Thursday, 30 April 2009

Place tonight @ 6

Is'nt great that there is so much on...............

PLACE Colloquium No. 2 – tonight!

Thursday 30th April: “Character”

PLACE is proud to present a series of public discussions on various themes in architecture, in association with the Forum for an Alternative Belfast and ARD Ciaran Mackel Architects, taking place from April – November 2009.

The second discussion in the series, Character, will be held on Thursday 30th April at 6pm, at PLACE, 40 Fountain Street. The colloquia are aimed at architects, planners and academics, but all are welcome to contribute!

2 quotes today

" discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everything else and thinking something different"

Albert szent-Gyorgyi.

I came across this one in a book on releasing your creativity and I think in a way it describes how I think, it's always been this way and developed more and more over the years, the problem with thinking like this in Northern Ireland is that it often gets laughed at, ridiculed abused. I've often wondered why? I've come to interesting conclusions but probably they are worth a book on there own. So it's for another time.

Galleries Sunday openings

Just to let you know that lots of galleries in Belfast are opening on a Sunday from this Sunday 10-4 so if your interested in doing something different and can use the on street parking for free why not come along for a nosey.

tonight 6.30 writers square and 8 at BPW

6.30 tonight at writer square( opposite St Anne Cathedral) is the launch of the festival of fools (bring a brolly it's drizzly in Belfast)
and 8 o'clock Jenn Porreca will be giving her artists talk at Belfast print workshops

see some of her work on but don't forget that next week it's first Thursday so all the gallery's open late and there are bus and walking tours, Belfast City Council have even put on extra buses because of it's popularity now that's what I call progress, so if your reading this from outside of Belfast and are not sure how to get around why not phone up and book a tour. See all the creativity going on in the depts of the city.

quote of the day

The most effective way to achieve right relations with any
living thing is to look
for the best in it,
and then help that best into the fullest expression.

J.Allen Boone
Kinship with all life

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

PART 6 Life after Art College

Reading through my New York experience in my diary's, I realise in a way just how far I've come, alot of it is emotional stuff, how I felt, soul searching being delighted by my creativity but at the same time starting to realise that there was more to life than being creative.

At Parsons school of design I took lots of different courses, computer animation, portfolio development, fashion marketing, product development, silversmithing, life drawing for fashion. They were big into constructive criticism . All the big US names went to the college and came in for tutorials, Calvin Klien, Oskar de la Renta, Issac Mirizza, Donna Karen etc etc as the college is based on fashion avenue they didn't have to come to far. Jasper Conran went there, he came for a visit but his dad did'nt want him to stay so he tore up his passport and trew it out of the window thus missing his plane home.What impressed me was there business like approach everything was packaged and developed. The credit system keeping you in check but it meant that you were never with the same students. There were students from all over the world. I remember one girl from Singapore that had her own 2 story condo bought for her by her very wealthy parents- she gave good party's. A girl from Vietham introduced a group of us to how to order traditional Viethamise food ( although I've never been able to use the experience and knowledge since)

Friends and family came to visit which was lovely, I was a regular visitor to the MOMA and Guggenhiem breathed in the atmosphere. One diary entry does say " I've just been to the statue of liberty for the fourth time, long q's in 90 degree heat" all my visitors wanted to see it. I loved the cultural mix of people but in another part there were times when I was very lonely. I got to know that "lets do lunch" meant " I am too polite to say, I'll probably never see you again but I cant figure out what to say to you. I learned how to deal with waiting staff in a professional manner, leave tips. So many things that seep in without you realising it, eat Japanese. Explain that there was more to Ireland than the South.

There is one event in particular that I remember we were having a group tutorial with one of the Fashion professors who worked for all sorts of different big names. She was telling us about her working life before coming to the college, one student asked why did she get into being a tutor and she said that " as a women at some point the question of family comes into it and that's important as well, so when that happens you have to decide how are you going to do it"for her all the big names were nothing compared to building a family.

Strange as it may sound it was the first time in all my art collage career that anyone had even mentioned the fact that there was more to pursue than creativity.It's something that I still see nobody mentioning that many creative people's futures are decided by what their personal relationships are like. This is particularly true for women still after all this time taking on the majority of the childcare responsibilities. For men it's a different kind of pressure how do you build a life around something so erratic? But that's another discussion all on it's own.

The Art collage sent me on all kinds of interviews where I pulled out my portfolio and discussed the opportunity. Many people do not know that there are lots of UK and Ireland trained designers working in the US and Europe under many famous fashion houses names because there is not the industry at home. Calvin Klein offered me a job. So what did I do?

Today in Belfast

Is it really that time again?

Launch of Literary Strangford

Launch of Literary Strangford.
Tomorrow night a new project is launching which aims to explore and make visible the literary heritage of the area around Strangford Lough. If you want to know more or have information about literary people, societies, events or publications of the past who were connected to the area - call the Strangford Lough Office tel: 028 4272 8886.

The launch is on at Strangford Lough Yacht Club, 7.30pm, 30 April. Tickets are free but please contact the number above if you are intending to attend.

Yacht club is on Castleward estate if you dont know it its got one of the most beautiful views. You can arrive by boat ,car or walk but just make sure you look at the tide first.

surviving the recession while being creative

Really good article out there for any creative people feeling the pinch?

I like the illustration on the site that says

" if you trained in fine artist and became prime minister you would still be a failed artist"..................................ho hum

Peace Love and Politics opening Thursday

The absurdity of the Global economy ;-)

Love the title of the discussion, cant help thinking its very relevant lots of other exciting things on as part of Contemporary Polish festival

Agent absurd

Exhibition Launch / reception 6.00 -8.00pm Friday 1st May

Launch of New Banner for the ICTU Migrant Workers Unit, created by Kameleon Polish Youth Group, Belfast City Council’s Youth Forum and artists from the Golden Thread Gallery, 2nd May at 12 noon at the Art College and is part of the May Day Rally.

Belching out the Devil – Mark Thomas Reading, 8pm Thursday 7th May, venue Golden Thread Gallery, see in Words& Ideas. Tickets £5.

Panel Discussion: Perceptions of ‘The Other’, 7pm Thursday, 14th May, venue: Golden Thread Gallery

Employment & Welfare Advice Clinic for Migrant Workers, 6-8pm on Friday 15th May, venue: Golden Thread Gallery

Panel Discussion: The Absurdity of the Global Economy, 7pm Thursday, 21st May, venue: Golden Thread Gallery

Polish Cultural Evening featuring artwork, music, good food, drinks & sociability, 6pm - 8pm. Friday 22nd May, venue: Golden Thread Gallery.

