Belfast Art – Almost 40 Pictures

Crikey. Here’s the 170th post (out of 185 maybe-score)

01 Gift

This is from the Arts and Disability Forum on Royal Avenue, because beginning the late night art trail at 3pm means I can check into galleries like this that shut early.

02 Gift

Splodged together slacker two-shots of candles, jewelery, chocolate; the members show ‘Gift’, with items priced between £3 and £300.

03 Gift

Lucid, spooky and in flow pencil line pieces, with YOMmiest chocolate underneath.

04 Gift

If I’m not mistaken Leo Devlin arranged the show (he does most of the gallery arrangements I think), has done well.

05 Gift

Gallery opp. Central Library opens Tuesday to Friday from 10-4pm, and there’s a seasonal celebration on Thursday 19 December from 5-7pm.

06 Gift

I hear you can buy these cards from https://andy-luke.com/shop (UK) or Zazzle.co.uk (US)

 07 Gift

Amazing. Next, off Royal Avenue by Ann Summers, The Red Barn Photographic Gallery.

 08 Before our time

The Red Barn is clinging by finger-tips financially these few months, it will need a bolster to stay open.

09 Before our time

These photos were taken by an unknown photographer between 1870-1920 and only recently time and technology are compatible to access them like this.

10-before-our-time

There’s a frank honesty to them which made this one of my galleries of the night.

11 Before our time

But then: Space Craft, and those snowflakes made from wooden intersections are awesome.

12-a-christmas-trilogy

13 A Christm… Trilogy

Zoom in. Jenna Magennis’s baubles are filled full of Kandorian (miniature bottle resident) delights.

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DUCKS, ducks, Quack Quack, Quack Wuack!

15 A Christm… Trilogy

SpaceCraft: it’s the one up that escalator!

16 Catalyst

Catalyst Arts now and Fiona Larkin’s Backstory featuring collaborations from seven other writers and artists and a Ruckenfigur – this seen-from-the-back scarved woman.

17-catalyst.jpg

We’re invited to read into this: to create stories of hypernarrative upon our interaction, “the observer to become active collaborators who construct new meaning”.
Sorry Lass, I thought it was shit, atypical of privelege. You want collab-story, there’s a few writer’s groups around the city. Get details. Future nourishment, loftier plateaus smile.

Moving onto :

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19 Boycottin…ke Bombs

‘Boycotting Cake Bombs’, concrete, string, wire, Barry Mulholland.

20 Barry Mulholland

Photographed from different angles.

 21 Barry Mulholland

A greatest show all round actually.

22-origami.jpg

And that IS over seven foot high. “Reject Indecision Construct your Own Good Fortune”, double wall corrugated cardboard by Rachael Campbell-Palmer.

 23 Caravan

Teensy wood Birdhouse Caravan by Catherine Roberts, and there’s something about the colours of this that moved into my head like rejoining something there long ago.

24 Surrealism at Platform 13

More psychonaut colours. A very high standard all round.

 24a With David Mahons Electric Organ

David Mahon’s Electric Organ piece was looking a bit lifeless so I got inside it.

Upstairs in Belfast Belfast Exposed I bumped into a few friends for ‘Aftermath’, Laurence McKeown and Anthony Haughey’s photographs of Northern Irish residents who fled for the border upon the outbreak of the Troubles and their own stories. The opening was a bit too crammed to get an assessment of the work but there was a beautiful speech by the outgoing gallery director about the lost mindset of our politicians and the job upon artists to educate them.

Downstairs, the continuing exhibition focussing on the lost Yugoslavia.

24c Belfast Exposed

Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is the name of a travelogue written pre-WW2 and followed by the photographer just before immense changes re-wrote the landscape.

 25 Yu The Lost Country

The exhibition is called ‘The Lost Country’ and I’ve not described it justly here. It’s eminently worth seeing.

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Christ, here comes Winter Christmas Andy.

