Contemporary craft and archive film take over a Belfast gallery

Contemporary craft and archive film take over a Belfast gallery

Date: 17/01/2017 15:05



Contemporary makers bring rural archive film to life in a Belfast Gallery

Another chance to celebrate Northern Ireland’s rich craft landscape this week as ‘Film Makers’ comes to Belfast. On five monitors placed close to the shop window of the PS² Gallery in North Street, we can watch a blacksmith, a weaver, stonemason, woodworker and basket maker at work -  skilled workers who transform natural materials into a crafted product. Solid and honest makers - mostly men- in historic footage from Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive. These forms of production from a time long gone, seem almost idyllic in their innocence and are testimony of tremendous skills, as well as hardship. Against this sentimentality and/or as an inspiring starting point for new handmade products, five craft makers from Northern Ireland were invited last summer by R-Space and the DFA to produce new work in response to this heritage footage. Both the archive films edited by the DFA and the documentaries of each maker created by TACA are currently on show in PS². They give an insight into past and present production methods and demonstrate, the liberating force of new ideas and impulses for craft and film makers alike. 'Film Makers' will be back again this summer with a new exhibition as part of Britain on Film and August Craft Month 2017.

On Wednesday 18th January 6-8pm join Sharon Adams for a conversation about how archive films were brought to life in the studios of some of the regions finest contemporary makers.  This event is free and everyone is welcome.

24 hour window viewing of the films:12th-21st January 2017. PS2, 11 North Street, Belfast, BT1 1NA  

PS2 and R-Space are supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 

As part of August Craft Month 2016 , five contemporary local makers were invited to respond to Unlocking Film Heritage footage from Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive to produce new work for this evolving exhibition:

Sharon Adams’ practice explores the theme of work and tools. Using wood, metal and textiles, she makes functionless tools which invite the viewer to imagine what they might be for and comments on the value of skilled making.

Sheena Devitt carves into stone and slate to create site specific sculptural artworks. The designs are inspired by and respond to the site’s topography and history, its orientation and present inhabitants.

Alison Fitzgerald has been weaving willow since moving to Ireland over 25 years ago. Her baskets are admired internationally for their subtle blends of natural bark colours, strong curves and tactile qualities.

Nicola Gates is the founder of Olla Nua, a small weaving studio creating hand woven textiles that add warmth, comfort and tactility to the modern home and accessories that can be carried or worn. The name ‘Olla Nua’ is derived from the Irish words for ‘new wool’, reflecting Nicola’s aim to interpret a traditional material and techniques in a modern and vibrant way.

Ronan Lowry runs “Design Onion” a young energetic furniture design and manufacture studio formed in 2007. Working mainly to commission for both private and corporate clients, they create unique and innovative pieces of bespoke furniture fusing contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship and high quality materials.

The makers have been filmed by TACA, a new photography and film studio specialising in documenting the creative process. Photographer Simon Mills and film maker Lorna Milligan have collaborated on projects capturing art, design, craft and culinary practices across the UK and internationally.