Please contact the Golden Thread Gallery for details of artist’s talks, panel discussions, workshops, multi-lingual gallery tours, migrant workers advice clinics, etc.
Gallery Opening Hours
Tuesdays to Fridays 10.30am – 5.30pm
Saturdays 10.30am – 4pm
Sunday 10.30am – 4pm

Golden Thread Gallery
84-94 Great Patrick Street
BT1 2LU. Tel: 028 90330920Email: Web:

Part 5 life after art college

I was thinking that maybe I should be calling this the relentless pursuit of the creative buzz, instead because when I now look back at my 20 years of graduation I think that's maybe what I have been trying to keep because when you reach that source of creativity within yourself you very quickly realise that there is no other feeling in the world like it. Particularly the joy, when you get the joy it's a kind of addiction you just want to keep repeating it no matter the consequences.

So there I was in Lower Manhatten, someone said to me in Belfast when I was heading off to get my bus at 11 oclock at night after working at the BPW. "Don't you get worried walking in the dark" I told them I used to live in Manhatten and while there you learn to walk in a way that stops anyone from thinking that you could be a possible victim . How do you do it? well you never walk in the dark in high heels, you look to vunerable ( to say nothing about what it does to your back) if your dressed up always wear a coat that hides it, walk with strong strides, quickly. Don't carry a hangbag ( to easy to snatch) get your keys to your house/car out before you leave (so you dont have to pause before entering anything). Walk with your fists clenched, so you look like you would be a hard person to attack. So with all these things I went about my business as I was beside the gallery district I would drop in and have a look at everything as they changed month by month, just take a deep breath and pass the gauntlet of gallery assistants wanting to sell to you something. I do remember a very persistant assistant that insisted a Tapies would look perfect somewhere in my house, "did I have a particular spot in the house in mind", did I know anything about the artist, which I did. hard to keep the bluff going but all good learning. I got to know lower Manhatten really well, there was an offer for a flat on 5th avenue, sounds great doesnt it? but when I went to visit it all seems very bland, too shiney and "up town" or posher. I was more of a downtown kind of girl. The landlady was a dancer and she would get me free tickets to see things so I'd be out and about visiting things. I have one strong memory of watching the doors movie, while a few people in the cinema were smoking -certainly not tabacco it added an extra edge to proceedings. While the gulf war started I was surprised at the reacting the local population. Everyone was glued to the TV, I went out one night with two other Fulbright friends and we were almost shouted at for daring to not be at home watching the TV, the waiters were glued to it. "are you not watching it" they asked no we are hungry" was the reply. Dirty look followed.

Instantly some of the windows started to sell second world war gas masks ( always an opportunity to make money in a war) as if some how that would save America ? himmmmmmmmm do you see a pattern forming. Red, while and blue, stars and stripes everywhere.People walked a bit faster. Conversations started about, if Manhatten was attached where would people flee too? Me, I was wondering what I would wear? Just kidding. But I did think of the ridiculous of it. I had no one, if we were attached, I'd just have to stay put.Maybe being brought up in Northern Ireland gives you a different attitude to the possibility of attach.

Living in Manhatten I started to feel a bit fractious will all the noise and activity, you could sun bathe on the roof of our building but I worked out that every couple of weeks , I'd have to go to the edge and see the sea or go up the world trade centre or Empire state building just to get your head above the general city energy. Going up the Empire state building one day looking out across Manhatten I thought, you know what this is about the same size as Ard's penissula. Can you imagine all those beautiful fields cover up with buildings and roads. ( I did once tell the Lord major of Ards this in a economic development meeting and he did'nt think the Empire state building would get past planning, but that's another story)

I found it hard to sleep at night and took to going to the local 1 dollar cinema at midnight, watched all sorts of bizarre things. Started identifying shops that might sell my work and braced myself to go and show them, always sale or return but why not? All this before I even started at Parson's School of Art. I think every person, especially women should spend some time living on their own. It helps you question everthing about yourself, listen to the silence not clutter up your mind with someone elses thoughts. The odd time I wonder what would have happended to me if I had not gone to the US ? but know it was a kind of pivitol moment in my life that gave me a chance to develop another part of myself that may have layed quiet had I not gone.

quote of the day

The creative individual not only respects the irrational in himself, but courts the most promising source of novelty in his own thought...
the creative person is both more primitive and more cultured, more destructive and more constructive, crazier and saner, than the average person.

Frank Barron

.......not sure if I have had this quote before but I think he might help those of you out there trying to figure out creative people.

How Belfast has changed

Yesterday I was walking to a Board meeting at BelfastPrintWorkshops when I came across Sir Reg (empy), out in front of St Anne Catherdral with a gaggle of media. Stand there in the rain I think he was going to do some intro stuff for the Catherdral quater Arts festival. I had my camera with me but went to get it out of my bag and all the police in a van near buy suddendly looked around at me and I kinda though. No, better not just in case someone is nervous. While I think we have come a long way from someone being shot dead for writing graffiti because the security forces thought the paint brush was a gun,( remember that) I just I would'nt reach in my bag any further.

But it did still make me think how Belfast had changed, I have lived here quite a while now and May bank holiday was always an excuse to get out of the city and get some fresh air but this May I'm staying in Belfast because there is that much on with the Catherdral Quarter Festival that it would be a pity to miss it. I mean if you were in another country you would jump at the chance but because it's Belfast people half ignore it lots of things are free, other very cheap so I think it should be supported as a kind of recognition of just how far Belfast has come. It's nice to see the maze has been demolished and we will now have one in front of the city hall in shrubs instead..................................progress don't you just love it;-)

I also received the Ormeau Baths Gallery leaflet while I am biased I think it's great to see how organisations in Belfast are starting to work together more.

Lots of things of note going on but I think it's fantastic that in September we have the BPW editions exhibition showing the different range of artists that have been part of the workshops residency programme since 2003. Prints along side work from their own practice-from painting,drawing,sculpture to performance art. Exciting electronic art in August from ISEA symposium. Polish contemporary art starting next week. Now wouldn't it be a good idea to have a N Irish contemporary Art week????????????? it's that word again contemporary.

Enterprise and employability fair West Belfast

As a response to the current economic climate Belfast City Council in conjunction with West Belfast Partnership are hosting an Enterprise and Employability Fair aimed at residents who want to find out about starting their own business, get advice for an existing business and look at options for employment. Attendees at the event will be able to get one-to-one advice from support agencies.

The event is free and is open to residents and businesses from across Belfast. Participants can choose to simply browse the fair or get one to one advice from the exhibitors.

