Thursday, 04 May ,6-9pm
Tues- Fri, 1-5pm, Sat 12-4pm
Let's Have A Show
Work by artists with different skills and abilities, curated by Ella Campbell and Nicola Doole
The project includes participants from Camphill Community Glencraig, L’Arche Belfast, Reconnect LTD., Edgcumbe Training and Resource Centre; curated by Ella Campbell and Nicola Doole.
Ends 20 May 2017
Let’s Have A Show invites artists with different skills and abilities to showcase their work in a collaborative group exhibition. Creating a space for self-expression and conversation through art making, the exhibition provides an encouraging platform to celebrate the value of art in the lives of people living with disability. Let’s Have A Show is organised by Ella Campbell and Nicola Doole. The project includes participants from Camphill Community Glencraig, L’Arche Belfast, Reconnect LTD., Edgcumbe Training and Resource Centre, Inspire and participants responding to an open call.
We are often asked where the name for Let’s Have A Show came from; We like to think of it as an invitation, to show off and celebrate how important art making is in the lives of those living with disability. It’s a recognition of the value of art in recovery, in care, in daily life. It’s a call to action. We liked this idea of people bringing themselves and their artwork to the space, presenting themselves for all that they are and having confidence that their work will communicate a part of them. For some, it will be the first time anyone will have called what they’re doing “art”, that anyone will have taken a moment of thought for it. For us, the show seeks to shout out, “yes! What you’re doing is important, keep going, it’s great”. We hope to encourage listening, from family, care givers, friends, the passer-by and highlight the importance art has for them.
The exhibition highlights a need for a space for creative people, a space for expression and creativity, for sharing and developing. So many people are participating in the show and we could fill the walls ten times over. Learning disability, physical disability, mental health issues, acquired brain injury, are parts of the lives of those participating in the show. For them, creating artwork is a way of overcoming obstacles and expressing who they are, an expression that might not be possible without art making.
This is the start of a foundation to create a multi-disciplinary art space in the city of Belfast that will serve many people living with disability. Get in touch if you would like to help us to achieve this!!
To support this aim, please contact
Here is a collection of thoughts shared by some of the artists exhibiting
"When I am drawing it makes me feel nice and calm. It stops my hand from shaking." - Betty
"L'Arche’s art group In Other Words is somewhere I can be myself, surrounded by my friends in Christ who come from all around the world... we paint, felt, colour and smile together… I feel happy and content when I am here." - Marcus McCambridge
“I'm related to 2 artists. I like drawing and inspiration and making people happy. I took time to discover that I was a good artist. Art is just something that's been in my brain for a long time, I was just born into it! Art came along at a time when I needed it, when I wanted to express myself and meet other people. Anything’s possible when you do art” -Larry Mac Aree "I love painting. I am good at it." - David
"I love the Art group."
“Odhran draws with a very kinetic and dynamic energy, he’ll go from sitting down, using his left hand, then right hand, back to left. He’ll move to standing, leaning on one hand or bent over the table, moving the colour rapidly across the page. He will sit far back, with the page at arm’s length and then bring his face right up close to it, all the time moving his pencils with speed. In between the mark making he will take moments of time where he seems to do a lot of “pondering”, sometimes accompanied by humming or vocal tones. Sometimes he will get up from the table to walk around the room or go over to the window and then come back to his drawing and change colour. Each colour on the page is like a burst of energy, almost like he will use one colour very, very quickly until his arm is tired or the pencil led needs sharpened. He will then change colour, very intentionally, giving it the same burst of energy. Odhran uses his line in a very controlled manner, keeping them within the perimeter of the paper he’s using, making quick decisions while he’s drawing, about their length and placement. Usually Odhran chooses oil pastels, sometimes pencils. He won’t naturally think to mix medium, if he is using pencils he likes to just use pencils from one box. Recently he’s been drawing on long rolls of paper which has been a creative challenge for him as he has to think about his physical position when drawing. He has to think about moving his chair along the table, parallel with the roll of paper, finding a way to move the drawing along the page, rather than containing it in one explosion of line like it started it.” - Odhran McNulty by Ella Campbell
Imge: Odhran McNulty
“Christopher loves painting - he’s been nicknamed Jackson Pollock by many members of staff, which sums up exactly how he makes his paintings - There’s paint flying everywhere, it’s a lot of fun to be around Chris when he’s painting. He seems to love the results of mixing many colours. He likes to have lots of colours of paint around him in a plastic tray that he will mix up, dip into or scoop out large amounts directly onto the paper. Chris will often choose a large, thick paintbrush, perhaps because it feels robust and heavy, fit for purpose as it can hold a lot of paint in its strong bristles.”
- Christoper McQuillen by Ella Campbell
“I think art is important for Charlotte because she is so gifted and can express herself through art. You can learn a lot from Charlotte’s art work as to what type of a day she’s had. It’s a form of communication for her, with having autism. Charlotte likes art because she says she finds it good, because she is good at art and can express this through her art. It is also a great confidence builder for her.” - Charlotte Curran by Nicola Doole
- Jillian Gould
- Tracy Thompson
Painting by: Peter Monahan, "The Divine Mystic"
Painting by: Peter Monahan, "The Divine Mystic"
“I suffered a stroke in 2008, at the age of 45, which left me with paralysis down the right side of my body. Although I use a powered wheelchair full-time, I regained reasonable mobility. It is difficult for me however, to hold a pen, or indeed paintbrush, as I was to discover. Having trained and worked as an architect, this also meant I was unable to draw, or visit construction sites, so the career I loved came to an abrupt end. The stroke was in my brain-stem, so I retained my cognitive functions, but traded this for a loss of balance and the aforementioned dexterity to wield my weapon of choice, the humble pen.
Art has always been one of my passions. That is the viewing and appreciation of it and I have been lucky, through business trips, to visit galleries around the world. The doing of it isn’t something I ever gave much thought to.
As part of a five month rehabilitation, within the Regional Acquired Brain Injury Unit (RABIU) at Musgrave Park Hospital, I attended several art therapy sessions. The desire to physically pick up scoops of paint and apply them directly to paper, as a young child instinctively does in play school, was a constant theme. As I was being forced to relearn many skills, then perhaps ‘relearning’ how to paint was just another on the list. If there was something deeper going on, who knows ? For me, it was always more about the art, than the therapy. Time away from endless, but important physio routines was an added benefit. The pleasure was a simple one.
Back home and a few years later, I was invited to join an art class through my local health trust adult disability team, facilitated by an ArtsCare artist. I jumped at the opportunity and several different groups came and went over a three, or so, year period. We were encouraged, assisted and at times cajoled, but allowed to follow our own creative path. The social dimension was always present, alongside the doing of the art, but I believe there was a strong restorative element quietly working away in the background.
Still unable to manipulate a brush, the artist / facilitator suggested palette knives, as an alternative to fingers and I was off! It has been suggested that brain injury can result in the exaggeration of one aspect of one’s pre-injury personality. If this is true, then mine was patience, or lack of it. I wanted to work quickly. Paint was squirted from washing-up liquid bottles and then urgently flicked and dragged and scrawled around the canvas, before I had time to get bored! Many paintings took 30-40 minutes, while others toiled for hours to recreate covers of National Geographic. Each to his own, as they say.”
- Martin Campbell
Open call- closed
If you would like to take part in this project or know of someone you would like to suggest, please email: lets.haveashow[at]gmail.com