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10 Arts & Culture Events Happening In The Cathedral Quarter This Month

Home to Belfast’s most innovative and cultural spaces, the Cathedral Quarter is host to a whole host of festivals, art exhibitions and cultural events.

With restrictions beginning to ease, now is the perfect time to explore this historic part of the city again.

Here are 10 arts and culture events happening in CQ this July::

1. Mediating Signals

Available until 10th July, you can visit ’Mediating Signals’, the offline exhibition in Flax Art Studios showcasing works of Belfast-related artists. Mediating Signals is in is a two-part instalment made up of: Tracing Algo-rhythm and Assigning Ambiguity.

To learn more about the event go to http://flaxartstudios.org/events.

2, 3, 4. Photography Exhibitions at Belfast Exposed

AEON by Marcel Rickly

Gallery 1 presents ‘AEON’, the solo exhibition by Swiss photographer Marcel Rickli represents how radioactive waste repositories will affect humanity for generations to come.

A Lightness of Touch

In Gallery 2, you can admire ‘A Lightness of Touch’ showcasing the work of MFA Photography graduates from Ulster University. Their art is far-reaching and diverse, with the overarching theme of capturing their subject with a lightness of touch.

Street View: Yan Wang Preston

Yan Wang Preston’s Street view offers visitors a chance to explore an instalment of the artist previous works He- River Together, Mother River and Forest.

To see all running events at Belfast Exposed, go to belfastexposed.org 

5. Belfast Print Workshop – Fibre: A New Online Exhibition

From the comfort of your own home, you can explore Fibre- The New Online Exhibition by Belfast Print Workshop. 

Fibre for printmakers is a subject matter transference, it is what ties their works together and gives the final piece its uniqueness. The instalment focuses on the relationship between fibre, the most fundamental elements of two-dimensional artmaking and print.

To find out more about the exhibition and Belfast Print Workshop, go to bpw.org.uk

6, 7, 8. Thought-provoking exhibits at The MAC

Ambera Wellmann – UnTurning

You can visit the first exhibition in the UK & Ireland by Canadian-born and New York-based painter Ambera Wellmann in the Upper Gallery. In ‘UnTurning’, Wellmann’s paintings negotiate the devastation of the present, one in which the cultural logic of heteronormativity and capitalism are naturalised in the human psyche. 

Jaap Pieters – The Eye of Amsterdam

In the Sunken Gallery, you can view Dutch filmmaker and artist Jaap Pieters’ The Eye of Amsterdam Exhibition. The exhibit features footage made by using minimal equipment and hardly any manipulations. Instead, he restricted himself to creating short, 3-minute reels and produced numerous films on the small-gauge “amateur” medium over four decades.

Maya Balcioglu

The Tall Gallery is home to Maya Balcioglu’s exhibit, which consists of large scale works on paper, latex and fabric completed over 15 years. It showcases drawings from between 2006-10, latex works from 2019-20, and her most recent fabric works.

For more information about the individual exhibits, visit themaclive.co.uk 

9. Across and In-Between – Susan Lacy

Golden Thread Gallery presents you with ‘Across and In-Between’,  a creative collaboration between Suzanne Lacy and Cian Smyth with Helen Sharp and several communities.

This project amplifies the voices and experiences of border residents during Brexit negotiations through words, imagery, sound and performance, providing them with an opportunity to reclaim the landscape around them.

The exhibit is shown across the entirety of The Golden Thread Gallery.  For an in-depth review go togoldenthreadgallery.co.uk

10. Paddy McCann – Friary 

Fenderesky Gallery is showing the works of Paddy McCann in the exhibit, titled ‘Friary’. The new paintings are available to view until the end of July by appointment.

For contact information and gallery opening hours, go to: fendereskygallery.com/nowshowing.html

To find out more about what’s happening in Belfast Cathedral Quarter check out the Destination CQ website at cathedralquarterbelfast.com

 By Alexandra Feher, Excalibur Press

Belfast City

Spectacular Ogham Grove Opens Tonight In Cathedral Quarter

Cathedral Quarters Writers’ Square will tonight (September 17) be transformed into a spectacular installation from the creative team for CNB21 Presents: The Ogham Grove.

From 6pm tonight through until Sunday evening visitors can experience an interactive celebration of the ancient druidic language, with massive representations of trees, sounds and lighting weaving a path of learning about the language and the chance to win prizes.

Ogham Grove replaces the previous city centre based programme of street based activity and pop-up events.

Although the plans for this year are monumental in size, Culture Night Belfast and CQ Trust director Susan Picken said visitors should not expect the same on-street celebration as years gone by.