When: Wednesday 29th April 2009
Where: Andersonstown Leisure Centre
Time: 11.00am-2.30pm

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

25% off easy jet summer if you really want to get away although its really nice to be in Northern Ireland

Monday, 27 April 2009

India at queens

Switch of the TV and do something interesting this Wed..............


“Changing Interpretations of Early Indian History”

Professor Emeritus Romila Thapar
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Wednesday 29 April at 6pm
in the Council Chamber, Lanyon Building
Queen’s University

Romila Thapar has been described as “the preeminent interpreter of ancient Indian history” and “virtually the only living historian of ancient and pre-modern India who has risen to the rank of world-class historians”. In 2008 the US Library of Congress awarded her the prestigious Kluge Prize which has a focus on disciplines not recognised by Nobel prizes. In awarding the international prize, for Lifetime Achievement in the Study of Humanity, the Library noted that her approach was not without controversy but that her cutting edge research has profoundly changed the way India’s past is understood both at home and across the world. Elsewhere she has been hailed as “a courageous champion, fighting against the poiliticization of history by various ideological parties – both from the extreme left and the extreme right”. Another scholarly reviewer said that “Thapar’s relentless striving for historical truth – independent of the superimposition of vacillating, fashionable theories of current socio-political conditions – is a landmark in the global writing of history”.

This lecture is taking place on Wednesday 29 April at 6pm in the Council Chamber, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University. Refreshments from 5.30pm

To register to attend please contact Carol at or on 028 9097 1139

All Welcome

festival of fools starts this Thursday

6.30 at writers square I particularly like the maze they are going to do around the City hall , many would say that it's a maze inside as well? to say nothing of our councilers heads.........

But lets not go there


Free Music in the parks

What funky Jazz in the Waterworks North Belfast? Just what is the world coming to?

Wild Belfast

No it's not just in the pubs and clubs there is another element to wild Belfast just get out into the fresh air.

Belfast children's festival launch

From 22 May I love some of these things for your children or grandchildren what about introducing them to classical music ? £7 for parent and child.

Young at Art have it sorted now

ever wondered?

Ever wondered how all those organisations get European funds I mean you see the logos everywhere?

Just take a look at

Cayenne is doing bargains at last

Nice ot see someone taking the lead on getting people to dine out a bit more cheaply, the foods great.

£20 & £25 3 course menu
Available Sun-Fri 6pm - late
Full a la carte each evening Sun-Sat

Main course £8.50
2 course £12.00
3 course £15.50
Thurs & Fri 12-2.15pm

Cayenne 7 Ascot House Shaftsbury Square Belfast 028 90 331532
Opening Hours
Lunch: Thurs & Fri 12noon-2.15pm
Dinner: 7nights per week
Sun 5pm-late
Mon-Fri from 6pm - late
Sat 6pm- late
Reservations Advisable

Wed night and beyond

Wednesday 29th April, 6pm

Coinciding with Joan Alexander’s Home Front, PLACE presents a discussion themed on Housing for Older People on Wednesday 29th April at 6pm.

Confirmed speakers include Declan Hill of Todd Architects, Karim Hadjri, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Queen’s University Belfast and Una Lynch, Research Manager, Changing Ageing Partnership, QUB. (If you would like to get involved, don’t hesitate to contact us at PLACE!)
Admission is free and all are welcome.

More info on the PLACE site:

PLACE Colloquium No. 2

Thursday 30th April: “Character”

PLACE is proud to present a series of public discussions on various themes in architecture, in association with the Forum for an Alternative Belfast and ARD Ciaran Mackel Architects, taking place from April – November 2009.

The second discussion in the series, Character, will be held on Thursday 30th April at 6pm, at PLACE, 40 Fountain Street. The colloquia are aimed at architects, planners and academics, but all are welcome!

PLACE seeks Director

PLACE is currently seeking to appoint a Director with vision, commitment to design quality in the Built Environment, and the strategic leadership skills to further develop PLACE.
Click here for further information and to download an application pack.

Artist talk Thursday at BPW

Jenn Porreca at 8pm

based in Sanfrancesco Jenn is artist in residence at Belfast Print Workshop

talk is free just come along

Bluebells are out

The bluebells are out, I remember last year on the radio they were saying that bluebell woods are becoming a rarity but I know of a number of beautiful bluebell woods. These are in my garden but only serve as a reminder that in other places in NI there are beautiful carpets of them all along the woods.

There are 2 I would recommend one is the walk from Strangford to

Castleward, beautiful this time of year the other is in Portaferry as you come of the ferry on your left if you look closely there is a wooded walk.If you do go dont pick them, dont leave rubbish and watch out of the fairys ;-)

Aged Portraits

I have noticed this one up at PS2

Aged portraits 20-25 April Mon - Fri 1-5pm

A collection of etchings and embroideries looking at the joy and heartache of growing old.

I think this is interesting at the moment as I am reading Diana Athill- somewhere towards the end a great book about getting old, very contemplative and a voice you do not necessarily hear alot of. So if you feel that you are interested in knowing what it's like to think somewhere towards the end then I'd recommend it.A great read.

quote of the day

We Cosmopolitians belive in universal truth, though we are less certain that we have it all already. It is not scepticism about the very idea of truth that guides us it is realism about how hard the truth is to find.

KA Appiach

Free boat trip on Strangford Lough

Come aboard the good ship St Brendan on for a fantastic nautical adventure around Strangford Lough. Enjoy the amazing wildlife, spectacular scenery and learn more about why the Lough is so special from expert guide Professor Ronnie Buchanan.

Tickets: Free. To reserve your place contact the Strangford Lough Office.

Information: Pick up a leaflet from your nearest Tourist Information Centre or contact the Strangford Lough Office in Portaferry.
Web: Check out the What's On Calendar on I happen to know this boat the man who runs it actually built the boat, hows that for skill.

Free tickets for Greyabbey

Free tickets
Based on WG Lyttle's historical book, the Smugglers of Strangford Lough, Valhalla Street Theatre brings you a tale of 18th century daring and nautical adventure in their dramatisation of Daft Eddy and the Smugglers of Strangford Lough.

Admission: Free with tickets which are available from Ards Tourist Information Centre, 31 Regent Street Newtownards; Portaferry Tourist Information and Visitor Centre Castle Street, Portaferry.

Tom Waits event Belfast

Sun 3 May: Tom Waits event 2pm/£8

at that and lots of other crazy things on .

Dont forget starts on Wednesday see what amazing things that are going on in Belfast.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Lough Lively starts

lot's of interesting things to do around Strangford Lough.

Labour of Love and James and Jack

Labour of Love an exhibition of paintings and

prints of Transport House by Rajesh Rana

At Engine Room Gallery
414 newtwonards Road belfast
Ph 028 9045 5184

Opening reception
FROM 7-9

and Whalley gallery

opening 30th April

James Millar and Jack Pakenham

Early work from the 70's onwards.

