Calling all LGBTQIA+ People! Our Collaboration with The Rainbow Project

The MAC is partnering with The Rainbow Project, Northern Ireland's largest charity for LGBTQIA+ people and their families, and bringing you a feast of arty activities throughout the year.

As one of our Associate Partners, we'll been collaborating with The Rainbow Project on ongoing activities aimed at providing space and resources for LGBTQ+ people to harness their creativity and find community through art.

Anyone who identifies as queer / LGBTQIA+ can come along and take part, whether you have prior experience of art or not, whether you are into visual arts, literature, performance - there's no criteria. It's about exploring and playing along the way, discovering what you're into or not, and having fun.

© Thomas Wells

What's On?

SAM'S EDEN | Queer publication and workshops

Artist Thomas Wells is leading this project which invites you to help create the 2nd edition of queer arts publication SAM'S EDEN. Thomas created and curated the first edition of SAM'S EDEN in 2020, featuring contemporary visual art, writing and activism. SAM’S main ambition is to highlight emerging creative individuals and groups within the LGBTQIA+ community. This is an opportunity to be part of the 2nd issue by submitting your own work or curating the work of others.

Thomas said, "I am thrilled to have been commissioned in 2022 by the MAC in partnership with the Rainbow Project to create SAM’S EDEN 2. This project will seek new collaboration between The Rainbow Project particpant groups and a number of artists from Belfast and create content for a new edition. No previous art experience is necessary as a series of workshops over the next year will allow participants to explore and play.

The theme of this edition is ’sensory overload’. Fed up of queer voices being pushed to the fringes or being overwhelmed by being spoken about and for, this edition hopes to encounter the LGBTQIA+ community through the senses."

As part of the project, there will be a series of workshops throughout the year led by a different mentor each time on topics as broad as dance, photography, food, architecture and sound.

The first of these takes place on Saturday 23 April, 1pm - 4pm in the MAC when we will be exploring noise! Participants are invited to two life drawing workshops on the day where we explore the sense of sound in space.

Attendance is free and refreshments are provided.

To confirm your attendance please email [email protected]

To find out more about the SAM'S EDEN project email [email protected]

SAM'S EDEN workshops/meetings will take place at the same time on the last Sunday of each month - 29 May, 26 June, 31 July, and 28 August, 1pm - 4pm.

© Thomas Wells

More about SAM'S EDEN

Conceived as a response to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, SAM’S EDEN was an 'exhibition in printed matter!’ This now artefact of queer creative practice in 2020/21 brought together a range of artists and writers and forged new collaborations through digital platforms.

The motivation for this publication was to look at unrepresented voices / invisible voices in queer history* in the museums and galleries of Northern Ireland. As well as the commissioned works, SAM’S EDEN saw the creation of the LGBTQ Steering Panel in collaboration with Reimagine, Remake, Replay.

Designed and Printed by queer collective Shy Bairns the current issue #ONE is available though Catalyst Arts (Belfast), Good Press (UK), and PINK (Manchester).

*SAM after Samuel Morris Steward (1909 - 1993) also known as Phil Andros, Phil Sparrow and many other pseudonyms, he was a poet novelist and university profession who left the world of academia to become a tattoo artist and pornographer.

*EDEN referring to Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage Garden that was under threat in 2020. This site in Dungeness is the former home and garden of artist, filmmaker and activist Derek Jarman (1942 -1994) #SaveProspectCottage

Thomas Wells is a queer artist with a particular interest in socially engaged practice. Originally from Manchester, they have been based in Belfast since 2017. They work as a member of the 2021 Turner Prize winning collective Array, as a programmer for the National Museums of NI, and as an independent curator.