Prior to the pandemic, Culture Night had been one of Belfast’s largest free events, a cultural celebration that attracted almost 90,000 local, national and international visitors to the Cathedral Quarter and Belfast city centre. The impact of COVID has led to a major review of the event however.

Susan said: “Culture Night 2021 will be much smaller in scale and scope and will take the form of an on-site installation that people can drop into and enjoy over the course of the weekend – this different format will allow us to focus on safety as well as making sure everyone has a great time.”

The brains behind the concept include creative lead Gawain Morrison, artist and prop designer Dylan McCaughtry, designer Neil Beattie, lighting designer Tomás FitzGerald and drum loop producer Damian Mills.

Gawain Morrison said that the concept of The Ogham Grove “draws inspiration from the ancient Celtic Ogham Tree alphabet which dives deep into the era where nature and myths intertwined”. 

This year, as well as experiencing The Ogham Grove itself, visitors will be able to take part in an accompanying interactive experience that will lead them through the Cathedral Quarter, and also take them on a journey of personal discovery.

According to Gawain the immersive nature inspired trail and competition will mean visitors can take something special away from the experience.

“For somebody who will be coming to this, the several points of access means it is going to be a very experiential and sensory experience,” he explained. 

“I hope that as visitors walk around whether it’s in the day or night, that they will take something away from it.”

Across the Cathedral Quarter area, there will be five zones each representing one of the five families of the Ogham alphabet.

To be eligible to win a prize, participants must find and scan a QR code found on one of the trail’s bespoke wooden plaques and take note of the lines of poetry displayed.

Prizes to be won include vouchers for restaurants, gift tokens to purchase your own pieces of art and tickets to shows coming up in the Cathedral Quarter and will be announced at the end of the Culture Night weekend.

This year’s Culture Night Belfast is supported by Belfast City Council, Arts Council for Northern Ireland, Tourism NI, Belfast Harbour Commissioners and Translink.

To keep up to date with all the CNB Presents The Ogham Grove updates go to culturenightbelfast.com or follow #CNB21 on social media

Issued by Excalibur Press on behalf of CNB Presents: The Ogham Grove 

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The Arts

£5m Fund to Retain Skills in the Creative Sector

A £5million fund to prevent the loss of the talent and expertise of individuals and freelancers working in the creative sector has been launched by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey.

The Creative Individuals Recovery Programme, which opens at noon today, will provide a grant of up to £2,000 per individual eligible application including DJs, artists, performers, sound and lighting technicians, writers, events managers and many other professionals who have been impacted as a result of the public health restrictions on the creative sector.

There is evidence that the creative sectors rely heavily on self-employed and freelance individuals and that many have already left the sectors because of the pandemic, with those remaining facing jobs vulnerability and unaffordable costs relating to re-establishing their creative practice.

Minister Hargey said: “I have listened to the recommendations of the Culture, Arts and Heritage Recovery Taskforce, and I have also engaged with the sector. As a result I am today launching a support scheme to provide grants to individuals to encourage them to remain in the creative arts sector.

“The culture, languages, arts and heritage sectors have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 restrictions as they rely heavily on people’s ability to get together which is why the Executive has provided £13million in 2021/2022 to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

“There is a risk that self-employed and freelance individuals may be forced to leave the creative sectors as a result of the pandemic. As the sectors rely heavily on individuals, this could destabilise the sector and the benefits it delivers including social, economic and wellbeing. This new £5m funding scheme aims to prevent loss of sectoral skills for self-employed and freelance individuals and safeguard the sector for the future.

“This fund will help with costs of reactivating, maintaining and enhancing their creative trade, vocation or profession. It is designed to prevent individuals, and their talent and expertise, from leaving the creative economy; and help them re-establish their contribution to the important benefits these sectors deliver.”

Welcoming the funding, chair of the Culture, Arts and Heritage Recovery Taskforce Rotha Johnston said:  “Freelancers and the self-employed are critical to the recovery and sustainability of the creative and cultural sectors as a result of the impacts of Covid-19. Many have been deprived the opportunity to use their skills, perform or practice their art in the last 18 months. The Taskforce is of the unanimous view that support for individuals is essential to protect the viability of the sectors going forward. The Taskforce’s findings and recommendations have been developed following extensive engagement with people from across the sectors and our conclusion is that this public investment in culture, arts and heritage will deliver significant benefits to individuals, society and the economy in the short, medium and long term”.

The fund, co-designed by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) with the Department for Communities, will be delivered by the Arts Council. For information on how to apply including eligibility criteria please visit http://artscouncil-ni.org/funding/for-individuals

D/deaf and disabled artists will be supported via a separate award via ACNI to the University of Atypical who regularly support this particular cohort, to ensure that artists with particular needs are appropriately supported through the application process.

The scheme is open until 12 noon, 6 October, 2021.

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