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Re-cast him as that goggle eyed organ player from earlier and look at the warm rug and trails of fairy lights, ribboned gifts, snow grounded and hanging and candy canes.

28 Christmas PS2

Christmas grows through the walls as kodaks at PS2.

29-christmas-ps2

One of my favourite themes of late, re-booting Christmas – make it more palatable, relevant and meaningful.

 30 Book Tree

PS2 have that atmosphere in a bottle with animations and decorations in motion, Christmas as creativity.

And a book tree. Feck. Yeah.

31 Graffiti

Graffiti in Joy’s Entry.

32-sketchys.jpg

An absurdist game of chess at The Black Box, I’m there for Real Sketchys.

Cold, I draw this instead, inspired by a Lee Kennedy, Terry Wiley conversation last week.

https://andyluke.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/34-comics-pub-meet.jpg

PJ Holden and Aimee Downey at the final formal Belfast Comics Pub Meet, for the time being.

36 lazer lizard

Someone mentions lizards briefly: it’s enough to set me off.

And there it is. Happy birthday me.

39 Happy 40

A 1986 FA Magazine (with some great commentary), BlexBolex’s graphic novella Abecederia and a big X card from John Robbins.

40 Robbins Big X

Blogging new art daily has been great for my creative muscle. I’m keen to keep going! I’ve learned a lot about other people coming to this point and my expectations of the world around me. Life is falling short, so aiming high I’m always going to do better than not aiming.

I probably deserve a gallery showing after all this. Catalyst, are you paying attention?

“Is that in Ireland?” Gothic Time Travel to celebrate the 50th Anniversary

This last week I’ve mostly spent in bed. I’ve been beset by a vicious abcess causing the right side of my face to swell. My eye flames. I’ve only begun to regain the strength to  write and I’m doing that now because I’ve a really brilliant product to promote.

Twelve by Horrified Press (140 pages)

Prepare to get lost, as the time-traveler and his assistant venture into dark space.
It’s time for authors from around the world to unofficially pay homage to the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, and unleash their own tales of futuristic terror.

My offering ‘Skin of the Teeth’,  (gulp!) gives us the first glimpse at the time traveler’s relationship with Ireland as he pursues a mystery in the formed deep in Belfast’s sewers, and an enemy floating  in the skies, which leads him to a conspiracy at the birthplace of The Titanic. 

Digital £3.00 http://www.lulu.com/shop/horrified-press/twelve/ebook/product-21278364.html

Print £9.99 http://www.lulu.com/shop/horrified-press/twelve/paperback/product-21242606.html

DRIFTING THROUGH ETERNITYPart of a clockwork with a dial
Mark Slade

THE ROTS
Wol-vriey Jesuito

THE ROGUE PLANET
Gavin Chappell

MIRRORS IN FOG
E.S. Wynn

FLIGHT OF THE DEMETER
Martin Feekins

IN LIGHT OF DARKNESS
Nathan J.D.L. Rowark

TIME TELEVISION
Paul Melhuish

SKIN OF THE TEETH
Andrew Luke

NEANDERTHAL
Todd Nelsen

THE LAST EPOCH
Jason Barney

WIGAN GOTHIC
Matthew R. Davis

MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION
Jay Wilburn

TRAVELER
Gary Murphy

THE CREATURE FROM THE BOG
Angela Pritchett

Thanks to Nerdgeist and Time Warriors for offering publicity but I could really use your help sharing this. Let me or editor nathan.rowark @ live dotco dot uk know if you do. There may be free samples or interviews on offer for those bloggers and journalists who do. 

FragmentBlog: Comics as Rock n Roll, Belfast racism, Monster Fun Day

richard cowdry 1 richard cowdry

Actually, I mis-remembered. Jimi Gherkin was the driving force behind those Alternative Press fairs, though Richard definitely brought some muscle. An upcoming documentary appears to look at the spirit around their endeavours. Here’s the trailer,

Comics Are My Rock And Roll: Trailer from Daniel James Baldwin on Vimeo.

