Clare Lyons (b.1993) is a visual artist and photographer working between Dublin and Belfast, currently pursuing an MFA in Photography at Belfast School of Art in Ulster University. Clare’s practice finds its concern in the tactile nature of the photographic image. Emphasising the materiality of the photograph, she often explores themes of memory, trauma and her personal struggles with mental illness. Her research includes topics such as emotional trauma and the resulting repression and suppression of memory, and more recently the significance in revisiting the family archive in establishing one’s sense of self in the face of such experiences. Visually, she typically takes the photographic image away from its original form in an attempt to tease out these difficult topics. Clare is a 2019-2020 recipient of the Universities Ireland North/South Postgraduate Scholarship, and since 2021 has been a studio artist at the Emerging Artist Hub in Flax Art Studios, Belfast.
Hattie Godfrey is a Belfast based performance artist, writer and researcher whose work
primarily considers her own and societies increasingly complicated relationship with
concepts of ‘care’. Methodologically, Hattie uses performance, interactive installation,
writing and film in the restaging and ‘unpacking’ of personal &/collective episodes of
psychological and physical suffering until they are either fully understood or fully exhausted.
What emerges is a surreal yet detailed catalogue of human experience and emotion.
Hattie’s key focus is the development of alternative languages for describing episodes of
suffering; believing that by actively engaging in dialogue surrounding our own experiences
of suffering, we can begin to understand, reclaim and make aesthetically significant, what
was previously painful.
Hattie graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in BA (hons) Fine Art in 2018,
receiving first class honours and Queens University Belfast in Msc Psychological Science in
2020, receiving distinction. She was recently selected as the Bbeyond New Commission
Artist, is a studio holder at Flax Art Studios and is the creative director and co-founder of
Figure This Life Drawing, a Belfast based life drawing company promoting body positivity,
inclusiveness and explorative drawing for all experience levels.
Aimée Nelson is an artist based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her work examines the phenomena of light, consciousness and the fragility of perception explored through photography, video, installation and sculpture. Aimée is interested in the scientific and philosophical properties of light and is currently exploring the process Cyanotype, a traditional photographic technique which uses objects and sunlight in order to make the image. Her work playfully experiments with ideas of duality, exploring parallels between light and shadow, interior and exterior, visibility and invisibility, reality and illusion, aiming to manipulate the viewer’s experience of light, to play with perception and one’s feelings of self.
Aimée’s Black Box online exhibition will showcase a body of work that combines her photographic and mixed-media practices with the activity of walking, exploring the idea of the Dérive as a tool for making artwork. The Dérive ’is an unplanned journey through a landscape where the participant drops their everyday tasks and activities. They let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and what they find there. They experience the city open to new perspectives.’
Aimée graduated from Belfast School of Art with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art. Since graduating she has been awarded exhibitions in FCB Studios, ArtisAnn Gallery, Queens Street Studios and the Royal Ulster Academy 2019 Annual Exhibition to which she went on to win The Mullan Gallery Award for Best Sculpture. Her work is in public collections including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Ashleigh Wilson is an artist & writer based between Belfast
& The Hague whose practise interrogates ‘post’ – conflict
narratives, micro histories & the politics of visibility.
Recent graduate from The Royal Academy of Art in The Hague
and recipient of the 2020 Academy Thesis Award. Her research
will be presented in association with Out of Print @ ART The
Hague in the Autumn of 2021.
As part of the Steenbergen Stipendium Award, her work will also
be exhibited at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam in the
Spring of 2021.
Wilson primarily works with photographic material, archives
& text to illuminate the lingering embers of conflict in N. Irish
e-mail: [email protected]
Alana is a figurative painter based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Since graduating Ulster University in 2016 her paintings have been acquired for public collections including The University of Ulster and Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In 2018 – 20 she was selected for the Royal Ulster Academy annual exhibition . In 2019 Alana won Northern Ireland Young Artist of the Year and was awarded the SIAP General Arts award. In 2020 she received the Arts Council Northern Ireland Artists Emergency programme and Artist Resilience fund.
Staged within a created reality the artwork is based around the exploration of childhood, family relationships and the speculative relationship between what is real and what is imaginary.The paintings deal with a hyper reality using both figurative and abstract elements that explore the use of movement and colour to convey ideas of surreal dream like states and alternative realities. Taking inspiration from cultures, the Renaissance and consciousness; primarily based on young people integrated with organic forms.
Habitat is a collection of paintings inspired by art made by families at home. The project began with a series of free online art tutorials tailored for adults and children to work on jointly, with the aim of creating positive memories during time spent at home. Participants were invited to send their creations as reference to inform this series of figurative paintings which explores childhood and family relationships.
Lenka Davidikova’s artwork explores the idea of searching for an interpretation of the human condition, through introspection, and relationships with others. There is a sense of attraction to alienated, displaced characters in Davidikova’s artwork. Davidikova does not aim to create fixed images, guided by concentrated, focused attention; rather, she aims to be guided by active but unfocused attention, resulting in correspondences guided by ‘unconscious scanning’. Davidikova’s artistic practice consists mainly in working with various drawing media or ink. It is the immediate action these media offer that Davidikova is drawn to. The versatile ability of charcoal and graphite allows Davidikova to capture both gestures and emotions. In contrast, the limitations of the usage of ink, place a demanding element upon the artist’s fluid fixations.
