Friday, 28 November 2008

Quote of the tomorrow

They can because they think they can

Quote of the tomorrow

They can because they think they can

Comedy on MOnday

Dont forget the comedy on Monday and if you go down becuae of the blogg do go and say hello to Andy for me and tell him I sent you. he's a great open minded guy , and who would have known a decendent of Alexander Graham Bell ( you know the guy who invented the telephone) would be doing a comedy night in the Spanard.

Oh the things our ancestors make us do.........................................

So quote of the day

Intelligence highly awakened is intuition which is the only true guide in life.


Opening a sucess

Well the annual festive show is open and ready for more customers, it was great to see everyone out last night enjoying the fruits of BPW members labour and I'd like to share something with you that a non member said to me, she said she has been to many different groups and tried to attend many different organisations while she has been in Northern ireland and she found that BPW is the only place that she has been actually welcomed with open arms and found all the people very friendly and open to have a chat and a discussion about anything.Particularly if your not from NI.

I think perhaps we loose sight of that we are over 70 members now and I would also say that we are a very well travelled and open minded bunch, hay not always but that's the thing about ego's sometimes the ego gets in the way.

It depends on your drama going on in your head, what exactly goes on in your head? So it was great to see some team work going on to get the show together and I would encourage you if you have not already to have a look and support the work of the artists and the workshop.

We are not a commercial gallery any profit does not go into an individuals hands it goes back into running the gallery. We take less commission that many of the commercial galleries because you know what it's hard making a living as a creative person in Northern Ireland particularly when you want to keep your creative integrity.

If you went to the Spanard last night I hope you enjoyed Terry Hooleys record collection, I think it's second to none.........................he's a special man.


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Shifting sands

Life is a funny thing really, one shift after another slowly towards something else. Thinking about the credit crunch how will it all pan out? Well some people do well and others will do badly and the worlds will go into another cycle but that's an opportunity for change anyway even if it's reluctant change. Change can always be good


Opening now,
the exhibition looks good lots of variety and great selection of Prints.

Somehow it all comes together.


Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Tomorrow night 7-9

So Struan has been working hard putting up the belfastprintworkshop exhibition and there is an interesting selection of Prints both framed and unframed.

Even gift certificates if your not sure what people will purchase.

A selection of prints have also been selected for Christmas cards and are available from the workshop...................

Interesting to see how peoples work has evolved over the year and great to see so many new members.

Maybe see you tomorrow night...bye for now. It's life drawing tonight.


From Place e list:

Launch of AAI Awards 08 in PLACE
4 Dec 08, 6pm

Grainne Hassett, Hassett Ducatez Architects
will launch the AAI Awards 08 in PLACE
with a talk about the medal winning
Brookfield Community Youth Centre and Crèche
Places are limited to 40 so please email to book a seat.

PLACE will stay open until 9pm on 4 Dec as part of Late Night Art
Launch of AAI Awards 08 in PLACE
4 Dec 08, 6pm

Grainne Hassett, Hassett Ducatez Architects
will launch the AAI Awards 08 in PLACE
with a talk about the medal winning
Brookfield Community Youth Centre and Crèche (see attached).

Places are limited to 40 so please email to book a seat.

Bronaghs comments.
I have to say that the pictures of the building look great and if every community building in NI had the same attention to detail it would be a better PLACE.

I heard that all the tickets for the art bus next week have already been allocated, and it's still a week to go which is great as it shows that it's starting to work but why not put on another bus??? ???? Just saying hello to all those in Strangford reading my blog and great that the local art society down there are coming up for the art bus next's grat to see what is going on all around.

Anu's Art opening next week Lisburn

Anushiya Sundaralingam New Works is opening next week at the Island Art Centre

Anu is a member of BPW and has been working hard over the last months getting her exhibition together.
When I look at the art you can almost hear a rustling of silk dresses with all the colours and vivid shapes. Every print is unique. As she does not edition........................

Opening night the 3rd check out for more details on exhibition run.

I have to say Anu when working on her prints has a very contented smile when working and that is reflected in her prints.........

Comedy on Monday night

So this Monday night Andy is going to be doing a bit of comedy at the Spanard from around 8.30. Nice bar, nice atmosphere bizarre sense of humour.

Rumour has it that food and drink is being layed on.

So what else would you be doing on a Monday night???? Coronation street is over by that time anyway.

now available in french


I'd just like to say hello or bonjour to the people who can now read my website in French. As you can see my written French is bad .ie it's actually English.

A little bit about something else that is on this Saturday At Lawrence Street Workshop

Botanic- ask anyone up there they will tell you where it is.

A Fun fair £3 in 12-5.

and so life goes on.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Dont forget Thursday night

Opening of Object fo Desire at BPW

0pening night 7-9

Open up to 23 December


Work from over 70 artists

087 162 681 36

The phone number to call to support the Women Tec an organisation

I am current chair of. See it tonight on utv 5.30-6

If they get enough calls they get the funding to run the project called

"lock stock and spuds in a barrel"

Lines open until 12 o'clock tonight, you can call up to 10 times from each line.

Bye for now.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Monday morning

So are you ready for the week? Clear head, clear heart, clear mind? It's a busy life we all lead. I'd like to welcome my new readers in South Africa..........Hello;-) it was nice to hear from you after all this time.