The Facebook page is up with a Kickstarter coming.

Graphically offensive images and downer text coming up. Scroll down if you’d rather not see them. If you plan to use them, please credit me as the photographer.

It’s been eight months of erosion of Unionist Northern Ireland now through the barbarism of people who claim to be standing up for that cause. It’s largely happening in Belfast. Sub-simple minded herd thugs are  manipulated by, well, damaged individuals, cult brainwashed kids and a small group of bloodthirsty fuckers speaking the language of business. The worst of these is a bloke called Jim Dowson, who one suspects might be an undercover BNP man. He was certainly behind the racists’ first ventures here as a main centre for administration and electioneering for BNP candidates in Stormont. His views and activities on abortion are visually as pronounced as the Westboro Baptist Church and he’s none too fond of homosexuals either. Dowson has spent the last year playing the Jabez Bottomley, the rent-a-cause emphasiser, whipping up the mobs here under the cover of political rights activist. He’s targeted those afflicted by the troubles. Give his lieutenants Willie Frazer and Jamie Bryson some sympathy/empathy and it’s not too tough to see how he has manipulated their vulnerabilities to co-opt their followings. The photos below show a rare scene. They were taken in a street near were I live. [Belfast Telegraph link]

Belfast Racism 1 - Credit Andy LukeBelfast Racism 2 - Credit Andy Luke

Northern Ireland during the Troubles has traditionally had a rather low ethnic population. There wasn’t much violence towards Indians and Chinese here, but probably because of the Troubles, I heard frequently we  topped Europe’s most racist capital listings. A joke used to do the rounds about how a black man would walk down the street here and we’d be lined up the windows to look, as many of us had never seen one. Since the Troubles, there has been an influx of Polish immigrants  which has been sometimes depressing but mostly refreshing. People bringing  new foods, new stories. These people have seen more of the world than we have. If I never get out of here, I want to have heard these different accents, seen these different skin tones and mannerisms, I want to share laughs with these alien others and notice the things that are exactly the same. I want to know about foreign McDonalds, working men’s clubs, the good music and the painters. I’ve no problem with the Unionist-Loyalist people getting more organised, better managed, but for fucks sake, why do it by payrolling one of the most powerful men in what is essentially Britain’s Klu Klux Klan? There are lots of good local community business managers who can do the same job far better without brains bleeding out the windows of Royal Avenue shops, friends.

And don’t tell me Dowson makes no money from this.  I have the figures here. He’s a rich man, and he’s two decades from living in a row house.

Right, I banged this out quick, so it’s a bit scabby.

monster fun day

Birthdays Today: TitanCon Showrunner, Nordie Shore actor.

Ian 1

I’ve been giving a bit of a hand to Ian Lawther, the on-the-ground showrunner of TitanCon. With three weeks to go, Ian is, I think scheduled for some fairly major surgery, so trying to organise a major Game of Thrones and pop art media festival must be a royal pain in the hole.

Ian has a good heart, so cool and mannerly that I’m fairly sure he might just be one of the Legion of Doom. He has helped me outof a few pits this year and made me feel very welcome in among a new group of friends.

Ian has a history of con-running being involved in salvaging the last few MeCon events.

TitanCon is running from Friday September 6th this year at the Wellington Park Hotel in Belfast. I’ve been invited to do a comics workshops and I’m pleased to announce here there’s a comics panel on adapting Irish myth featuring Paddy Brown, Will Simpson and special guest Rich Clements.  It’s a great programme (I’ve sneaked a peek), and features many Games of Thrones guests and crew, panels. There are a lot of progressive local authors attending too, including publisher Blackstaff House, who opened their doors across genre earlier in the year.

Give Ian and TitanCon your support and you’ll get looked after in return. 

Ian 2

 

Jordan Dunbar

 

How do I know Jordan? How do I know Jordan? A fast food coffee, a friend of a friend? Jordan plays Dean, the in-your-face, animated pox, STD-riddled, alpha male antagonist chav/spide in Nordie Shore.  Oh eck.

