paper Society have turned their attention to Armageddon, the End of the World and The Big Red Button. How do you prepare? What will you need? Who will you need? Is there anywhere you can go for advice?Artists Sue Cathcart, Jayne Cherry, Susan McKeever, Emma McAleer, Nathan Crothers, Emma Whitehead, Deby McKnight, Zara Lyness and Georgia Eliott have done some research on your behalf and present the results.
June 2017, End of Year Degree Show, Ulster University
A sequence of 45 Parian porcelain bells exhibited on custom designed steel and glass frames. The bells, cast from one broken mould, are presented in the order they were made. Each bell is unique, creating a series of characters that tell a story of autobiography, time and communication.