Recently Davidikova started to experiment with the idea of making hand sewn 3D textile sculptures representing the human form which is often crippled. Having studied Fashion Design in Slovakia and hand sawing from a very early age, going back to reinterpreting skills and motions she once enjoyed becomes an important fresh element to Davidikovas artwork. It reinforces meditative aspect to her work processes.
The idea of the ‘Presenting Female Exhibition’ is to place emphasis on the female figure, in both its natural and unnatural settings, reflecting on the position of women within traditions, culture, and society. Depicting some of my personal heroines from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Slovakia, the ‘Presenting Female Exhibition’ questions often assumed female trajectories. The ‘ Presenting Female Exhibition’ aims to celebrate the ‘ female ‘ figure within this society to bring awareness of her abilities to cope and to embrace everyday life; cultural differences, traditions she keeps alive, challenges she deals with and strength she shows to stand up for herself.
MMXX is a collaboration between Francesca Vendramin (ceramicist, FV/Ceramics Studio) & Stephen Dow (printmaker, heraldblack).
Francesca, from Italy, trained at Central Saint Martins (BA Hons) while Stephen is from Ireland and graduated from the Belfast School of Art. They both live and work in London.
Their collaboration’s working name, MMXX, is a reference to two artists making in the year 2020 and the practice of dating architecture with the year it is built.
Their first project, MMXX.I, is influenced by a shared appreciation of Brutalist architecture, particularly the 1970’s extension to the Ulster Museum in Belfast which also features in the (de)construct series of monoprints by Stephen Dow. It includes wall mounted and free standing ceramic pieces titled ‘Facade’ and ‘Elevation’
The ceramic pieces were developed and made over a period of months at the ceramic studio run by Francesca in South West London.
Pieces are build from sheets of red clays. The clay is carved, textured and embossed to reflect structure and material qualities present in Brutalist architecture. The surfaces are treated with washes of metal oxides, painted with slips and a simple palette of tin and transparent glazes. All work is fired in an electric kiln at 1080oC.
The project’s development and making process can be seen on Instagram account @we_are_MMXX.
Francesca Vendramin FV/ Ceramics Studio
Francesca has been studying and practicing ceramics since 2001. She graduated from Central Saint Martins (Hons) in 2009 and established her studio in 2015.
Her ceramic work tends to develop from a project-point of view. Clays and techniques are explored to create small collections. They are mainly influenced by the domestic and grow organically into (home)ware.
From the domestic to the body, a collection of wearables (FV.01) began to form in 2016 as a sideline of a terrazzo porcelain plate project. Francesca has recently completed a limited edition of earthenware brooches, FV.06 that are inspired by brutalist architecture and in particular by a series of monoprints by printmaker Stephen Dow.
She currently works with earthenware clays using her own slips and a very limited palette of glazes. In the last year she has been collaborating with Stephen Dow to create a series of wall and freestanding ceramic pieces that reflect their shared love of Brutalism. Their working name is MMXX.
Stephen Dow heraldblack
Stephen is an artist and printmaker based in East London, graduating from the Belfast School of Art in 1997 having studied textiles. He worked for John Rocha in Dublin later that year, printing fabrics for men’s and womenswear collections. His work background also includes over 10 years home accessories merchandising for Habitat & The Conran Shop before establishing his creative business heraldblack in 2014.
Now printing on paper instead of textiles, he produces a range of hand printed & original monoprints as well as card and poster ranges that are stocked by retailers in the UK, EU & USA. Stephen’s work is also licensed through Bridgeman Studios and East End Prints and has been used by Habitat, Anthropologie, Columbia University Press, LittleBrown Book Group and Pringle of Scotland.
In 2020 he began collaborating with ceramicist Francesca Vendramin to develop a body of work referencing the structure and forms of brutalist architecture.
Originally trained as a ceramicist, Patrick Colhoun’s practice is now
multi-disciplinary with sculptures and installations combining
ceramic with unconventional materials such as hosiery,
neon, latex, and piercings.
The use of materials such as Meccano hark back to childhood and
lead pellets from shotgun cartridges keep the dark side of Colhoun’s
work alive. Both also strengthen the influence of memory that runs
throughout the artist’s work.
The unconventional approach reinforces an early decision by the
artist to move away from ceramics with a traditional craft approach to
a version of what the artist terms ‘Anti Ceramics’.
Recent work has focused on the notion that the making process has
become a thing that helps the artist function with everyday life and
that the idea of having a project ongoing is integral to the artist’s
wellbeing. The extension of this is the realization that people use
many different things to help them cope with everyday life.
The duality in the titles of many pieces allow the viewer
to make their own mind about the meaning, they can be
positive and reassuring or negative and oppressive.