Any chance someone will make a comment ? I'd just like to talk a but about gossip, what is it where does it come from?? Well someone told me that in an environment of fear gossip is king. We used to play a game called Chinese whispers, not very PC but interesting to think that's what it was called. In a group of 10 people or so would start a game one would say something and it would quickly go around the room and by the time it came around the other side of the room the gossip was totally different.

I see this happening in real life all the time. Someone says something it goes around the network by the time it comes out the other side it's totally changed. This can be very damaging especially when the first thing was untrue, it gets even worse in a climate of fear. You have to ask why?

Anyway its all about perception, did you get any nature at the weekend? I nice walk in the forest did me the world of good. I remember working in North Belfast and talking to someone who had grown up in the new lodge. We were talking about environment. I was saying that as a child coming into Belfast was a terrifying experience I remember coming in and wondering what there was no green and why were all the houses so close together. I got paniced when surrounded with so many people with so many eyes watching. The energy was so negative.

I loved Autumn in the countyside with the colour the leaves the smells the change of light. My friend from the new lodge said there were no trees there and her memory of Autumn was once having the opportunity to go up to Newcastle to the forest during Autumn and having the opportunity the only opportunity in her life to run among the trees and play in the leaves and fill herself with fresh air. Then we wonder why being brought up in the city and country is so different? We wonder why being brought up in different places in Northern Ireland is so different? You know what the same structures are still there, still in place there are still so many people growing up in seperate spaces, some positive, some negative all in the same way.

So in order to get through the week I made a big roast yesterday and roasted my first turnip of the season. As it's going to be a busy week I roasted all the vegtables that came with my organic food and I'll make the rest into a nice harty soup. Just bung it in the slow cooker with a bit of stock and there you go...............instance food for a week. Some people have said to me but I can't cook. Have we in our rush for equality forgotten just how faboulous it is to make a really good meal and feed everyone up ? Does instant Pizza really do the same thing? Eating is not just about feeding your face its about spending time reflecting, talking, the French have not forgotten about that have we?

Sunday, 23 November 2008

So it's Sunday evening

Sunday evening and time to plan the week, yet another busy one. Lot's of things on , Tuesday the Womenstec on UTV for the peoples millions. We need your vote but dont know the number to phone yet. The project is called lock stock and spuds in a barrel. did'nt get the Aisling award for best education project but it was nice to be nominated although a bit wierd when the awards themselves they ask the organisation to pay for attending the award. I suppose that's commerce for you.

Tuesday there is a talk on at OBG, Wednesday I'm training, Thursday night it's the opening of the BPW Festive show . The 70 + artists that are members have been doing lots of different work and there are some lovely prints being produced. If you have'nt been out to Antrim yet I do have some of the Chinese prints in the exhibition ................everyone tells me that they are better when you see them in real life than the photos and it's true there is something about seeing a print up close and personal. That you dont get on the web.

Friday well lets see if I get that far.

In between all that the sun rises and sets the wheels of life keep turning, the planets keep shifting and people continue to love, laugh ,hate, smile and all the other things that keep the world turning and have done for 100's of years. It would be nice if they did it with each others best interests at heart.

But the good old Belfast begrudgery always gets a look in............................. So anyway have you bought all your Christmas Presents yet? or as I suggested to someone have you made them? ;-)

So enjoy the week remember be positive.......................enjoy the daylight. ............................then put in 4 DEC in you diary as its night who would have belived there was so much art around it's great..

Saturday, 22 November 2008

William Crawley at the Ormeau Baths Gallery

Information post: for OBG e mail alerts
7pm, Free
Acclaimed BBC journalist and broadcaster, William Crawley will respond to our current exhibition, Roderick Buchanan (21st November 2008 – 31st January 2009), and explore some of the core themes of Buchanan’s work. Among his broadcasting work, he has presented ’William Crawley Meets…’ which involved face-to-face interviews with leading thinkers and social reformers from across the world, including the scientist Richard Dawkins, the writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and the Bishop Gene Robinson. He is also the broadcaster for the prestigious ‘Blueprint’, natural history series as the centre-piece of the most ambitious multi-platform broadcasting project in the history of BBC Northern Ireland.
There will be an opportunity to walk around the exhibition after the talk and Refreshments will be provided
This event is expected to fill up fast so please phone 02890 321402 or email to reserve your place.

Lawson news

It's funny who has the same name?? I saw these shops all over China little convienience stores.

quote for tomorrow

The trouble with an overactive imagination is sometimes that is all it is.

Bronagh Lawson

quote of the day

Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.

Gerald G Jampolsky
Love is letting go of fear.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Free tickets from BBC hotline make use of your TV licience

BBC Studio Audiences are delighted to announce tickets for A Whisper of Christmas, a miscellany of words and music for the Christmas season featuring The Avalon Quintet, readings by Dan Gordon and Cherrie McIlwaine and songs from Rosemary Woods and Phil, Rosa and Sara Callery. Recording on Wednesday 10th December Studio 1 BBC Broadcasting House Ormeau Avenue Belfast BT2 8HQ Doors open 7.00pmRecording 7.30pm - 8.30pm A Whisper of Christmas will be broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster on Christmas Eve at 6.00pm and again on the 28th December at 12.00 noon. This recording is suitable for age 12 and upwards. For complimentary tickets and further information please call the BBC Ticket Line on 0370 901 1227* or visit the website by clicking the Book Now button above. Apply now to avoid disappointment! We look forward to seeing you in our audience very soon.
Kind regards
BBC Studio
If you know of anyone else who may be interested in joining our audience, why not forward this to them by clicking here.

quote of the day

Learn to be silent.