Northern Irish sitcoms have a track record of being badly managed, bottom-feeders. The BBC wouldn’t invest and UTV would only market the Julian Simmons ‘family uncle queen’ type. (Much as Julian does it brilliantly, it was not something to base all original programming on) Shows trying to appeal to all, but appealing to none and inspiring as much hate as they seek to soothe. Nordie Shore was a different beast. Sure, it used the reality show pleaser at it’s base, but Nordie Shore: funny.  A barrage of comic gags, mini-stories, freakshow exhibits, surrealist trips, capturing the yobbish under-class of Belfast (or any major city), relatable to as had never been related before; oddly. Nordie Shore has that Uber-Viz-like quality that’s not to everyone’s taste: at times it’s like being in a whorehouse with a flooding toilet.

Past the excessive crudeness  there’s a good work there and a hint of the grass-roots comedy resurgence springing up around the city.

Hinkin a happy birday m8.

The Pub That Richard Forgot

“I think Andrew dreamt it”, said Stephen. Ten times we’d talked it to the dead end and my claws screamed at the blanked memories. Sure it was dark, it was a pub, its light darkened by lodge brown venetian blins. The tables and the bar were a deep hue. It was Richard took me there: another pint with Adam, here’s to sloshed Lee. Someone’s away for agess: with a girl, a cigarette machine that spun off into a mini-series? Or the bar? The only other area lit.

Richard looks at me and I wonder do these memories even provide these lights. It’s been washed off the map in a flash flood of lager.

“I’m not imagining it!” I plead. “It’s up the Crescent or Botanic…Yeah, I was talking to Dawn and she knew where I meant. The Courtyard or The Vineyard or something.”
Richard integrates the new data, searching, acquiring…”Hmm, I wonder.” In my opinion, he’s getting nowhere.
“Look!” I claim the pen.
“On the outside, it’s a small building..” I scrawl a rectangle for a cottage and the trees on each side. Then a wall in front. The gap for the path is very small, only one to two persons can get through at a time.
“AND IT’S INDEPENDENTLY OWNED TOO!” I assure.
“I can’t say I recall”, says he who has clearly been there four times. “It’s not Garfields is it?”, and in writing I think he knows now were I mean. Garfield’s was a public toilet.
“I think he means a place inside his head. If we were miniaturised and piloted a capsule in there we’d find it.”
“Right! I say we got up to Botanic now!” I have raised my voice. “I can get us there”
“I don’t know that we’d have time.”
All the way across the Corn Market cascade, with the people that zip and shuffle and line shop fronts, the kettled cattle. The cars of Chichester Street, Royal Avenue, traffic lights in front of crossings. There are Cafe Neros and Starbucks in this city. Its a grid, no diagonal cuts: grid, grid, grid between us and the bus station that is only halfway to Botanic’s maybe place.

“We’ll do it another day” we agree and Stephen remains with the book, Richard is out the door, and I’m looking at you.

Appearances

HEAT. DRIVES TO MENTALISM.

Over the next month, I’ll be taking an active part in a few events.

Dublin Zine Fair 2013, 17th-18th August

at The Exchange, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
I’ll be performing words on mic, and selling a new comic book, beside other independent publishers and artists.
Last year, I interviewed six attendees who may re-appear this year. My turn on the mic at the finale, The Bill Have A Gun Siege At Xmas, has been made into a comic for 30p.

Bounce Arts Festival Weekender with Comics Art Workshop, 30 Aug to 1 Sept 2013

at The Baby Grand, Grand Opera House,
Stephen Downey
and I are glad to be presenting a comics workshop on Sunday 1st September for the Arts and Disability Forum at Bounce!
There’s no restrictions on level of talent or ability, as long as you’re willing to make an effort to work with others. Bring your friends and family.
Our event is free, but  there’s a great line-up again this year: a creative writing workshop, a workshop on digital film-making, live music, poetry, sign-singing (which I’m excited about seeing and learning), dance, exhibitions, and theatre, in the form of Wheelchair In My Face. What a great event. [Link to the Festival Portal on Facebook]

It’s £20 for the full weekend pass. You can book these at the Grand Opera House website now.

