Exhibition-Animist – Jonathan Brennan
Mar 7 @ 6:00 pm – Mar 31 @ 6:00 pm

Holding a discarded object in a junk shop, exploring its contours, feeling the patina it has acquired over time and use, one feels that the object could tell a story. Imagining that story is fanciful, yet tempting and inevitable.
In an increasingly digital world, we crave the ‘real’ or ‘analogue’: wooden floors, vinyl records, purposely-misaligned print registration, photo apps that imitate light leaks and vignetting… Simultaneously, the love of imperfection and transience, whether through the notions of wabi sabi or Kintsugi, or their superficial borrowing in the West – through current trends like ‘upcycling’ and ‘shabby chic’ – has become ubiquitous. Such is the extent that it has become a desirable look: furniture and other objects in our daily lives are ‘distressed’ with fake patina in an attempt to imply some kind of back story.
The works in this show stem from an urge to commemorate the real, to celebrate the sometimes innocuous objects that can carry so many personal stories and memories within them, as if they had lives, souls or at least some form of spiritual essence of their own – a belief known as Animism, which is still practised in certain cultures today. The objects depicted in these works are of personal significance to the artist. The most personal can be the most universal.

Animist is a collection of 40 works, mostly consisting of acrylic paintings on board by Belfast-based artist Jonathan Brennan. The number of works corresponds to the number of years the artist reached in 2018. Each object is painted using three primary colours (cyan, magenta and yellow) and black and white, mostly in a single sitting. Some of the pieces include collage, linocut, screenprint and cyanotype. The subject matter covers both natural and manmade objects.: from rhubarb, plums and oranges to ornaments, souvenirs and items of clothing. Most works are painted from life from a similar viewpoint – some are painted from memory, where real life examples can no longer be found.
Each object is painted on a black background. Extraneous detail is removed, thereby presenting the object centre stage to the viewer and lending it a heightened sense of presence. This isolation of the object in this way probably is influenced by Spanish 17th century still lifes by Sanchez Cotán and Zurbarán.

The black hole that future historians will encounter when endeavouring to document our age will be a significant obstacle: photos that are never printed, digital correspondence in deleted email accounts, entire lives stored on hard drives that will eventually perish, many within our lifetimes. When the living cease to live, what is left behind? Objects and memories. In Beckett’s short play Breath a life is reduced to 25 seconds, the vagitus cry of birth followed by a single inhalation and exhalation over a stage ‘littered with miscellaneous rubbish’. Among that rubbish there will be pieces worth retrieving, worth holding; objects imbued with life.

Wonder Frog. Comedy Improv Night
Mar 20 @ 8:00 pm

“Belfast’s best improv comedy group serves up an hour of hot, fresh, off-the-cuff comedy. Using only audience suggestions, Wonder Frog come up with comic scenes that have never been seen before and will never be seen again.
Our show is completely made up on the spot, on the night – and we can’t do it without you!

Comments from previous Wonder Frog shows:

“It was very good, I was very impressed at what they came up with and how fast. I loved ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ and I loved this even more.”

“I think the show was great! It was very entertaining, spontaneous, interactive and witty. I enjoyed it very much!”

“Very creative improvising and very funny performances. I will definitely be coming to see this again!”

Doors: 8pm/Show: 8:30pm

Show duration roughly one hour (enough time after the show for a drink and the bus home!)”

The Green Room Sessions
Mar 22 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

The Green Room Sessions

Fridays 7-11pm


Low lit, down-tempo DJ evenings in The Green Room where you can enjoy a continuous stream of well-curated music.

In sounds from around the globe, representing what is musically innovative and intriguing be it; Afrobeat, New Wave, Bosa Nova, Ambient House, Hip-Hop, Spiritual Jazz, Disco, Post Punk, Electronica, Soul, Kosmische Music.

The Green Room Sessions are an opportunity to catch one-off performances from guest artists as well as regular slots from an esteemed cast of local selectors.

CQ Comedy Club: Marcus Keeley’s Oui Oui
Mar 24 @ 3:00 pm

CQ Comedy Club: Marcus Keeley’s Oui Oui
Sunday 24 March 2019
The Green Room
Adm: £3

In a time of national uncertainty and a lifetime of patriotic nihilism, Marcus Keeley examines his affinity for all things French, hoping to find his raison d’être.