Let your quiet mind listen and absorb.


What are we all doing with our health ?

Well how are we all feeling today, I got to thinking about health again today but you know what its better to hear it from those who know.......................

Hay it's Friday...................time for an organic orange ;-) OH THE TREATS .

Thursday, 20 November 2008


Ok more on the black box I think they are doing a good job of getting things together down in the Catherdral Quater they always have something a bit odd going on and in Belfast odd is good. In Northern Ireland odd is good because there is too much percieved normality going on , don't you think??

The only thing I would say is that sometimes when they have a big rush they dont have the systems in place for their staff to deal with customers quick enough and when you want a pizza you want a pizza.But they are getting there.

So is the website and they have the black market this Sunday.

What I havent mentioned so far is a queer arts festival going on in Belfast as well. It's in it's second year and I remember when they were setting it up someone I know was envolved and they said as alot of the rights based issues had been sorted out it was time to have a bit of fun and the schedual really does look like fun .It's another sign that Northern Ireland is changing.It's getting prouder as the Norther West ad for Pride says

So dont forget it's Thursday so that means it's Hooley's hooley on at the Spanard.............................................................................and put next Thursday in your diary as well for the objects of desire exhibition opening. .......................................................................................................Life drawing was wonderful last night.

Quote of the day

A soul without a high aim is like a ship without a rudder.

Eileen Caddy
The dawn of Change

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Quote of the day

When one realises one is asleep. At that moment one is already half awake.

Pd Ouspensky and GI Gurdjieff.

Family day at exhibition

Pick your favourite painting

quote of the day

People with High self esteem have it because they have overcome their failures.

They have been put to the test of life, overcome the problems and grown.

David Jansen

I'm off to Life drawing tonight..............

Laurence Prusak

I found out the name of the guy who was talking on Monday night he was very insiping.

Just a note to say I'm going to triple check dates and times again for anything I put up on the blog, I got my Sundays mixed up with the Spanard as Comedy is only once a month and then rememberance Sunday. See what happens when you do not have a T.V?

Anyway The Black Box does have an event on this Sunday 1-5 ....................................

Belfast print Workshop does have an event this Thursday evening where you can see artist s demonstrating printing making techniques and it's all fun and games.

Bye for now.

housing advice

I enjoyed my artist talk it was great fun, they could'nt get me stopped once I got started and it was great to see so many people interested in the Antrim area ,someone did ask me whan I was going to write a book but I suppose I've only got the first chapters started really I'm only half way through life and in many ways I feel as if I just getting started. So anyway I came across this today it tells you all about your housing rights I thought it was interesting.

I sold another print today, fun.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Aisling awards

More about the awards on it's nice to be nominated and for people to recognise the work being done .

bright lights big city

So lots on today its my artist talk to night or if you are one of the people that think Antrim (it's only 15mins away ) is a hundred miles away Belfast City Centre is having it's Christmas lights turned on the Christmas market is back around the City hall and their is a general festive spirit all around. Good to see.

Bye for now.

quote of the day

You are never asked to do more than you are able without being given the strength and ability to do it.

Eileen Caddy
The dawn of Change

Can't sleep

I went to a lecture last night at Queens on the Future of Knowledge by Larry Pusak (not sure of the spelling) he's an authority on knowledge.

What really struck me was two things, learning how to learn was very important , not necessarily learning applications but learning how to learn. Which I think is what happens when your in Art collage you kinda question everything- even your teaching which sort of makes you not except the norm and question everything skills that are going to be needed in the next stage of human development with all the problems the next generations have in store for them.

Not sure what I mean? what about resources ? there are not going to be enough?? to go on as we are we have to innovate, how do you innovate ? not by following what has gone before but by thinking about things in different ways ? Oh you see it goes back to thinking , who thinks differently ?? Artists creative people , people who are dyslexic etc, etc, etc.

The second thing is what has been revered in the past is Western Knowledge, but with technology the West no longer has a monopoly on that kind of knowledge. From your laptop you can look that up anywhere.

So knowledge and innovation are the only ways. It's not natural resources, it's knowledge that has made Japan what it is. It kinda made me wonder if knowledge from the native peoples is going to be more revered in the next stage of the earths history as they had a much more respectful relationship with the earth than the Westerners ever did.

Or is it all too late??? We just have to keep learning how to sail and hope . Who knows..........

Sunday, 16 November 2008

quote for tomorrow

We all cling to the past and because we cling to the past we become unavailable to the present.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Walking in Zen, sitting in Zen.

Do you think anyone in Northern Ireland should be aware of this quote imagine for one moment that everyone here actually believed this? what difference would it make?................................dream on ................................ah you have to dream.

Enterprise week

Forgot to say it's enterprise week

last year the lunch time lectures were good

why not book you never know you might find out something you did'nt know there free and you even get lunch.

Prep for the week

So it's Sunday night what are you up to? When I was very unorganised weeks would drift into weeks and years into years. I could hardly tell you what I was doing next week or next month .

Yet slowly over the years I have become more organised and a Sunday night usually but not always means planning the week ahead. When I was doing more personal development training I used to do a session on planning and had come to the conclusion that there were 3 types of people.

