Class Trip to Belfast


On a class trip yesterday we went round Belfast checking out places such as the Mac, Belfast Exposed and the Naughton Gallery etc

Naughton Gallery

The Naughton Gallery is at Queens university and currently has an exhibition by Colin Davidson. This exhibition was the highlight of the day.

The images are of well known faces and the attention to detail with facial features especially the eyes is incredible. The pictures seem close to you as a viewer and at the same time distant. The sitters for the portrait are lost in thought as if caught off guard, their expressions leaving their thought process open to interpretation.

the paintings and drawings are literally a snapshot in time.

This is an exhibition worth visiting and runs until the 6th of October.


The Mac

We also pit stopped at the Mac. it was literally just a pit stop as the current exhibition left a lot to be desired. The Mac is usually very good, having had collections from Warhol recently. However the only exhibition  worth seeing is the one in the sunken gallery by Ursula Burke called Hope for a Better Future which was an interesting mix of ceramic sculpture and embroidery which tackle socio-political issues in a thought provoking manner but which also embraces humour.


Their other main exhibition is ‘The air they capture is different’ by Karl Burke and Maud Cotter. It is intended to show absent space mixed with architectural volume.  While I can say I was underwhelmed while at the exhibition, it was afterwards during reflection that I considered more fully what perhaps the artists may have been trying to convey.

With reference to Gestalt Psychology and a little bit of afterthought I felt that maybe it was a simple case of embracing the form-generating capability of our senses, and how we visually recognise figures and whole forms instead of just lines and curves.

in other words… look at the picture below:


it is basically a collection of cones and yet you can also see a circle.


However, that being said for the most part I wasn’t impressed and perhaps saw what I felt would be very handy to hang my clothes on.

Belfast Exposed

This is a small gallery almost hidden within the numerous streets of Belfast but close to the Mac. The current exhibition is by Mark Curran and is called The Market and runs till the 11th October.

upon entry you are faced with the following quote,

…what people don’t understand… is that what happens in the market is pivotal to their lives… not on the periphery…but slap, bang, in the middle…

(From telephone conversation with trader, name withheld, Dealing Room, Investment Bank, London, February 2013)

which if it wasn’t highlighted to the viewers attention by its initial prominence could allow the rest of the exhibit to seem confusing and pointless. It is a reflection on the economic crisis we face and it’s impact on the common market and our everyday lives. However, this is one of those collections that you have to look deeper into in order to understand and appreciate.

While art can be all about discovery, this felt a bit like a proper journey to get to the conclusion, by which point I was leaving and couldn’t use my new found knowledge of the exhibition to really sink my teeth into it.

however there is an interesting contrast in the images varying from white to blue collar workers in their settings.

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