Claiming Space

Claiming Space

Date: 02/02/2023 18:00
February 2nd - March 10th 2023.

Claiming Space, is a new solo exhibition by Dr. Jacqueline Wylie. 

During lockdown she began researching the location of the rope walks in Ballymacarrett, East Belfast, referencing ordnance survey maps from the 1830s. In response to her findings, she made a durational, site-specific performance walk, using chalk to map the location of a historic rope walk within her community. These marks retrace the footprint of the ropewalk, travelling over modern roads and pavements close to a contested interface area.

For Wylie, walking and drawing is a powerful way to uncover local industrial heritage. The Belfast Ropeworks Company was the world’s largest manufacturer of rope during the early 20th century, with a large proportion of the workforce being female. Here, women knitted on a grand scale, making fishing nets and landing nets during WW2. Traditional narratives tend to downplay women’s role in the workforce, so their significant contribution to rope making remains largely invisible and unremarked. It is striking that no physical trace of this important economic activity exists today apart from archival references. For this exhibition Wylie was invited to respond to the UTV archive and ordnance survey maps in an attempt to memorialise generations of anonymous men and women who walked rope into existence.

Artist Talk Friday 24th February 2023 6pm - 7pm

Join us for an informal gathering with artist Jacqueline Wylie for an exhibition tour and talk about her work and ideas, it's a great way to start the weekend and find out more about this unique and talented artist’s work. 

Light refreshments will be served. All welcome.

About the Artist

Dr. Jacqueline Wylie was born in Dungannon and has a practice based in East Belfast. Wylie is a multidisciplinary artist whose ideas are often shaped and informed by her background as an industrial archaeologist. Wylie’s playful approach to art has a serious intent: to test the boundaries of what is valued and considered ‘art’ or ‘craft’. She has a fondness for using inexpensive, easily accessible and ephemeral materials, with a longstanding passion for textiles inherited from her mother. During the first lockdown in 2020 Jacqueline made and distributed coloured chalks to children within her local area. This process fired an interest into her immediate neighbourhood and the desire to understand more about the history of the area and its people. 

She would like to acknowledge contributions from the UTV Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI), maps from PRONI & Ordnance Survey NI, support from Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.

For further information checkout @jacqueline_wylie

Access Booking - To book your access requirements please email

Visit the exhibition - Atypical Gallery, University of Atypical

109 – 113 Royal Avenue, Belfast, BT1 1FF, Northern Ireland

Atypical Gallery - Open

Tuesday – Friday

11am – 5.30pm

Access Information

Ground floor & level. Loop system. Accessible toilet. Height adjustable sink. Hoist & changing bench. Audio described tours. Braille. Onsite defibrillator. Period products.

Sanitiser units and a warm welcome!

Cover Image: She Walks Rope, Jacqueline Wylie, 2022 (Photo credit: Robert Cleland)

IMAGE ID: Colour photo (portrait format) of artist Jacqueline Wylie walking in a dark blue jumper and black trousers drawing a white line in chalk along a pathway edged by green trees and bushes. The chalk is attached to a long stick.