Hong Kong visual Arts Centre and Millennium Court Arts Portadown
Bill Penney, Raymond Henshaw, Fiona Joyce, Grace McMurray, Janine Davidson
‘Watershed’ has many interpretive connotations amongst which is a ‘division between westward-flowing and eastward-flowing streams; metaphorically, or of consciousness’.
With the above in mind artists were given the theme ‘Watershed’ to investigate for themselves. In addition they were also given some basic starting points to aid visual conception. Artists were asked to also bare in mind the geographical / historical position of the two port cities of Belfast & Hong Kong. One idea put to them was land location, as it is seen as pivotal to the development of each city and in-turn provided sustenance to each cities rising populace. Artists in Belfast were asked to provide visuals that engage with their own sense of location. They were encouraged to look at numerous aspects including; spatial governance and topography, the multiple facets of the urban environment, including, industry, technology, community, citizenship, history, and how these elements both physically and psychologically effect our day to day experience and our sub conscious existence. How we both respond to, and how we interact with our city?
The ‘Watershed’ artists are brought together not only to be representative of Belfast’s print artists, but primarily for their consistent investigation into both contemporary societies issues and inventive solutions of articulation. Their works contain narrative fractions that are revelatory in their visual expression, and can only be derived from the specifics of inhabiting this particular urban environment. This city has its own specific history, which marks it out as different to anywhere else in Europe. The last thirty years of conflict have left an indelible mark both on the physicality of the space and on the psychology of its citizens. It impinges on your thoughts for living, seeps into your artistic out put, sometimes quietly, sometimes dramatically. However it is important to state that we are not wedded in the past, we acknowledge it and move on, but because of recent history we retain a consciousness of how social politic governs our existence and becomes embedded in the fabric of our daily life.
©2019 Grace McMurray – All rights reserved. Images may not be used or reproduced without consent of the artist