Community exhibition launches at the MAC

We're delighted to have launched a new trio of exhibitions which seek to challenge thinking, raise awareness of key societal issues and encourage community empowerment.

At The Table, a collaborative exhibition with our Associate Partners (Action Mental Health, Alliance for Choice, Extern, PPR and The Rainbow Project), who work to combat some of society’s most pressing issues and inequalities, plays an important part of this visual art showcase. As is the ethos of the MAC, this exhibition invites integrated collective activity and public participation around a community table the length of the Upper Gallery floor.

The concept is inspired by Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to be elected to the United States Congress who famously said, “If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair,” a quote which is emblazoned on the gallery wall. The aim is to challenge who is and who isn’t invited to ‘the table’ where decisions that determine our lives are made, and to encourage visitors to interact and contribute to the exhibition.

Elaine Forde, Creative Learning and Engagement Manager at the MAC said: Working with our associate partners, the communities they represent and local artists, we are bringing issues to the table to help raise awareness and address inequalities. We shine a light on asylum seekers with Syrian artist Khaled Barakeh and Participation & the Practice of Rights, while Kerrie Hanna works with Action Mental Health to create visual art which reflects mental wellbeing.

“As well as six commissioned artworks, we will also be hosting a series of talks, events and childrens workshops to enable everyone to have a seat at the table. We hope as many people as possible will join us to enjoy the works and to get involved.”

In the Sunken Gallery, Sharon Kelly has developed Red-To-Red, an exhibition with the colour red, as the name suggests, at the heart - symbolic of blood, the universal force and flow of life; the symbol of bloodshed and sacrifice, often seen in religious depictions.

Completing the trio is Louise Wallace’s Midnight Feast, a new body of work which looks at desire, excess and the feminine, and depicts familiar scenes in Belfast in a unique and contemporary way. A feast for the eyes, the exhibition features a series of nocturnes, loosely based on the gardens of Lenadoon and Glengoland housing estates in West Belfast, made of body parts, fruit and animated shrubs, populated by monstrous bird feeders, bizarre garden ornaments and spectral visions.

Sharon Kelly: Red-to-Red and Louise Wallace: Midnight Feast will run until 13th August, while At the Table will come to an end at the earlier date of 2nd July 2023. Admission to all three exhibitions is free, but as a charity, we suggest a donation of £5. Why not plan your visit now?