TitanCon, with Comics Workshop, 6th-8th September

at The Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast

 

TitanCon is a not-for-profit science fiction and fantasy literature, media and gaming convention in Belfast with an emphasis on HBO and George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones. In the previous two years it’s attracted large crowds.

 

This year I’ll be presenting a less-labour intensive version of The Magnificent Factory. There will also be a comics panel featuring Paddy Brown and other comixers who have marked the trails of Irish myth and legend. The event features cast and crew members from GoT, and a number of horror and speculative fiction authors including Peadar O’Guilin, possibly the finest panel host known to cat and dog. [Link: The TitanCon website]

Newszoom: July Marches

A good reporter works and checks multiple sources but today I was inspired to steal from one video.

VIDEO
Why nat visit NI?

NI2013. Our time. Our place ‪#‎Wrecked‬
(
created by the brilliant Loyalists Against Democracy)

I used to make a paper in the form of a comic, but this time I did something more traditional.
If you’re having trouble seeing it, you can download a better quality version from here and circulate merrily.

NEWSZOOM - 12 JULY

And yes I do hope the police arrest them.

Trailer: Caution, you thugs and bullies. For the people of the earth shall grow sick of your interruptions to their lolcats and Instagram and see you. Your ire will be met with a bollocking from the internet, the like of which your stomach has not known since that curry kicked diarrhea from your boxers and all down your legs and you were in agony for days. Don’t do it again.

165: Spellcheck (Flashfic)

One of the great practices awarded me by the Belfast Writers Group is that of having a go at flash fiction, 15 minute writing exercises. Last week I uploaded ‘Locked Doors’ which I will tell you nothing more about. No. Forbidden. I wrote this:

The boys rolled the wooden wheel twelve feet all of it speedier and somehow keeping pace another three in front carted grid pallettes: stacked half dozen. Another the same ahead of them. Muscled up and aged between eight and ten, some acted as guards, waving them along. Or maybe they were like startled pigeons or the car passengers which ran alongside.

And they’ll drop them off and get them in another factory and the adults will stack them tall in the field and then everything will burn. The lush green land of Antrim, burn! The blue skies of Down, burn, smoke and flame! Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone —

“IF YOU BURN IT, Will it grow again?”, I yelled.

The boy whirled to look at me, then pushed his wheel again. My distraction would not help it stop. The two teams of carters did the same and escaped narrowly their own wounding. An ox-man and four-boobs bleacher turned to look at me, her saggy plastic bag even, piercing the area with it’s haunting.

I selfishly expected not to make it home by desk.

That night, the freedom fighting guardians urinate: our country-men undressed to Scientologist pyjamas, Westboro Baptist night-gowns, number 20Q the woman-beater. As they slept or did not, I took my reprieve, and crept out into the darkness. Jay met me among the criss-cross of back alleys and the graffiti exhorting warfare. It hadn’t seen a spell-checker.

‘Cameron Go, Game of Thrones Style!’

Then the pair of us moved the brushes and sprays onto the next blank wall. There we painted a large iris overlooking a yellowed union flag underpants, that dripped down into a coffee cup on fire.

‘Radio 4 – For God and Ulster’

That was on the next street over already.

‘Daily Fail Wordsearch – Today: Indians’

We took our time there because Jo wanted to make it ‘Canadians’.

By 3am we’d become annoyed, so returned home to a flask. He wanted to expose the negligent junkie dad at 3 G.S.E, I thought it would be good for us to de-weed the bus stop.

“Yeah, we’ll be putting up a timetable next.”

