Belfast Open Studios, now in its sixth year, is an opportunity for the public to come and see how artists work and to take a glimpse into their creative processes.
Belfast is home to over 250 professional artists; painting, drawing, performing, filming and creating. A public open day on Saturday 21 October will enable you to see behind closed doors, in nooks and crannies of the city, artists are at work developing the seeds of ideas that result in artworks often shown in galleries, museums, art centres, artist-led spaces and various venues.
Artist Tonya McMullan says:
'For contemporary artists a studio can be as simple as a desk with a laptop, sprawling warehouse or an urban garden. The traditional idea of an isolated artist working away in solitude is now replaced by socially engaged work, new media networks and connections to the public realm. The studio is still the place where concepts are distilled, fleshed out or fail completely and may never reach the exhibition space. Belfast Open Studios is a rare chance to look into these work spaces; where what you see may not be clear at that stage but something much more exciting - the start of something new.'
Fifteen studios across the city are opening their doors from 14 October to 5 November for this unique, free event. We’re delighted to welcome four new studio groups to the Open Studios portfolio: Belfast Bankers in the East, Duncairn Arts Centre in the North, Studio Souk in the city centre and Embrace Studios in the West, who will be launching their brand new space and programme during Belfast Open Studios. Other participating studios include: Array Studios, Artists at the Mill, Cathedral Studios, Creative Exchange, Digital Arts Studios, Flax Art Studios, Lombard Studios, Orchid Studios, Platform Arts, Pollen Studios and QSS Bedford Street.
Accompanied by an extensive workshops and events programme, including a Visual Artists' Caf’ which introduces the different spaces and initiatives to the public and peers, a series of talks, Speed Curating and Clinics events; this is the most packed programme to date. Belfast Open Studios is delighted to partner with Belfast International Festival for the sixth year in a row and to represent its primary visual art programming. All event tickets can be purchased through the Festival website.
Sponsored by local artisan tea makers Suki Tea, Belfast Open Studios events offer a warm welcome to all with a cup of Belfast Brew on arrival before they take a relaxed and informative stroll around the various studios, open each day from 1pm – 5pm.
Oscar Woolley, owner of Suki Tea said:
‘We are big supporters of art and the positive impact it can have on the individual, our communities and the world at large. Like many artists we use our specialist knowledge and take our time to ensure we produce the best products we can, we are as passionate about art as we are about creating the perfect cup of tea. Art matters and art just like a cuppa can make life that little bit better.’
Belfast Open Studios is grateful for the support of The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Belfast International Festival, The British Council and Arts & Business NI.