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 (UK) or (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.


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.


13 A Christm… Trilogy

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


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.


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 :


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.


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.


Christ, here comes Winter Christmas Andy.


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.


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.


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.

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?

Belfast Writers Group at Tullycarnet YarnSpinners and Prose: The Littlest Internet

I’m just back from a very squee evening with the Belfast Writers Group at Tullycarnet Library, part-home of my teenage years, the christening font of my years in adult work. Bruce Logan, who set the gig up pictured below reading from his adrenalin pumping horror freak-out:


Sweet Ellie Rose McKee, who has a whole lot of web presence:


Folk wizard Lynda Collins:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A member of the Tullycarnet Yarnspinners, Malcolm, who had us all in stitches with the best Paddy jokes I’ve ever heard (and of course the worst)


And myself. I got off a few pieces, including Tenement Tao, and new works Five Scenes, and this one:

The Littlest Internet

The East Rainy Courier and Advertiser was the most important publication, and it was free
too, weekly and probably funded by the NHS. Fourteen year old Alpen Jones knew this, because
manning the route broadened his mind. The job bought him the 1985 Kick! annual and there was
responsibility in it too. All of Old Upper Kingcastleroad Road would have been an island if not for
his diligence.
His parents were unaware that he left at 6 a.m. It was impossible to deliver in one day after
school. As per his calculations, three days were likelier. Rosemorrow Park and Templechurchmore
Road this morning. One side of the Parade marched into the Park while the other stood at a distance,
rolling its deep lanes off the hill, closer together as it got further away into the black mouth lipped
by trees.. It always started easy – three steps for climb-overs , back, then a two-house climb-down,
down the path for a bend of the calf and a copy for Danny Panana and his wife, Mrs. Brianna
Panana. A dog answered a door and he had to go all the way back up the stone path, unhook the
anchor, creak it round, gather it closed (minding his toes) and drop the hook. Leaflets were an extra
half-penny and he spread them on like filler, rolled like a wrap for dinner. Eight, he knew instantly,
down, and to go this side. He looked at his watch again. There was time to finish it before school.
Number Nine was Seventeen, the age of his brother Terry, born in September. This thought never
crossed his mind, though there were many. No. He was mostly concerned with the collection of
garden gnomes, rocking horses, pink windmills, weeping angel statues, cardboard cut-out black cats
on a black metal strip, the plastic sun in the window and the fat spotted three foot big mushroom of
the pensioner he never saw. The mythical pensioner of Templechurchmore. And while you and I
might be thinking of this, with it’s chequerboard path-way bordered at angles by pink plate tiles
fronting plastic weeds, the lad has already slotted the paper and gotten onto Nineteen. There, he’s
minding his fingers around the axe-wielding letterbox. Next door, a loud dog, and angry dog, a dog
that knows you’ve touched the gate-post and you will be caned for it. So Alpen rolled the paper and
rolled it into the rosetta frame of the gate to be found by the dog’s owners on their way to work.
Next door was the friendly house. A pull-back gate, garden path cut friendly for feet and steered just
out of Angry Dog’s X-ray radius. He wondered sometimes if the editor had run a political expose of
that mutt. The paper flapped quietly and the hatch was gently replaced. Next door was were Lydia
Smith lived. She was from school and he liked her, but he wasn’t sure why. They’d never talked. She
wasn’t one of the spide girls. She was even kind of pretty maybe. Their house reminded him of
Christmas (the sofa looked like a labrador), and Lydia’s mum was a jam maker. Twenty-Seven was
Kevin and Devlin, the twins aged eleven who seemed pre-occupied with bread leaven and
unleavened. Their father was a pastor, sometimes radio broadcaster and Terry’s friend Richard said
he was Grant Master. He went to a lodge, not the Wine Lodge were Auntie Phyllis worked but but
one involving owls and something to do with metalwork. Alpen didn’t know what a pastor was: he
could hear the milk-man coming though. In the future, the truth would be past your eyes Grant
Master, he thought. There was nothing special about the letter-box, it was even disappointing.
Aaron wondered if he knew Mr. Withers who had made them make shoe-horns last term. A gate was
closed like cement but if Alpen walked further on, he could do Thirty-One, Twenty-Nine and exit
Thirty-One without ever having to get stuck on the climb-over, and he did these. Across the road,
gates led to Scotland and the longest most gravelly driveway. When he’d been there, the house was
shaped like a castle, and a man who looked Scottish was there. He was Scottish because he had a
Tartan blanket and a large beard like Uncle Bulgaria. He never spoke. That’s all Alpen Jones could
remember, like trying to remember black and white Doctor Who from teevee. The dog he
remembered. It was not of Scotland – it was the smallest, so evil with mechanical butchering jaws,
so unspeakable in it’s ability to hurt – that it didn’t have a name. The lad like so many times before,
made there an exception in his conscience. I’m only telling you about it because the East Rainy
Courier and Advertiser was the most important publication in the world as Alpen Jones maintained,
but most notably the other side of Templechurchmore Road and Rosemorrow Park, every week.

Me at Tullycarnet


A good day at The Black Box Bazaar with Paddy, selling quite copies of the National Tragedy Mayhem books and John Robbins’ The Well Below. [link] A few of the Belfast Writers Group showed up, including Neill, and afterwards we went to summon up some spirit creatures to help us write.

Here are some pictures of the spirit creatures.

television in canal




Newszoom: July Marches

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


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.

169: Photos – Birthday Buffet Afters

Today I wrote a blog post managing to include commentaries on the work ethic, the play ethic, and someone who pissed on my parade taking a knife to his own creative nose. I thought you might be better off with some photographs from a birthday gathering for my girlfriend Dawn,


…Michael, and Julie…


Yes, Julie has Tennant-cake.


The noodles, I did not try. My previous encounter with a buffet left me in agony, tears and a difficulty walking. Whether it was the Yorkgate cook or my own inexperience with buffets, I could not say. Either way, it seemed safer to eat things I do find exciting about the experience: dry brown items, particularly sesame seed prawn toast. 

Michael and Dawn are both vegetarians and I think I’m right in saying, had a much better experience at the Chinese buffet in the Victoria Centre than at the other buffets in Belfast where a wick selection had them working mostly at the dessert end.

Dessert selection is atypical at these places, but there was a cut above here. I think this lass is eating prawn crackers and maple syrup.



Okay, maybe not. But seriously, savoury and sweet will mix to win if vol-au-vents always make you happy.



Victoria Square, China Buffet King: How people smile after dessert generally makes for a good review of a place.