Friday, 24 April 2009


To see your drama clearly is to be liberated from it

Glasgow punks

Where have all the punks gone in Belfast, it's all goths now?

Glasgow textures

How about a trip to Glasgow leave Belfast at 6.30 from bus station get in Glasgow 12 o'clock you can even do a day trip back by 11 pm

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

quote of the day

Men are disturbed not by things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen.


.......................I think women can go in there as well.

Agent absurd @ GT


Polish Artists from a year of contemporary everything from Polska

Friday 1 May 2009 6pm

@ Golden thread gallery
Agent part of the polish festival comtinues until 7 th June

it's that word again CONTEMPORARY...............................where is the room for contemporary Belfast?????there is plenty of talent but where is the exposure???????

quote of the day

The fates lead him who will- him who won't they drag


-----not a bad quote for budget day

Polish Cultural week coming up

For more information and details of the programme please visit website at:

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Belfast Spring fair

For more information, please visit


Money worries ?

Info on how to survive if you have money worries..........

steam train info

someone asked me for this info so I thought I pass it on. It's strange but true. I notice is has a link on how to get to Downpatrick, having gone to school there I was always looking for the how to get out of Downpatrick .........................oh but I did, oh but I did.

Part 4 life after art college

So I applied for the Fulbright award and did'nt really think much more about it. Until I got a letter for an interview. The Fulbright commission is in Baker street, London. I remember going there and waiting in a wood panelled room. Looking around I saw letters from Margart Thatcher and Ronald Reagan wishing the Fulbright commission well for that year. Where on earth am I ? I thought.

First off I meet Kim Harrell the PA to the Chairman, ( I since inspired her to go to Art collage where she took a jewellery making degree ) we eventually became great friends but at that time she calmed my nerves as I walked into a room with a large board room table covered in green blaze, completely surrounded with men. Oh where am I? I thought again. There was one seat empty and after some stuttering conversation a fantastically dresses women came in, I don't remember her name just that she had rushed in from a Fashion show from London fashion week and was apologising on being late.

She gushed about my work and dragged it out of my portfolio and all the older men oohed! and ahhed! conversation then started to flow with her encouragement.The rest of the interview went past in a blur. I remeber considering what to wear and tried to look smart but not too quirky, I still could not afford anything other that a pair of Doc Martins for shoes, those 80 essentials. When I can out of the interview I saw a girl sitting there with a very outrageous hat on and equally outrageous clothes. I thought, they are going to eat her alive in there. She's going to get a bit of a shock.

Fast forward and I received a letter saying I had won the award, shock was not the only thing I felt but it did mean that I would be going off to the US for a while. In the meantime I still worked away on my own work making and selling building up my business expertise. I moved to Worcester for a while as it was where my partner was from and took the train down to London every couple of weeks to sell and collect money. While financially I was not earning a fortune it didn't matter because what I was doing was the thing that I loved best getting that feeling of being at one with your creativity...............................

Preparing for US was interesting Kim helped me work out , I could work with a designer or go to college, as my work was very fine art based I felt I wanted to keep exploring that rather than working for someone else. The desire for personal creative fulfilment stronger than the desire for "work experience" . I decided on New York Parsons school of design .

Coming back to NI for Christmas could see how friends lives were moving on some where getting married some had children some were drinking themselves to death. Despite the atmosphere of death and horror in Belfast there was plenty of crack and life and community connection going on in Strangford and Portaferry. But hay that's Christmas for you. I remember feeling I didn't really want to leave, that it felt good to be among people who understood my accent and had the same sense of humour. Everyone said I was mad and to enjoy New York .

I had been before a couple of times, but that's not the same as living there for a while. My sister bought me a diary and I started to write in in and I have kept up the diary's ever since.

Reading it now it says "I'm more excited about coming home to Ireland than I am about going to new York"

I arrived just when the US was preparing for war with the gulf, I stayed with a couple, Ed had a Fulbright for Architecture and his wife was a dancer. I stayed for a few days in their tiny flat in Mott street Little Italy in Manhattan overlooking a church, typical brownstone building, fire ladders from every window, bath in the kitchen. Due to " a series of fortunate events" I ended up renting the flat as they went down to a dance studio in tri becca a bit further down Manhattan and there I was a wee girl from Strangford lough with her own flat in New York.

Right next door to Soho where all the gallerys were and just a couple of blocks from the underground.

quote of the day

Time is an invention.
Now is a reality.
so much creativity is happening for the simple reason that we
have withdrawn ourselves from past and future.

Our whole energy remians blocked either in the past or in the future.

When you withdraw all your
energy from the past and future
a tremendous explosion hapens
that explosion is creativity.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh


Don't forget

lots of really exciting talent , I cant believe Eri Yamamoto is only £10 she absolutely amazing the great things about these of centre festivals is that you can get tickets for much cheaper that paying £50 to go and see something in the Odessey to say nothing of the chips and coke they expect you to buy .Why not spend it on real talent something a little more abstract.

Speaking of which is all go.......................................come and see what all the fuss is about.

Jenn Porreca at BPW from San Francisco

Jenn has arrived in Belfast as artist in residence at BPW she is working on a collection of prints to be exhibited in the gallery 5 May - 6 June Jenn will also be delivering a FREE artists talk on Thursday 30 April @ 8pm

no need to book just turn up all welcome

Monday, 20 April 2009

come home all is forgiven just a reminder for all of those who are looking at returning to NI and bringing with you all your thought and observations about living life else where. We need you, we need help, come home and get the thinking moving a bit more..................there is still plenty of room and water. (althought there was abit of a hoo haa last week when they thought they were poisioning everyone, but hay it was a mistake ;-)) Dont you just love it!

dB6 Festival (digital belfast 6)

Looks interesting..............................................
20th April - 3rd May

Derek Holzer will be performing his TONEWHEELS concert. Support from Eisberg & Resnick- participant's of Derek's workshop will present their hand crafted synthesizers.
TONEWHEELS is an experiment in converting graphical imagery to sound, inspired by some of the pioneering 20th Century electronic music inventions.
Transparent tonewheels with repeating patterns are spun over light-sensitive electronic circuitry to produce sound and light pulsations and textures, while projected graphical loops and textures add richness to the visual environment.
This year the Digital Arts Studios is 6 years old and we will be holding 2 weeks of events in April to celebrate. Workshops and events focus on sound one week, and video the second week with artists coming from as far as Berlin and L.A.

The Workshops and Talk will take place at the Digital Arts Studios, and there will also be evening events at Catalyst Arts and Brown & Bri.

