Celebrating 20 years of visual art in East Belfast

11th – 27th August 2016

As East Belfast prepares itself for Eastside Arts Festival 2016, at Creative Exchange Artists' Studios, we are taking the opportunity to celebrate our 20th anniversary and our many artistic achievements with six high profile visual arts events under the title 20/20 and hashtag #cex2020.

These include an innovative visual art exhibition, a large-scale billboard project located in the heart of inner East as well as hosting a symposium exploring the impacts of art on regeneration in towns and cities.  

20/20 Exhibition

Location: Engine Room, Portview Trade Centre, 310 Newtownards Road, BT4 1HE

Preview : Thursday 11th August 2016, 6.30-9pm

The exhibition continues from Monday to Saturday 11am - 4pm until Sat 27th August 2016, 

The first event on offer is a cutting-edge contemporary visual art exhibition in a pop up gallery in the Engine Room space at the Portview Trade Centre on the Newtownards Road.

Curator Sarah McAvera explains:  

‘Under the same sky diversity manages to thrive’ is a means to describe the various different practices of the studio members housed at Creative Exchange. The artists in this exhibition are not all working under one narrative but each piece of work on show is representative of each artist’s current concerns and medium.'

In the foyer are two painters who represent the 20-year lifespan of Creative Exchange - the colourful abstract work of Ray Duncan who is a founder member and renowned painter, and haunting baroque-esque pieces by Ted Pim who joined as a studio member earlier this year.

Many of artists in this exhibition have created new work in response to the particular architecture of the engine room. The ecclesiastical space of the main room hosts a broad overview of artistic practice including painting and photography by David Fox, Colin Davis, George Robb and Zan Dani, intricate sculpture by Heather Dornan Wilson, a large delicate hanging by Lesley Cherry, documentation of a quirky performance by Paul Moore, and contemporary craft by Derek Wilson. While the darker recesses of the space house an engaging installation piece by Barry Mulholland and further in Deirdre Robb in collaboration with Sinead O’Donnell’s provocative video installation.

20/20 Art in the Eastside Billboard Project

Location: Billboards around Inner East Belfast.

Date: 11th - 25th August

Art in The Eastside is the brainchild of Creative Exchange Artists’ Studios who have delivered five billboard projects since 2009. It is a vibrant outdoor art project and the only one of its kind to be delivered in Northern Ireland. The project presents artists’ work in a high profile setting and is a key visual arts event in the Eastside Arts Festival 2016 and Belfast’s calendar of visual arts events. The project creates an outdoor gallery bringing art to the people right on their own doorstep adding a splash of colour to the streets of East Belfast. 

For Creative Exchange’s anniversary event, 20 original artworks from renowned local, national and International artists will be displayed on billboards across inner East Belfast, and will be a celebration of the artists who have been involved with Creative Exchange over the past 20 years. 4 additional billboards will be dedicated to the community with images derived from the ‘Wish’ workshops. 

Participating artists:

Gerry Gleason, Shiro Masuyama, Victor Sloan, Peter Richards, Jill Quigley, Colin Darke, Martin Boyle, Emmanuele Panzarini, Ted Pim, Colin McGookin, Zan Dani, Deirdre Robb, Paul Moore, Susan Gorsen, Lesley Cherry, Stephen Millar, Ray Duncan,  George Robb, Tom Phanerstill and David Fox

Symposium: The Real Cost of Regeneration  #eastditchnotshoreditch

Location: Engine Room, Portview Trade Centre, 310 Newtownards Road, BT4 1HE

Date & Time: Thursday 18th August 2016, 12pm– 3pm

The Symposium will consist of a panel discussion, open debate and a series of short presentations/workshops around arts led regeneration.  A diverse and engaging panel will discuss the pros and cons of using art to regenerate communities. Lesley Cherry will chair the panel of experts that includes Maurice Kinkead, Chief Executive of Eastside Partnership; Architect Michael Corr, Director of PLACE; Katy Radford, Project Manager & Senior Researcher Institute for Conflict Research and Noel Kelly Chief Executive Visual Artists Ireland.

Event: Artists in conversation 

Location: Engine Room, Portview Trade Centre, 310 Newtownards Road, BT4 1HE

Date & Time: Saturday 20th August 2016, 1.30am - 3pm

Peter Richards Artists Director of Golden Thread Gallery will chair a conversation with a selection of artists from the 2020 exhibition alongside exhibition Curator Sarah McAvera. 

Event: Bbeyond Performance Art Monthly

Location: Engine Room, Portview Trade Centre, 310 Newtownards Road, BT4 1HE

Date & Time: Saturday 20th August 2016, 11am - 3pm

To help Creative Exchange celebrate their 20th Anniversary, Bbeyond Performance Collective will hold one of their Performance Art Monthly Meetings in the Engine Room space during the 2020 exhibition.  The event is a free experimental visual art, open to anybody who wants to join in. Inspired by Alastair Maclennan and Boris Nieslony, members of the Black Market International entity, these monthly encounters have been taking place especially in Belfast since 2006.

Event: Wish Tree Forest

Location: Connswater Shopping Centre

Date & Time: 11th - 27th August 2016

Sculptural art installation, plus community workshops on Sunday 14th 11am - 1pm and Sunday 21st 1pm-3pm.

The ‘Wish Tree Forest’ is a community inspired art project addressing issues of belonging, change & personal aspirations for the east of the city. Creative Exchange artists have collaborated with community groups to make a beautiful sculptural forest installation that will be exhibited in Connswater Shopping Centre during the Eastside Arts Festival period.

Creative Exchange recognises that East Belfast is a community undergoing transition: socially, economically and culturally. The aim of this project is to use visual art as a mechanism to provide a safe platform for discussion around social themes, which are of relevance to people in East Belfast, namely how we integrate our changing communities and celebrate diversity. 

Artists Deirdre Robb and Lesley Cherry will deliver ‘Wish’ workshops to visitors at the Connswater shopping Centre allowing participants to create three wishes, one for themselves, one for a loved one and the final one for their community. The workshops will encourage participants to look for a positive future for East Belfast. Click here for more info on Eastside Arts Festival.


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