Those who :

People who make things happen
People to who things happen

and people who don't know what is happening.

and tried to get people to work out which one were they ?

A lot of it was about changing peoples attitudes to how they can participate in their own life. If they can participate at all.

I'd also like to make a note here about a number of things someone recently asked me:

  • Why I do not write about my husband in my blog the answer is he does exist it's just he has asked me not to write about him and so I respect his privacy.
  • Why is it that people like to gain power by laughing at others? does it make them feel superior? or is it something lacking in themselves that does it?perhaps for instance they think they know something more than they do?
  • I've had some artist criticise my website....................the answer here is the website is not for other artist's.

Not sure what else to add? just some dates for your diary if you want to see what BPW can do and want to have a look at some printing demonstrations it's the opening of BPW corporate event this Thursday 7.30 where a number of artist have been working on interpreting Brett Martin in Art.

There will be printing demonstrations so you can have a look at how it's done if you want to make an evening of it you can go down to the Spanard afterwards where Terry Hooley is having his Hooley and to anyone over 30 you actually recognise the music which is a bit of a novelty it's even better if your over 40.

He plays every Thursday evening.

Someone also asked me when do I actually do any work? trust me I work. Thinking is work too.

While your at the diary dates put in 27th November for the Belfast print workshop Christmas show again from 7-9 and come and see your "objects of desire" prints from over 70 printmakers.

Exhibition continues until Christmas Eve:

Christmas opening

Mon- Fri 9.30-7.30

Sat 10-6

Sun 1-5

Can you believe it's Christmas again ? what were you doing this time last year? has much changed in your life? or is it still the same old ,same old?

If so what are you planning now to encourage change in your life? or do you expect someone else to do that for you?

Oh I just remembered something else I felt in the air, it's easy to abdicate responsibility of our own lives over to others however once your past a certain age you are an adult you are responsible for your own actions you can't blame others...........

Do you see any change in Northern Ireland ?? I do and long may it peacefully continue. Long may it peacefully continue...................................................................................I had another friend last night phone to say they were moving home to dear old NI. the house prices have gone down a lot and your abroad it's a good time to have a look. if you can afford to move.

Thanks again to everyone who turned up at the openings of the exhibition at Clotworthy and good to see everyone on Saturday. I'll put photos up soon as they need cropped.

Bye for now.

Quote of the day

Change is never a loss- it is change only.

Vernon Howard, the mystic path to Cosmic power

Friday, 14 November 2008

what do we do on a Sundays?

When will people realise that they need to open things on a Sunday?

Well the Black Box has

They are having a "Black Market " in name only

Sunday 23 November

crafts, art, books, jewellery, vintage clothes, etc etc 1-5 free entry

and parking around the Cathedral quarter is free on a Sunday.

wheres the Black Box? In the Cathedral quarter, just ask anyone.............................
When will other people realise that things need to open an a Sunday??????????

When will other people realise that things need to be open on a Sunday ?????????????

Maybe the credit Crunch will do it and finally get people to realise the potential........anyway hopefully see you tomorrow at Clotworthy?

Tomorrow, tomorrow

So tomorrow is my family day up at Clothworthy Art Centre, the centre is open from 10 but the children's drop in art sessions will start at about 11 o'clock until 4 o'clock.

I will give a talk around the exhibition 11.30 and 3 o'clock but will be around for most of the day.

I hope to maybe see some of you there, I mean when is the last time you went to Antrim?????

all directions on bye for now.

quote of the day

The only way to deal with the future is to function efficiently in the now.

Gita Bellin

Thursday, 13 November 2008

what did you think of the video?

I'm still enjoying the video what do you think?

drip, drip, drip its raining

Rain this morning 13 November how did that happen it seemed like only yesterday that it was January time rolls on, time rolls on are you happy with how its rolling on???

Do you need to make any changes??

I'd just like to say hi to Ruth the artist in Residence who was at BPW she must be back in Austriala by now and has reconnected to the earth down under.

Ruth was a lovely influence to have in the workshop and radiated earth energy and calm her rediscovering Australia exhibition was an inspiration . I particularly liked the way that the early people from Europe came over and painted what they saw alot of it is oak trees and Kangoroos that look like shrews. Something very strong there about bringing our preconcieved ideas of what we are looking at forward in our art work.

A little word to the muttering people..........................................many people can spell but how many people do you know that can actually think??? If you had a choice which one would be more useful in the long run? I except your comments??

quote of the day

Success is a journey not a destinatin-half the fun is getting there.

Gita Bellin

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

TV clip

Well now I did say it would take until Wednesday to get the video sorted you can go onto and click, click, get a flavour of the opening night..

Look forward to seeing you Saturday..............don't you remember what's happening?

Aisling awards

Just found out today the Womens Tec have been nominated for the Aisling awards.

Another child is born

In the last couple of days a couple of babies have been born into Northern Ireland, and probably a lot more but I'd like to focus on 2 in particular. One of them lives down at the end of the Ards peninsula the other one in Tigers bay in North Belfast.

I could not but help think about the different influences that will be surrounding them when they grow up one in a rural area and one in a city area, a city area with many different influences around them and I could not help but think about the different opportunitys of lack of them that might form becuse of where they will grow up.

The two for them will probably never meet up. Is Northern Ireland going to be a better place because of what we are outing in place now???? or is it going to be the same ??? I suppose the answer is up to us ?