Arte es Muerto

Catalyst Arts presents...
Arte es Muerto! A night of fun, music, and pinatas at the Menagerie Bar.Thursday 23rd of April, 9pm, door tax £5

Saturday, 25 April 2009 at Catalyst Arts
Derek Holzer, Eisberg & Resnick, Neanderthal Electronics Workshop Participants
9pm til late.
BYO. £5 donations a re welcome to support Catalyst Arts.

Part 3 leaving art collage

So it's been twenty years since I left art collage this year, if you had of asked me then what I would have been doing in twenty years time, I'm not sure what I would have said, I think my desire like many art students was simply to be doing my own work, living of my own creativity because that's whats so important after all, isn't it? Or is it? Is it just the ego at work?

I am so important , I am so important, look what I can do, look what I can do? You really need to have a big ego for that! But is that what creativity is really for ? What is it's purpose?

Not anything I was encouraged to think about while at collage it was more about bringing out your own creativity, your own individual style. As I have said before my body of work was on Ireland, the funny think is 20 years on it still looks contemporary.

I cant remember what I did in the summer after graduating, I think I came home to Strangford for a while ? reconnected with the land, went sailing, smelt the damp fresh air. Spent time with family, I remember feeling a bit disconnected from reality , all I wanted to do was to do my own work to stay engaged with the wonderful feeling that true, unfettered creativity brings . the loosing of yourself in a kind of meditation of life an absorption of creative thought, a flow of colours and patterns.

I've always found that part easy, you know the ideas part, the making of things the true feeling of creativity of disconnecting from reality and linking into another zone. I call it the zone because it's a kind of state of mind. Something you cant switch on and off at will. You just get a kind of though that you need to pursue to it's illogical conclusion. Notice I say illogical, not logical. When I say I find it easy I mean I see things everywhere,all I need is the time and space to explore it, time and space to explore it.

Anyway after the summer I headed of to London, my sister was there at the time and we shared a flat, signing on. On of my tutors gave me a list of a few design studios to go and visit that she had worked with in the past and I set out with my list, my idea was I would start at the top and work my way down and if nothing happened I would start another list.(something that I have come back to again and again). The first studio on the list loved my work and asked me to come in and work 3 days a week, freelance. I had heard of the concept and that you got lots of money for it but I didn't know how to negotiate, I was a very timid little girl but as I was signing on I was told to go on the Enterprise allowance scheme which meant you still got your dole money plus your housing benefit. Which at least would keep my head above water, which was a good idea considering it took them around 4 months to start paying me . Oh the things you learn. At the studio design house would come and buy samples of different work and them get them produced all over the world. I was happy to sit and knit and design in the corner, moving down to a studio on my own for a while just producing work passing it over. Now I realise I was getting paid crap and they were making lots of money but at the time I was just happy that someone was interested in paying me to do something.

On the side I still produced my own garments , knitwear and then started jewellery I had a number of boutiques that I sold to on a sale or return basis, I was too shy to sell but would go into a shop and ask if they were interested in seeing my work . They would always say yes but on sale or return. Which at least meant that they could take a risk and my work was very risky, contemporary. So I had around 6 shops selling my work and I would go around them every could of week on my one day travel card on the tube and collect any money owning me. Now I realise it was very good training as I got to know what people liked, what customers thought, what kind of things sold where, pricing strategys. Yes I got ripped off, yes people stole things, yes I learnt everything the hard way but at least I learnt.

When I went on the enterprise allowance scheme they sent me on a 5 day business training course, designed thanks to Mrs thatcher to get her dole Q numbers down. Thats why I always say I'm one of thatchers children becasue if the enterprise allowance scheme had not been there I'm not sure what i would have done.ON the business course I thought "WHY DID THEY NOT TEACH ME THIS AT COLLAGE" accounts were particularly hard as it meant you were supposed to think in straight lines which is something I found particularly hard.

So there I wes in London, selling to all these trendy places, Hyper Hyper, Kensington Market. I remember fashion week it was chaos, all the buyers from around the world used to decend on these places and buy out everything. I had work on TV,one place Sign of the times I sold to was a hub of the ID generation , you know the magizine. I think it's still in production. The women who ran the shop went on to run "sign of the times club nights" and make a fortune out ot the London trend scene. She was always "on trend" and swore alot. Red or dead were in Kensington Market at the time, funny how it works out. So there I was in LOndon at the end of the eighties, yuppies everywhere, flash cash all around, Harry Enfield "loads of money" a very popular character, house prices rising, no one could afford a morgage. Pole Tax riots. I was in the middle of the lots. Meanwhile back in NI they are still shooting each other and bickering. I lived in Green lanes the greek street in North London lots of humas and taramasalata. Restrurants where they had 8 course meal and you got to smash the plates afterwards. It was the year that Ireland were in the world cup, the streets were deserted when the matches were played. Lots of builders over from Ireland building Thatchers Britian. Every time Ireland scored the whole of the street erupted with cheers.

During all this going on my old art collage contacted me and said they wanted to put my portfolio in for a Fulbright prize. I had no idea what it was or what it meant but proceed to put together my portfolio with my old and new work combined and leave it in. The award was the "Calvin Klien ,Harvey Nichols, Fulbright in Fashion" 4 months paid work or study trip to US with the option of staying 2 years. Like many of these things you see you think you have no chance in getting it,many people don't even try but me I thought why not.

Quote of the day


Theodore Roosevelt

beautiful Northern Ireland- Mount Stewart

Mount Stewart curves

Good Morning Belfast

Did you wake up with the birds this morning? I did, the only problem is that as the light gets earlier and earlier so do I which is a bit of a pain when it gets light at 4 o'clock in the morning hay we shall see, that's what black out curtains are for.
Have you ever been to mount Stewart? I went down on Saturday and it really is a little piece of paradise on the edges of Strangford Lough, simply beautiful. They are having a dawn chorus walk later in the month but you have to be there for 4.30. Would anyone with a hangover be able to do that ? maybe if they never went to sleep?? But it was beautiful ............

If you have never been you should go as it simply gives you a shapshot of Northern Ieland history what it was like for the landed gentry and the minister of defense for the UK during the second world war, Winston Churchill used to come and stay to get away from it all, now you know why Newtownards has an airport. It was the only way the minister could get back and forward from London. I wonder if Peter Robinson is thinking of getting one installed in Castlereagh??? I noticed in the Sunday Times at the weekend he is sticking to the programme for government even though it was based on selling off land revenues and money from the UK that has not materilaised ?? Maybe with the £600,000 odd it costs to the tax payer to keep him and his lovely wife Iris in the manner that they are accustomed too he doesnt realise just what it takes to budget in a time of economic crisis. Not bad for a couple of people who went to Castlereagh tech???