Forty new pieces of cross-discipline graffiti went up that night and there was a spate of copycat acts later that month with old world maps re-created, and classical music notes on the Albertbridge. Inked hyperlinks adorned Knockbreda, a mosaic appeared one night on the Castlereagh Road. In Dee Street, a minimalist man, Chad Kilroy peered over a wall, and asked, “Where’s Banksy?”.

Only four of these were burned in the July 12th bonfires, painted on the walls by people’s homes. Within two years, literacy was up.

Abrams Star Trek

Around Christmas, I’d an art commission as a gift for a Trekkie, who did not like what JJ Abrams did. The brief was for a friendly wind-up: make it look like Abrams was the definitive version, with TOS to Enterprise pale in comparison.

Abrams Star Trek - andy luke

 

I’m taking a distance from making comics for a while, although you can buy issue 1 of Kick! online.

16 pages of brand new digital comics. Includes The children of Mow Street Mall, The A-Team, Doomlord X and Allergy, another tale about shopping.

Only 30p, available through Paypal.

Events

Galway University of Galway ComicsWest event was due to go ahead next week, but now it’s not, left until the summer. Everybody’s friends, The Emerald Garrison, are running the Heroes and Legends Con on 16th-17th February, at the W5 in Belfast.

Ahead of that, friend to my readers Stephen Downey, is signing his new comic Noe The Savage Boy with writers Mal Coney and Rob Curley at Forbidden Planet Belfast on February 9th, between 1-3pm.

Here’s Mal and Stephen on BBC Radio’s Arts Extra.

Gift 2

The Belfast Comics Fayre took place on Sunday, and as this week in Belfast would have it, was hampered by the bullcrap foisted on us by a small minority of troublemakers. People preferred to stay in, rather than risk travel being halted by little boys with dangerous toys. In a time where the rights of British-Ireland are called into question by international eejits, I can think of no way that the province’s status could be more sorely damaged than the violence of fleg-fighters. It’s a shame they devalued the identity of “being Northern Irish”. If only they’d take the short cut by actually shooting themselves in the foot, they’d save all of us bar the nurses some trouble.

For the guests that turned out we recouped something. We had some great craic with Bobby Best (The 2dcast), Stephen Downey (Noe The Savage Boy), Derm McGuigan (Potato Vampires) and I’m told Lightning Strike Comics Presents and Darrin O’Toole’s Tales From The Void are now on sale at FPI Belfast. Issue 7 of Paddy Brown’s Cattle Raid of Cooley is likely on his website bookshop any day now. 

A future event is planned.

The ADF’s annual open show is again dedicated to seasonal gifts made by disabled artists, enabling you to spend for Christmas with a conscience! The artists have supplied small-scale work of all kinds with a modest price range, and I’ve work in there along with Alice Burns, Andrew Cooke, Andrew Gahan, Jennifer Hanley, Johanna Lodge, Rachel McBride, Niall McCormack, Sinead O’Donnell, Roisin O’Hagan, Keith Sheppard, Deirdre Ward and Trevor Wray. December opening hours are Monday to Saturday 10am–4pm, with occasional extensions. The Arts & Disability Forum are based on the ground floor of 109-113 Royal Avenue (opposite the Mace), Belfast BT1. You can invite friends on Facebook and there’s a special seasonal celebration from 5-7pm on Thursday 20th

Here are some photos I took at the opening.

GIFT 2 - ADF 01 GIFT 2 - ADF 02 GIFT 2 - ADF 03 GIFT 2 - ADF 04 GIFT 2 - ADF 05 GIFT 2 - ADF 06 GIFT 2 - ADF 07 GIFT 2 - ADF 08 GIFT 2 - ADF 09 GIFT 2 - ADF 10

You can buy Issue 1 of my new digital comic, Kick! It includes The children of Mow Street Mall, The A-Team, Doomlord X and Allergy, another tale about shopping.

ONLY thirtie englishe pennies!

I’ll be stripblogging my new Xmas card comic here a few days before Christmas. In the meantime, you can buy it from the ADF, or the online shop.