After all we are participating in life now are we not???

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

artist talk-blah blah blah

I'm doing an artist talk at Clotworthy art centre (please note the marker for location is on the wrong side of the road on google maps) head for Antrim at Antrim head for Randalstown and you will see a sign for the art centre.

Tuesday 18 November 7pm -8.30

There are 13 registered so far and places are limited so if you want to know more you better call and book 028 90311759

website up and running

ok so it still has stuff to go on but you can check it out on

it's a first glance of the exhibition if you have not already been there but there are many more things to go on, delighted to say my got my first sales yesterday.. to you later

Information and Wisdom

Is there a difference between Information and Wisdom?

In this information age we have so much information but does that on it's own bring you wisdom? is there a difference ? do you know any wise people?? can you count they on one hand? two? three if your lucky.

It seems to me that wisdom is underrated in our society, information has taken over as a distraction . A real distraction lets entertain put C*** on TV to distract you get you to buy more things advertise, advertise buy, buy, buy.

If I could every single thing that I spend my money on I would use it as a way to link to my principles. I try my best to do it but sometimes I just have to make a different purchasing decision because I run out of time or other needs take over....I usually live to regret it.

But I try where I can and can you imagine if everyone did it. I mean everyone thought about their purchasing decisions in the same way would we have a more sustainable NI? Do you remember P.O.N.I (or as we like to call Donkey) Product of Northern Ireland something that would identify the product as from NI so if you bought it you would help the economy.

Or did it just identify things that you could avoid just in case it fell apart.

Anyway a word to those who chastise me because not EVERYTHING I eat is Organic if you get the basics right most of the time you can go off piste every now and then but if your always eating C*** it shows, it shows you can see it in your skin your eyes your health. When you go off piste you get spots immediately wierd. You are what you eat.

So one more plug for Helens Bay organics. Fairtrade co-or tea etc etc etc.

Now is that information or Wisdom, do you see the difference??

migrant workers

Did you know if you are a migrant worker from the A8 counties ( if you dont know what that is change your newspaper or look it up) you have to have one years worth of National Insurance contributions before you can claim any benifits.

So that sounds like an interesting enough idea that the UK put in place in order just to open it's borders completely- however now that we are in an economic downturn and you are a migrant worker who has been here in NI for 9 months your children are at school your family are here and you have just been made redundant because of the economic downturn what do you do?

Particularly as you have no money to return to the original country that you came from what do you do???

What do you do if you have come to NI with a violent husband in your country it is excepted in NI you find that it is not excepted and you want to leave him, but you have no money the house is attached to his job and you have no where to go or ability to find a job yourself ??

People have said to be why are there people begging on the streets?? sure they can get benifits??? open you eyes, think about it.'s kinda like the Belfast and Beyond it is official we are attached to the rest of the world, other things that go on do make an impact here.

Who makes the policy?? are they capable ??? do you vote ?? are you aware of who your European MP is ???? do you care?? or are you one of these people who say nothing is going to change................why bother................................remember

quote of the day

Experience helps build momentum

Build momentum rather than problem solving in going after goals

Look for new ways to build momentum- experiment and seek out challenges.

Challenge helps build momentum, but not reaching too far at first.

Robert Fritz

in other words take a wee step out of your comfort zone and get on with it.

Monday, 10 November 2008

The revenge of Gaia

Have you heard about James lovelock?

Well he has written a book called the revenge of Gaia, in some places it is a difficult read but to me it makes sense. It's about the earth and how the earth as a whole is connected and how we are only starting to understand it as a whole but maybe it's too late.

Oh such a chearful thought it is hard to do things about it I mean and constantly keep it in your minds eye because we have been programmed differently to think differently especially when air lingus are offering half price tickets to European destinations if you book before Thursday.

Funny how that mini break stuff always kicks in. So Interest rates are down and they hope this will jump start the economy. Think about what you are buying , in an economy that is going into recession the businesses that survive are the ones that innovate. Change their offering I believe restaurants are having a difficult time but don't you think they are overpriced??

I was reading over in England a cafe was serving meals at £1 a starter , £1 a main and £1 a desert. They were not making a profit but it meant at least they were paying their bills and keeping the business open. Can we see an innovation like that?? You have to reinvent in a global slow down. Realise that the same profit is just not there any more.

Sunday, 9 November 2008


I notice the are showing Hunger about the Hunger strikes as well as Mur or Wall. I went see Mur before just after coming back from Berlin it seemed strange that they were building a wall out of the same materials that had been brought down in Berlin.

Well worth a look particularly when you realise that in NI we are still building Peace walls, is that what they are called??? is that what they are really?? did you know they exist?? or are you one of those people that think we are in a post conflict society?

quote of the day

The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.

Mark Twain

For cod and Ulster

Has anyone seen this in East Belfast a good example of Ulster humour. They have 2 shops now I think they should do a franchise. I particularly like the humour of it. A little bit on the edge you can even get the King Billys Family Feast.

Is this a step forward to laugh about all this stuff we have around us, just a warning though I have never actually eaten in it, bit they do sell t shirts.

I still looking for comments?? anyone ?? I know your reading why not participate??

Did you see the moon last night?