Sorry back to Mount Stewart, a lovely day out and there is a tea room,(always important) and something new they have is a webcam which is out in a hatching next in Strangford lough where you can see over the next few weeks some of the local wildlife coming forth. Having a look in the shop there I could not help thinking it would be nice to see some more local producers selling their wares, the problems with it being National Trust is there is a central purchasing policy which means little oportunity for local producers, if only everyone thought of sustainability issues, sorry there I go again.............. anyway have a good week, be nice to people. Ive got a busy week and I'm off to an Art Fair in Scotland later in the week

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Printmaking May and June/ July

Introduction Weekend Courses
Collagraph £60 Sat & Sun 10am - 3pm 16th & 17th May 2009
Mono Printing £60 Sat & Sun 10am - 3pm 23rd & 24th May 2009
Photo Etching £60 Sat & Sun 10am - 3pm 30th & 31st May 2009
Relief Printing £70 Sat & Sun 10am - 3pm 9th & 10th May 2009
Introduction Evening Courses
Screen Printing £70 Mondays 11th May - 8th June 2009 7-9pm (excluding Bank Holiday 25th May)
Photo Intaglio £60 Tuesday 12th May - 2nd June 2009 7-9pm
Etching £60 Wednesday 13th May - 3rd June 2009 7-9pm
Intermediate Evening Courses
Screen Printing £70 Mondays 15th June - 6th July 2009 7-9pm
Photo Intaglio £60 Tuesday 16th June - 7th July 2009 7-9pm
Etching £60 Wednesday 17th June - 8th July 2009 7-9pm
HOW TO BOOK.To make a booking please contact Workshop Manager - Struan Hamilton & forward payment to the Workshop


just in case you missed it.

urban arts academy

Know your going to have a bored teenager over the summer? 6th -24 July aerosol art and djing jump out at me but not as much as Free running taking a look at the newest art from to hit the urban landscape.....................................coola bulla. Its down at the waterfront and I have to say there is lots of room to run around down there.

Free Tea and tales

Old Museum arts centre

Mon 25th MaY and other dates available


Looks interesting for anyone out there with kids....................or gtrandchildren.

I notice they are going apick and mix passport £20 if booked and paid for by Friday 15th May this gets you 6 passes to any of the shows of your choice.

Spring lunchtime concerts

Ulster Orchestra
Ulster Hall
3 lunchtime concerts
Wed 105-1.55pm

25 March
6 May
27 May

£5 unreserved seating
student stand by £3

Ulster orchestra Box office 02890668798

book online

Nominate your belfast icon for anti

Anti looks back on the 70's and 80's and the people places and songs clubs and nights that helped from Belfast as we see it today-many are rooted in a level of anti establishment feeling that had a particular resonance.

Anti will document this part of our culture by identifying ten to twelve iconic subjects and produce an exhibition and publication looking at their impact on your Belfast and local people.

They need your help to decide who/what/where or when they are!

Your nominations for anti could be places, people, songs, events-anything that was central to Belfast's alternative culture-its up to you!

e mail your nominations to :

Rt Hon David Blunkett MP Creative Extremists?

Conference 23rd April at the Stormont Hotel, Belfast

This conference is on the theme of civil society and looking at how we can build a healthy and flourishing civil society. it is offering the opportunity for a wide section of NI society to come together to discuss a broad range of issues that affect us all as we make the transition from a society immersed in conflict to a more peaceful and sustainable one.

There are two high profile speakers - , Rt Hom David Blunkett MP who has recently chaired the Review of the Third Sector and Michael Edwards who has worked for many years at the Ford Foundation heading up their civil society programme and has written extensively on the topic of active citizenship and civil society so we will be hearing from some very inspirational and influential speakers.
There are opportunities for networking, formulating questions to these speakers and discussion.

Contact details :Creative Extremists conference on 23rd April are as follows:Kate Campbell at VSB 90200850

Sotherbys today waterfront until 5 Irish Art

Just had a nosey around at the waterfront where Sotherbys are having their Irish Art preview for an auction. There was a nice Basil Blackshaw studio door painting for £70,000 to £100,000 if you have that spare? It was interesting listening to people looking at the pictures on show,
"the thing to go for is a name" said one " but you would really have to like it" said another "Oh yes, of course that's a good Idea" said another. All the colours looked dullish in many of the paintings, must have been the smog on the landscape or the quality of the paint or maybe both?

Still interesting to see what was coming up, I took a dander over the road to Living Space afterwards where the Charles Gilmore gallery have set about decorating the showroom with art £750 to £75,000 nice to see local artist represented but you do wonder at some of the prices I suppose it's all in the name again?? Also when I look at the furniture imported from Italy and all around the world, I know there are designers capable of this kind of design in NI but they don't get a chance to work at this level often. Why is the local population so down on local talent???? It's that they cant be good if there are from here story.

Dandering on I went to back to the Belfast Exposed gallery where there is a lovely set of photographs on the demolition of the maze by Donovan Wylie until 1 May they are really like paintings with all their tones and greys. Beautifully photographed and a lovely book to a company it. No prices anywhere but maybe they don't need to sell anything??

Tucked in the back of Belfast Exposed is a film running on Bernadette Devlin by Duncan Campbell it runs over 30 Min's from 11-4 every day and worth taking a look at..................... she now works for emigrant rights in Northern Ireland once an advocate always an advocate..I'll let you decide. .....................................

Belfast today 0800 0323 700

it's that time again when we all give legitimacy to our elected leaders...himmmmmmmmm

West bank and Israel in the Spring ;-(

Ecumenical Accompaniers: West Bank and Israel*Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine & Israel (EAPPI) provides protection by presence, supports Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and advocates for an end to the occupation.18 vacancies for 3 months’ service2 vacancies for 4.5 months’ serviceliving allowance + benefitsDeadline for applications: 25th June 2009

Sir Reg speaks, Sammy proclaims, Conor chats

30th April (3.30pm) - Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Employment & Learning 7th May (10.45am) - Sammy Wilson, Minister for Environment 14th May (12.15pm) - Conor Murphy, Minister for Regional Development 26th June (11am)- Alistair Hamilton, Chief Executive Invest NI
Make sure you put the dates and times in your diaries.
New content on NICrunchtalk:
* Overview of Irish Budget from IoD in Ireland
* Explanation of Finance Support for Small Businesses
I look forward to seeing you online.
Joanne Stuart
Chairman IoD Northern Ireland Division
Visit NI Crunch Talk at:

Another bit of NI bite's the dust

Watercolours ????