“Frighteningly funny… a very different comedy animal.” – Culture NI

“A wealth of wit and delightful absurdity … a real treat.” – The New York Comedy Night in Paris”

SOLD OUT:Reimagining the Islandmagee Witches – A Faculty Lecture
Mar 24 @ 7:00 pm

Reimagining the Islandmagee Witches – A Faculty Lecture

A Perpetual Rediscovery from the 18th to the 21st Century
7pm £6

In the last few years, Ireland’s last trial for witchcraft, that of the ‘Islandmagee Witches’, has captured the public imagination. However, the influence of this trial, at a both a local and national level, is generations old. In this lecture Dr Andrew Sneddon will use folklore, images, objects, prose, poems, plays, newspapers and books to show how our knowledge of the events of the 1711 trial has been shaped over three centuries by the work of authors, journalists and creative writers. He will also trace what happened to belief in witchcraft in Islandmagee itself (and Ulster more generally) in this period to show that the trial had an immense effect on how people in Ulster viewed supernatural world right up to the present day.

Imagine Festival: does political violence work?
Mar 25 @ 12:30 pm
Imagine Festival: does political violence work? @ The Green Room

A talk by Professor Richard English.

Richard English is Professor of Politics at Queen’s University Belfast, where he is also Distinguished Professorial Fellow in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, and the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation and Engagement.

Between 2011 and 2016 he was Wardlaw Professor of Politics in the School of International Relations, and Director of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews.

He is the author of eight books, including the award-winning studies Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA (2003) and Irish Freedom: The History of Nationalism in Ireland (2006). His most recent book, Does Terrorism Work? A History, was published by Oxford University Press. He is a frequent media commentator on terrorism and political violence, and on Irish politics and history.

Age 14+. Includes Q+A.

IMAGINE FESTIVAL: Ideas into movement
Mar 27 @ 6:00 pm

Green Room, The Black Box, Hill Street
27th March: 6.00pm – 9.00pm (doors 5.30pm)
Presented by The Transnational Institute.

The Transnational Institute (TNI) is an international research and advocacy institute based in Amsterdam. For more than 40 years, TNI has served as a unique nexus between social movements, engaged scholars and policy makers.

TNI envisions a world of peace, equity and democracy on a sustainable planet brought about and sustained by an informed and engaged citizenry.

Showcasing the importance of working between social movements engaged scholars, policy makers, artists and activists. TNI is proud to host a few hours of short presentations, friendly discussion, meet and greets with short videos, music and informal conversation at the Imagine! Festival.

Come along and meet some of the leaders of our programmes and check out examples of Transformative cities, alternative security, remunicipalisation of public alternatives, social inclusion and rethinking shrinking space and more.

Copies of our books and publications with also be available or you can check out our work at www.tni.org

Music by Chris Kelly.

Goin’ Online- Second Episode
Mar 28 @ 7:00 pm

A new monthly night in the Green Room celebrating the weird and wonderful things about the internet.
Join us for our SECOND episode showcasing relaxing and visually pleasing videos to unwind with. Expect satisfying slime, soap cutting and other strange yet wonderful fulfilling videos for the ultimate chill out.
Free entry!’

Imagine Festival:the irish language is not a weapon but an invaluable tool for unity
Mar 29 @ 3:00 pm
Imagine Festival:the irish language is not a weapon but an invaluable tool for unity @ The Green Room

The Black Box Green Room, Hill Street
29th March: 3.00pm – 4.00pm (doors 2.30pm)
Never more popular, there are more children in Irish medium education and more Irish language organisations than at any other time in recent history. The Irish language has also, never been more contentious.

Presented by Bríd Ó Gallchoir, who is artistic director of the Irish language theatre company, Aisling Ghéar, and Linda Ervine, founder and director of Turas, where she runs over 15 Irish language and cultural classes. Turas is based at the East Belfast Mission on the Newtownards Road. They believe that the Irish language can be a force for unity in our society and will put this case at the event. They will also be presenting a short sketch, performed by professional actors, which will help to illustrate and enliven their case. They are both looking forward to a lively Q&A after their presentation.

Age 18+.

Contact us

The Black Box & Green Room Café
18-22 Hill Street | Belfast | BT1 2LA

Tel: +44 (0) 2890 244400

Registered Charity No: NIC100983

Supported by

Belfast City Council ACNI & Lotto John Hewitt Department for Communities Black Bush BFI Cinema SurveyApp