It's a windy night the moon is out and the stars are twinkling and there is a wee bit of rain on the wind. When I lived in Portaferry it was on nights like this that perhaps the electricity went out. I aways liked it why? because well because I think it is important to remember that we are only visitors on this planet of ours and when the electrcity goes out we are reminded of how much we rely on it and we are not adapted anymore to live without such luxurys.

So in case of an emergency you always had candles and a torch under the kitchen cupboard so you could always find them. Good to still have some sort of open fire to have heat and to boil a kettle and gas somewhere to cook something. I'm not sure where that came from but maybe it was from my grandfather who during the second world war was a warden in Belfast who went around making sure people had their curtains closed and were prepared for any blitz boomings.

There was an air raid shelter on the top of Bankmore in Portaferry where the local home guard used to spend time watching out for enemy airplanes. My grandmother was one of them she used to laugh when she talked about it . I remember her also talking about the troops from America and elsewhere that were billited in the fields and gardens of the locals. I believe they created quite a stir and I'm sure there is some US genes in the local population .

Not sure if anyone has researched it though. Can you imagine life without electricity ? we might have to if they don't get the power problem sorted out. What power problem? well aparently NI power stations are coming to the end of their lifecycle and as the assembly has not got their act together they have not agreed to what is going to happen to renew it so we have to do with less electricity or maybe none??? can you imagine that? could you cope?? what would you do? sales of candles would go up and not just the perfumed kind So it's important to switch off your lights anyway.

Otherwise we will be having to rely on the moon for our light?

I'd like to say a bit again about my opening night, sometimes things take sometime to filter through. As an artist on your opening night you are very vunrable , I remember being at a private view in the Engine room gallery and a women went up to the artists and basically attacked him verbally by asking him to explain what it was he was doing the poor guy nearly had a breakdown in front of her. For me I was feeling a bit exposed, I know different people came up to talk to me and there were some verbal attacks that I felt and I know some people were seeing that creative side of me for the first time and that might be a bit wierd for them as in some circles people are used to seeing me in a very different light. That can be threatening and disconcerting.

So I'd like to tell you a story...............when I came back to NI with my first class degree and fulbright scholarship I wanted to come back to NI and help do something . I quickly learned that in order for people to take me seriously I actually had to hide my creativity. I had to pretend to be average in order to get opportunities as they were very suspicious of us " creative types" How does that bode for Northern Ireland? we are supposed to be supporting creativity and whats happening ?? many of the powers that be, dont understand it many of them have never had a creative thought in their life??

I did hear one on the radio the other day Margaret Richie I think it was was buying houses in Lurgan? again thats where I think it was as she said it was mad to have people on the housing lists and then lots of new build houses not being able to be sold. So that was a creative though and it worked well.

Do you feel the old world order slipping away?? cracking away? what constitutes right action??
Do you recycle? all these things have an impact.

I'm reminded of something else when I write this blogg. I remember reading a book about a writer he was talking about when he wrote something down in his books lots of people attacked him because they thought they were talking about them specifically. He found this very strange as he had not been thinking about them at all but what he had written had resinated with the individuals and so they attacked him for it because they did not like what they read.

I think it goes back again to your inner life taking time for yourself and reflexion. Where do you find sustainence ? If your stuck in the city I'd recommend going to a park will tell you your closest one. There is something about the energy and wellness feeling you get when you get your lungs filled with fresh air this is good for kids as well. I was down in Sandy Row last week and there was a women with a child she was dragging him along. They were sitting beside a little garden the child just kept saying, I wanna go to the park, I wanna go to the park and she just kept dragging him along.

If she had of maybe just let him run in the park for an hour I'm sure he would have been better the rest of the evening. It's a kind of earth energy.

It's a kind of magic.

I believe in the power of being outside and having fresh air. That's why sailing can be so fantastic if not a little scarry.

I also wanted to say something about consultants as I think I may have hit a raw nerve with some people. I know there are alot of consultants doing very good work in very difficult conditions and that is to be applauded. But that is not always the case and let your concious be your guide.

Personally where I am at now, I do work voluntary, I get paid alot for some work I do and and I get paid little for bits I do and the important thing is that I decide on what I want to put my energy into. Not someone else thats the joy of self employment. Each time I decide to get involved in something I ask myself. Will this help with change? Do I have the energy? and those decisions help me figure out where to spend my time. This has not always been the case and I have sometimes gone into things and realised too late that perhaps this had not always been the case.

Anway back to begrudgery ? who do you begrudge today ? what mean spirited thing did you think of today? Would you be better off thinking some positive thoughts ? Cleansing your thought process. Or is the begrudgery too engrained in your being?

Why not think a different thought a positive thought. It will stop you frowning . Thats the other thing I read somewhere a smile uses half the muscles (or somewhere around there)that a frown does. I like smiling maybe that helps with the wrinkles as well.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

opening night

Anyone who is in these pictures and does'nt want to be just let me know and I'll take them off.

Pictures from opening night at Clotworthy

Crazyness in Belfast

Ok so there was always crazyness in Belfast but what kind of crazyness is it?? I bumped into another old school friend last night who has just returned from London I have to say it's great to see so many people with different thinking coming back into Northern Ireland. I saw him over in London a while ago and said how I felt that things were finally changing here and he didnt believe me but now he does.

He said he had no idea just how much things had changed he's very witty and always has been I remember he used to write really funny sketches and had us all entertained for hours with his dry comments on observations on NI life. We used to share a house together post student. Anyway he's got a comedy act and I'm sure you will find him out and about his name is Andy all I know is he's on at the Spanard in the Cathedral quater on new years eve? but you better check. They started to do a comedy night there on a Sunday as well.