The exhibition continues to 19th April 2009

Open Daily 11am – 6pm
Admission Free
All works are for sale

Bankside Gallery
48 Hopton Street
London SE1 9JH

MicroTrade Visit to Belfast for RoI Micro-Enterprises - May 27th/28th 2009

May 27th/28th 2009
Now Recruiting - April 24th Closing Date
MicroTrade, working with Enterprise Northern Ireland, is organising a trade mission to Belfast aimed at helping County & City Enterprise Board client companies to explore opportunities in the North.
Prior to the trade visit, MicroTrade will consult each participating company to identify their needs and interests. We will then work with a range of local business organisations to line up relevant meetings with potential clients, suppliers, partners and advisers.
(Northern Irish companies who would like to meet with the visiting delegation on the mission can pre-register by e-mailing stating their interest in participating, and we will contact you closer to the event when RoI companies are confirmed and suitable business matching is possible.)
Download an application form from here.
Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday the 24th of April.

Climate change ??? himmmmmmmmm

For more details about the New Orleans Regional Fair Climate Agenda Summit, click here. To register for the event, click here.

New Orleans regional Fair climate summit

back to climate change...................

For more details about the New Orleans Regional Fair Climate Agenda Summit, click here. To register for the event, click here.
Visit TV

I hope they get this all sorted it is great that they can get some more visibility. There are lots of interesting things going on with interesting people in Belfast it's just that not everyone in the mainstream knows about it.



Now I have watched it and I have to say good idea but it might be useful for artist to have some media training ????? but its a step in the right direction

what to write on a blogg

I have been told recently that there are things on my blog that I really should not write about, things I should not say and as a result \I have missed out on opportunities because "the powers that be" whoever they are think I'm too much of a risk. Cant have people saying what they think. It's really quite sad I think, that in this day and age when so much needs to change and shift people think it should be all dusted under the carpet. Oh we cant talk about that too risky, too risky. But on the other hand I have had alot of people say to me , "good on you" I think the same, glad to see someone is writing about it and you know what they are the people I am writing this blog for because thinking is important , very important observing is important and showing all the positive things that are going on in Northern Ireland are important as well. Why, well if you believed the media you would think we were a hot bed of bigots with little else to do other than hate each other.

But you know what it's not the case and to remind us of that I write the blog, I think, I encourage other people to think and pass on information that I believe to be interesting, information that could be useful to people in their own thinking process or doing process or being process. I mean why just hold on to it? that would be too much of a way of controlling the information flow and there has been too many of that going on in Northern Ireland already.

Anyway I digress, i got contacted by my great uncle in new Zealand about a memorial service in the South of England to pilots who died in the second world war, my grandfather included. I am trying to find out more about it but its quite close so I'm not sure if I might be able to get over . I think it might be a little be of closure, maybe I should video the experience. I did when I went to Enidhoven to visit his grave the weird thing is I never watched it again all too personal and scary. But it reminds me of the nature of memorial..............................and all that Jazz.

Anyway the sun is out the mist is clearing, the ferry is on in Strangford and in Belfast spring is in the air and the world keeps turning so it cant be bad........................

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

no filters all true

The rhode dodes are out

Nice to see youth culture is everywhere............

Belfast Curves, Strangford Curves

need I say more?

Only 30 mins from Belfast

I know I obcessed by that castle

Australia? no Strangford

beautiful Strangford Lough

Easter Strangford Lough 1

Why do we go abroad when you get views like this?

blank canvas

Arts Council of Northern Ireland are participating in London 2012's Cultural Olympiad Major Project - Artists Taking the Lead.

This is a rare UK-wide opportunity for Northern Ireland artists to submit ideas for a single art commission to commemorate the UK's hosting of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A panel of Northern Ireland artists will assess all ideas submitted, shortlist three proposals which will receive development support of £3,000 each after which a single proposal will be chosen for a £190,000 commission.

All information regarding the project is available at

Forum for an alternative Belfast

PLACE is proud to present a series of colloquia in association with the Forum for an Alternative Belfast and ARD Ciaran Mackel Architects, taking place from April - November 2009.The series kicks off this month with discussions around "key terms in the lexicon of urban design, planning and architecture", beginning on Thursday 16th April at 6pm with Appropriateness. This month's discussions are aimed at architects, planners and academics, but all are welcome!Check out the flyer above for more info (larger version available on the PLACE blog: All events hosted at PLACE, 40 Fountain Street, Belfast BT1 5EE.

Titanic made in belfast exhibition

Titanic Made in Belfast Festival
Titanic Made in Belfast festival will take place from Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 April 2009. The ultimate Titanic festival, in the city where she was built, is a celebration of the ship, her city and the artisan skills of the people who created her. The week long festival hosts a packed programme of events including Titanic tours and special exhibitions. Highlights
Titanic: Designed and Built in Belfast exhibition (14 March - 19 April, W5)This exhibition takes a look at the Harland and Wolff Shipyard and their design and incredible craftsmanship of vessels over the years. There will be a range of photographs and film and audio clips as well as Titanic-related artefacts on display.
Belfast Titanic Society Display (13 April 2009, Titanic's Drawing Office)The Belfast Titanic Society will be hosting a day in Titanic's Drawing Office, where Titanic's plans were drawn up. There will be a Titanic display and members of the society will be there to answer questions.
Titanic toursMany tours will be available during the festivals including boat, walking and bus tours. Tours of Titanic's Dock and Pump-House are also available.
Titanic talks (13 - 18 April, W5)There'll be six Titanic talks at W5. They'll cover topics including the SS Nomadic, Lord Pirrie and Thomas Andrews, the workers on Titanic, the Titanic wreck site and the White Star Line. All talks will be followed by a question and answer session. More information
For more information, visit or call the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609.

