Expanded Studios Project

Participating artists based in Belfast: Alex BruntBarry MulhollandHannah McBrideDeclan ProctorEsther O’Kelly; Zara Lyness; Gerard Carson; Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell; Robin Price; Jackie Wylie; Thomas Wells; Heather Dornan Wilson; Sinead McKeever; Grace McMurray.

This project invites dialogue and exchange between 14 Belfast-based visual artists, and 14 counterparts from Primary- Nottingham. The project is designed to offer a catalyst for new collaborations, the production of new work, exposure to different skills and approaches, and an enhanced network of practitioners, organisations and audiences in another region of the UK. The Belfast participants are based across different artists studios in Belfast. These include: Vault Artist Studios, QSS (Queen St Studios)FLAX StudiosArray StudiosCreative Exchange Artists StudiosPlatform ArtsPollen Studios; PS²

What form will the project take?
The content of the programme will be generated by the participants to remain bespoke and responsive to their needs. Self-directed activity will be encouraged between collaborating pairs – in the form of presentations/ performances/ screenings, a website and artist-facing sharing mechanism. Public and more broadly peer-facing outcomes include a touring exhibition between both sites, and a symposium/ knowledge sharing event. Proposed considerations throughout:

-How do Belfast and Nottingham differ as places to work/ live as artists?
-How do our cities, as cities of culture, continue to support individual artists, studios and the sector?
How might divergent media/ approaches find commonalities?
- How do both Belfast and Midlands-based artists feel about working together and further afield after Brexit?
-Why artists travel - how do we navigate the 'luxury' of being able to travel freely? And why is it important to have a wide network and collaborate nationally and internationally?

A highly successful pilot programme for The Expanded Studio Programme ran in late 2014/ early 2015 with artists from Primary and Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, entering into a three-month period of dialogue and exchange catalyst for new collaborations, producing new work over a four-month period of exchange. You can read more about this pilot project here
This project was initiated and cuarted by PS² Curator in Residence Jane Morrow and is now curated by Deirdre Morrissey.

Frottage of Esthers Ladder by Chris Lewis Jones, Artist based at Primary Nottingham.

Frottage of Esthers Ladder by Chris Lewis Jones, Artist based at Primary Nottingham.

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The first visit of the Belfast based artists to Nottingham will take place between 23- 26 April.