It's good news about the morgage interest rates going down if you have a variable morgage............................................................. Do you think with all credit crunch misery around we are going to have a resurgance in the arts??? I'm already predicting a Belfast art boom that has nothing to do with the Lisburn road.

Still not got my video back from the opening night, it looks like it will be Wednesday at the earliest.

Have you heard about the cult?
Not yet? well you will do. mutter, mutter ,mutter

quote of the day

Begin difficult things while they are easy, do great things when they are small.
the diffficult things of the world must once have been easy;

The great things must once have been small...

A thousand mile journey begings with one step.

Sounds a bit like the NI peace process??.................................................................or good advice for the assembly

Friday, 7 November 2008

quote of the day

The life spirit and energy which contribute to the mastery of the creative process can never be fully engaged by a commitment to a compromise.

Robert Fitz

I wonder if the people trying to help those in the creative industries know that????

last night was good

Hello there, did you go to the gallery last night? it's really starting to work there were over 100 people through the BPW gallery. Its great to see something happening

I went to the one on PR spin at Belfast Exposed Photographers gallery it's really worth a look they have interesting documentation on how the IRA, UVF and government used propaganda to promote their cause as well as the analyisis of what makes a PR photo. Well worth a look as is all the great work on at the Golden thread gallery nice to see someone with an international vision doing something in Belfast.

YOu might also be interested in
4 Studio space available in Studio23 Artists Collective
Derriaghy Industrial Est., Dunmurry Belfast BT17 9HU - New Studio Space available. Information on all studios can be found Tel: 07912204260/02890600413 Email:

Looks like fun, I'm still woriing on the surprsies from the opening night.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

I'm having an affair.

I've fallen in love with my creative self again. It kinda annoyed me for a while because I though what use was it really . How relevant was it in today's society? What do you do with it? Looking around what relevance is there? How do you share that different sides of yourself that desires creativity but also to participate in today's NI life?

So the affair is with my inner life, my inner creative self and now I've realised what those 12 years of hardship working in all those areas have brought me, because in reality its what they have brought me not what I have brought them that matters.

What is that? they have brought me a sense of perspective a sense of the injustices of society in NI I have looking beyond the red white and blue and green white and gold and the people are hurting. The people are hurting, organisations are getting paid to help, and not all of them are. Some of them are making the matter worse, but you know what they don;t really care because as long as they get their consultancy fees the business of deprivation goes on and they can say oh we tried , what do you expect from people like that? and on and on it goes where it stops no body knows.............................................................................

So back to last night, wow thanks for everyone that turned up an opening is a weird feeling like baring your soul for all to see, although they didn't quite get to see all of it there is more to's was nice to see such a wide cross section of people I know turn up and lots of interesting comments. But it's sort of like a whoosh you are quietly getting yourself together then everyone turns up chats, looks drinks wine , gets a reaction then it's quiet again its all gone. Just a buzz in your head and a smile in your heart. I think I never realised was the most used comment of the night, I never realised, you painted, I never realised you printed, I never realised you worked in the community, I never realised..I never realised, I never the question is do you realise now?

Does it make you see me any differently?Is it important ?

But back to the affair many of the members of BPW I have talked about have said that when they become members and stick at it after a while people start to say to they are you having an affair? Why is that? It's partly because I think you start to get obsessed by the process of printmaking, you want to learn more and more you start to have a different relationship with your inner self because it's just so frustrating yet magical. It's a physical activity so your body feels different you look different you start to have a shine in your eye and a skip in your step, so it is a kind of affair.

Anyway I cant comment on the talk the other night as I'm still processing it, but needless to say he was amazing, timely, interesting and right on my wavelength.

But something else about the drips there are 2 more exhibitions on at the moment filled with drips, I really feel we have connected with something in Northern Ireland I really think that the old order is dripping away, I hope it is, I hope it is.

One opening is tonight at the Yard gallery Holywood not sure of the time, the other is the next exhibition at the Tom Cauldwell gallery( dont get me started) but there is an image in the invite of the city hall dripping away..............................and its not because its getting a refurb at the moment. I really think we are onto something , anyone like to start writing a book on the link between drip and the break down of the old older in NI............just quote me.

So anyway, dont forget tonight is gallery night in Belfast there is a talk by Ruth the visiting artist from Australia at BPW time 7 I really enjoyed her last talk on the exhibition so its well worth it and you gotta be part of the shift in Belfast it is really happening there is a shift in people conciousness and we need to shift it more.......we need to spread the word.........................we need to spread the word.

Oh one last diary date Studio 23 have you heard of it yet ? well you will, they are having a bit of a do on November details yet just put it in your diary.

So I have a few suprised in store over the next few days but I'll link them all to my blog, somehow, I've not quite figured that out yet.

Thanks again to all the lovely people that made the effort to come up some all the way from Portaferry and the depts of Belfast to the beautiful Castle gardens in Antrim and Clotworthy Art Centre ....just go to and search it if you want to check it out.

Exhibitions on until 23 Dcember and can be read on many different levels........................comments welcomed in the bucket full. Magic.