Peer Critique Workshop Lens based media

Peer Critique Workshop - Lens Based Media with Heli RekulaMonday 27 April 2009 (10.30am to 4.30pm)Belfast Exposed, BelfastCost: £25 / 20 (concession rate BX + VAI members)Places: 6N.B. This workshop is part of an extensive programme of workshops scheduled for Autumn 2009 in Northern Ireland, in partnership with Belfast ExposedPeer CritiqueThese media specific workshops are intended to create dialogue and openness between artistic peers in a world where many are starved of feedback and thoughtful responses to their work. It is hoped these sessions will foster networking and continued peer support amongst participants. Those attending should be open and prepared to respond to others' work and should come prepared with a 10-minute presentation on their work (which will be followed by 20 minutes or so of discussion). Artists can bring slides, CD ROMs or original artwork to show. The atmosphere will be constructive, supportive and positive. The artists facilitating each workshop will present and discuss their own work and talk about their own career development during the day.Heli Rekula (b.1963) works with lens-based media: film, video and photography. Her works have over the past 17 years been exhibited extensively in both Finland and abroad. She participated in the 2001 Venice Biennale in the main exhibition 'Plateau of Humankind', curated by Harald Szeemann. She was the recipient of the 2002 Ars Fennica Award. Currently she is studying in the postgraduate programme aiming for the doctoral qualification at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. The first artistic component of her research, an extensive retrospective exhibition 'DESERT, works from 1989–2004', was on display in 2005 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. The same year she was awarded the State Prize for Photography Art. She currently lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. Rekula is represented by Gallery Kalhama & Please see the following links for articles on Heli Rekula's work - Artist's Knowledge & Research at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts:'s Knowledge 2 & Research at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts: + InformationTo book for any of the above courses or for information on Galway and Belfast workshops please contact:E: monica@visualartists.ieAs places are limited early booking is advised. To ensure a place on any of these workshops it is essential that you book by email in advance and then forward payment to confirm your booking. Should you wish to cancel a workshop, booking notice should be provided at least 5 working days prior to the workshop date so that your place can be reallocated. Refunds will not be given for late cancellations in any circumstances. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to 'Visual Artists Ireland', and VAI can also accept credit or debit card payments over the phone.

Strangford \Lough Mini break

The beauty of Strangford Lough

I know I'm biased but Strangford lough really is beautiful on a sunny day there is nothing like it and that's just what it was like over the Easter holidays blue sky green fields a light breeze and all was well with the world.

Having spent many hours of my youth in Strangford when it came to bank holidays the one thing that really confused me was why do people drive down there and sit in their cars for around an hour to wait and go on the ferry? Why do they not at least get out and explore all the interesting things that are in and around the village ? you can see they do it every back holiday, why not park the car and get on with it? Anyway we felt as if we had a mini break as there are lots of interesting things to do and see, food to eat and people to catch up with but when the weather is like that it's the colours that really blow me away the blues and greens when you paint them everyone thinks your lying about the colour but it really is real. There is something about that place when the weather is good that relaxes you in ways that I have never experienced in any other country.

We also went to Downpatrick Catherdral which is glistening with its new paint job visited St Patricks grave and went on the steam train down to Inch abbey. Having been to school in Downpatrick it's not somehwere I ever think of spending a day trip in but it really was great with the weather being so good. I notice the Opera Fringe are having an event at Inch abbey, and there is other stuff on at the Catherdral and in and around the town during Castleward ard opera season so I will remember to put up the details.

Anyway how do I feel after so much fresh air? Clear headed, clear eyed and gosh I even think I even got a bit of a tan. How did that happen in Northern Ireland? .................................................... who needs easy jet?

Friday, 10 April 2009

is it really 11 years since the good Friday agreement?

Is it really 11 years since the good Friday agreement? what's changed? what's stayed the same? have you? have you realised that you have to change as well if you want society to change around you.
Or maybe your not into equality? anyway it does cost much to give people opportunites that are good....................................................rather than the old I went to school with marlarky...........we gotta move on, we gotta move on, we gotta move on.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

featival of fools Belfast

from 30 April
opening ceremony
6.30 Writers square

lots of fun stuff

out and about

Nice to see the traffic has calmed in Belfast the Easter shoppers are out people are battling through the wind to get themselves their Easter clothes and everywhere in the shops there are sales on. I have to see it's nice to see some new colour around and about. Its this time of the year when i look for new colour , at the moment its blue I need to see of all shades but in particular turquoise blue. Funny how that happens.

I've started working on a body of work based on my experience of working on the peace line in North Belfast , getting ill as a result of it and eventually getting better. It's taken me four years since leaving the job since I have felt well enough to approach the subject. I think I have been scared to touch it because I wasn't sure I could cope with what would come out but I've come to the point where it's coming out no matter what I think. What it really all means at this point I'm not entirely sure but I suppose that's part of the joy of creativity..............the pleasure and the pain of it..................

Still cant believe its been 20 years since I left art college and I suppose what I'm beginning to think is that what we train our creative people to do is so very narrow compared to what we really need our creative people to do . Leonardo Da Vinchi did not narrow himself to "painting" or "print" he was a creative thinker and as such he used his mind to think and create ideas for so many different things. Inventing helicopters to the roof of the Sistine chapel he was not narrowed in his thinking. I suppose that's what I think about creative people in this next phase of humanity's life there are going to be so many challenges , energy, population control, resources, climate change etc etc etc is it going to be the straight line thinkers that are going to rise to the challenge?? Probably not . If your used to following,do you still follow when everything is falling over the edge of a cliff?? Maybe it's the lemming in us??/ Not sure, not sure, not sure.

However we shall see what happens with this body of work I feel its taking me somewhere else intirely. Have a nice Easter.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Start up star awards

Last chance for community planning

On the 17th February 2009 Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie announced a multi-million pound funding package for Neighbourhood Renewal projects in some of Northern Ireland’s most disadvantaged communities.“I believe our communities, particularly our most disadvantaged communities, deserve the best possible services to address the inequalities they face. Even in the current recession, it is no longer good enough to talk about protecting jobs in the community and voluntary sector. My focus is squarely on service delivery; people working in community and voluntary organisations need to demonstrate that they also have that sense of purpose.”The Minister concluded: “The approach I am leading is joined up government at the community level and I will be doing all that I can to ensure that every Department and Agency measures up to the challenge.”The ‘Neighbourhood Renewal’ experience has been extremely challenging in respect to delivering change at a local area level. The need for inter-departmental co-operation has resulted in a long drawn out developmental period which appears to be ‘process intense’ as opposed to ‘action focused’. The experience in Northern Ireland is similar to experiences elsewhere in the United Kingdom. This one day conference will help to explore the problems and opportunities associated with delivering neighbourhood area change, to learn from others in respect to different approaches and to begin discussions around what ‘Community Planning’ might look like, if and when local authorities are provided with ‘lead responsibility’The conference format is based upon input from experts and practitioners alike from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and the Republic of Ireland. Each will bring their own unique understanding of the problems to be addressed and how best to meet local need. Minister Margaret Ritchie, Department for Social Development and Minister Sammy Wilson, Department of Environment will address the Conference on the future of neighbourhood renewal and community planning.
WHO SHOULD ATTENDThe conference is essential for those in the public sector with service delivery responsibilities, local government officials and members who will be taking on ‘Community Planning’ responsibilities under current Review of Public Administration proposals, and key voluntary and community sector organisations with a role in ensuring local needs are met.
HOW TO REGISTERPlease log on to our website at for full information on how to book on to attend this Conference.