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Arts and Disability Award winners to showcase latest work at ADF gallery in Belfast

Posted: 11 January, 2016

A collection of work from nine leading artists recognised by Arts and Disability Awards Ireland and the NI-based iDA (individual disabled/deaf artists) grant schemes will go on display.

The new exhibition curated by Hugh Mulholland from the MAC Belfast opens at the ADF Gallery in Royal Avenue on January 5. ‘Guest’, is a thought provoking display of video installation, sculpture, painting, mixed-media and photography examines aspects of the human condition, nature and the built landscape.

Chris Ledger, CEO of the Arts & Disability Forum invited Mr Mulholland, senior curator at the MAC to choose work to showcase the exceptional variety and talent of Irish artists with a disability. She said: “There has been outstanding work of all kinds produced via these grants – over many years and in all art-forms.”Usually the ADF presents solo shows but we thought it was time for someone objective to sift through the archives and present a selection of the visual art work by NI artists.“Hugh Mulholland, Senior Curator at the MAC was a natural choice suggested by one of the artists. That Hugh agreed to do it and that the work is so strong is a testament to the value of the grant scheme and the quality of the work.”We intend to make this guest curation approach a regular theme – with visual arts but also with other types of work. It’s great to be able to stand back and look at patterns and connections.”

Mr Mulholland said he had been extremely pleased to have been asked to curate this fascinating exhibition. He added: “I have long admired ADF’s commitment to promoting work of ambition and quality by artist across all areas of the arts and in particular within my own field of the visual arts.”It is testament to the success of this scheme and the support that ADF provides to artists that much of the work was known to me, seeing it both at ADF’s own gallery space and in other visual art spaces across Northern Ireland and much further afield. “As a good “Guest” I would like to express my gratitude to my hosts for this wonderful opportunity to present the work of these varied and multi-talented artists.”

The exhibition launch coincides with the opening of the second round of applications for iDA grants.

Among the artists featured is performance and video artist Sinead O’Donnell, one of the artists who received funding in the first iDA grant scheme last year. Sinead’s 2011 video work Above the clouds was filmed in Markawasi in the Andes Mountains, Peru at an elevation of 12,000 feet above sea level. It was part of her CAUTION project, which was an ‘Unlimited’ commission that featured in the Cultural Olympiad, London 2012 festival. Sinead said of the work: “I stripped off my clothes and stood on the cliff edge. Feeling the nudity of the body in this massive landscape was quite insect-like. I scrambled up the cliff trailing a long strip of red ribbon and, feeling the magnetic pull, lay down and placed my body more into the rock to create lines of horizon between the sky, the clouds, my body, the rocks and the ribbon.”

The other artists featured in the exhibition include: Stuart Calvin – Receiver , 2014, and NDE , 2012; Fionnuala Doran – Grow; Fergus Jordan- Under Cover of Darkness; Shiro Masuyama – Making a saddle for the Bactrian camel I sheared using its own wool, Mongolia, 2015; Julie McGowan, Darkland; Maurice Orr, Iceland Series; Anne Quail – Direct Inconstancy, 2009 and Shannon Sickels – Reassembled, Slightly Askew .

The deadline for iDA applications is Friday 15 January 2016 at 4pm. Artists are able to download the criteria, guidelines and application form and monitoring form from the ADF website www.adf.ie and advice is available from ADF staff and freelances.

Direct Inconstancy, 2009 by Anne Quail

Iceland Series by Maurice Orr

Making a saddle for the Bactrian camel I sheared using its own wool, Mongolia, 2015 by Shiro Masuyama


ADF Gallery
Arts and Disability Awards
Arts and Disability Forum
Hugh Mulholland
MAC Belfast

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