Anyone out there want to comment on my blogg?? its easy you just need to register and have a go. What about you James I know your reading it? Why got get into the 21 century and participate in the cyber world................go on you know you want to. Uncle lennie what about you? any comments on my exhibition? does it do your view justice?
Bye for now.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Tonights the night

So it's all come together sort of: about midway through yesterday the stress started to be released a bit. I have to say there has not been an experience like it I have ever had. The reason being I think you are dragging out your inner observations and putting them up on the wall for people to see, or not as the case maybe they do NOT see them.

It's good to get together and just get it up and see what happens. The final print Flowing waters was completed last night. It's an image from a favourite painting of mine and Michael Hart down at the print workshops has been working really hard to realsie the image in print. We finished last night about 12 o'clock but you know what, we did it. You can see the result tonight at 7.30 we look forward to seeing you there.

Oh and we have a new president in the US cool.................

Hidden Dragon folio soon to be revealed

Monday, 3 November 2008

Peoples millions

I've just heard that an organisation I am chair of has been shortlisted for the peoples millions

So they will be filming for our project called " lock stock and spuds in a barrel" at the end of November to show on TV in the new year. Cool, it's always good to cause a bit of controversy.

Safe and Sound

So all quiet yesterday, the hotels are happy because all the worlds media were over to cover the marches. I went into town around one o clock and they were busing the troops into St Anne Cathedral.

Most of Belfast were happy walking around shopping, some with Poppy's some without. The artists down at Belfast Print workshops were working away and life was going on as normal. I did notice in the national media it was covered as lots of riot police separated the marches. But I think it's one more step into change in NI. That we can express our feelings non violently.

So who is going to win the white house?? are they really 2 days away from change in the US? do we need it??? answers on a postcard please.

Looking forward to the stress of the new few days? Not.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Quote of the day

The more you depend on forces outside yourself, the more you are dominated by them.

Harold Sherman.

The importance of a good haircut

There was at one point in my life I realised that a good hair cut was important to get yourself taken seriously. I think I may have talked about it before, particularly when you have curly hair . There are many hairdressers that dont understand the problems us curly heads have but I'd like to give out a recommendation - ( hay I'm not getting a commission) to Tony Hill and his team up at Synergy on the Lisburn Road.

Tony and his new wife Kerry are a great team they got married recently at the Ormeau Baths Gallery and I have to say they got the best wedding video ever made you can check it out on the link below.

It's so hard to find good things in Belfast, when you do it's important to talk about it. So this is a recommendation.

alfredo jaar

alfredo jaar

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Quote of the day

They can because they think they can.


Faugh na ballagh ?

Before I go into this post I have to talk about Hyperthermia, it should have been hypothermia, although when you see them jumping around Belfast city centre at night you would think it was Hyper- because they are you know.

Going back to a previous post I do notice there is a chip van at the side of the City hall now at night, hope it has a permit. They might have to install those disappearing toilets somewhere there as well like they have at Shaftebury square . Cause and effect everything you do has a knock on effect.

Anyway back to Faugh na Ballagh, I've notices new flags up in Belfast over the last week or so in the "perceived" protestant areas. They are there supporting a parade for troupes from Royal Irish Regiment that have been serving in Iraq and elsewhere. Some people are happy about this others not so. There is also a parade protesting against the parade each have had to get approval from the Parades commission. Some in the media are dying for it to be a confrontation -why you might ask? Well I believe there have been a lot of job cuts in the media here "the story is over" a lot of the global syndicates have pulled out and a nice little confrontation would maybe get the to stay.

I do remember a reporter a while back being done for having smoke bombs in his boot as he was coming over looking for some confrontation and if he did'nt find it he was going to add a little dramatic effect.

Anyway back to the parades whats it all about? Is it time to reclaim the poppy? Last year was the first year that there was a remembrance poppy service in Dublin. What does the poppy symbolise for you? For some its a target, for others its a proud emblem. I've had a mixed relationship with it. But I've reclaimed it recently. My grandfather was in the new Zealand airforce he came over to Europe to fight against Hitler. I have all his letters about this experience . He was only 26 when he died never having seen my mother. He gave up his life. he was shot down over the border of Belguim flying on a bombing mission, missing in action for a year my grandmother finally received conformation of his death about a year and a half later.

Would we say now Hitler was a legitimate target???

In reading all these letter I was particularly struck by a group of letters from relatives of other crew members that died in the crash. They spoke of how his daughter would be proud of him and all the following grandchildren would be proud of what he did for his country and the " mother land".

However my grandmother never spoke of him as it was too painful to us his grandchildren he was a faint black and white picture in a book somewhere. I made a print about it, using photocopy fragment of the letters and death notice and around this time I bring it out and put it on the mantle piece. I also wear a poppy......but because I work on a cross community basis there are some places I cannot go with that poppy as it is percieved as a"target". Something to aim at if not in the past with a weapon , now with emotions.

I took a group once to Missen hill and Ypres, it was a cross community cross border group. We went to see the conflict museum visit the graveyards and there is a commemorative garden to all the men and women who died through out Ireland North and South during the First and Second worlds wars. Many of the women could trace relatives that had fought. There were quite a few emotional experiences while on that particular journey.

Belfast I think has many more emotional experiences to experience, having two parades is partly an expression of this, talking about it is good why ? we gotta move on ,we gotta move on, we gotta move on.

So hopefully tomorrow will be an expression of a peaceful release of energy behalf of the NI people............peaceful being the operative word.