7 April - 2 July
At The Table aims to challenge who is and isn’t invited to “the table” where decisions that determine our lives are made.
The exhibition showcases the work we have co-designed with our Associate Partners. A community table will cut through the length of the gallery acting as an invitation to actively participate in the programme - whilst also providing a space for social interaction and communal dining.
The core of the exhibition will contain works made through collaborations with our Associate Partners and socially engaged artists.
Working in collaboration with Participation and the Practice of Rights, asylum seekers, mental health activists and people living in housing distress, multi-media production company Dumbworld will juxtapose the opulent beauty of a 12-acre garden with a brownfield, wasteland, industrial inner-city site which is located in an area of housing need where 2000 children are living in housing distress.
Sam's Eden two 'Sensory Overload'
Sam's Eden is a new queer publication project by artist and curator Thomas Wells. The project looks at queer visibility in cultural spaces through workshops and exhibitions. This project Sam's Eden two 'Sensory Overload', commissioned by the MAC and in collaboration with The Rainbow Project, looked at access to a number of creative mediums such as dance, mark making, performance, and architecture through a number of facilitated sessions. The content of which will be featured in the second issue of this publication.
Sam’s Eden is a project that aims to highlight contemporary queer practice and the intersectional relationships of queer experiences. The project started in 2020 as an exhibition in printed matter as a result of Covid 19. This is the first physical show of the project working with one of the original contributors.
Sam’s Eden refers to the hidden histories of the queer community, and how often these histories are erased or hidden from normative record. All of the issues create an artifact forming a record or archive.
Thomas Wells is an artist and curator based in Belfast. Their work is based in socially engaged practice involving spaces of collective experience. These are often situated in the intimacy of domestic settings and use layered imagery to elicit feelings of nostalgia. Originally from Manchester, they have been working in the north of Ireland since 2017. They are a member of the 2021 Turner Prize winning collective Array, Jerwood Curatorial Fellow 2022/23, and former Catalyst Arts Co-director.
Participants from Action Mental Health, in collaboration with visual artist Kerrie Hanna have created an artwork which will be presented on billboards throughout Belfast during At the Table. Kerrie and the participants will co-facilitate workshops for the public which explore the mental health through creativity.
Syrian artist, and founder of Berlin based coculture e.V. Khaled Barakeh is addressing the rights of people seeking asylum in Northern Ireland. Supporting Participation and the Practice of Rights Lift the Ban campaign Khaled is collaborating with migrants, and human rights activists to raise awareness of the hostile environment people are forced to live in. As part of this commission, we will host events At the Table which seek to explore expose the issue.
Public events will include, but are not limited to:
Creative Dialogues & Campaigning Events: With politicians/policy makers exploring asylum seekers rights, and the mental health crisis.
A library containing reading material and policy documents will highlight the issues being addressed through At the Table.
Weekly workshops: Imagining what a kinder economy looks like.
Monthly communal dining: Bringing asylum seekers, refugees, and local people together to encourage greater integration.
A children’s playroom with a table to imagine a fair and equal society, alongside a Compassion Library for children with sessions addressing housing justice, migration, home, mental health, activism, diversity, gender and identity. We have commissioned the children from St Pauls Primary School and Fane Street Primary School to create portraits of activists and leaders who like Shirley Chisholm, led the way.
The ethos of MACtivate reflects current approaches towards integrating collective activity and community empowerment more visible in the art world.
Documenta 15 curated by ruangrupa, the Jakarta-based artists’ collective presented an artistic and economic model rooted in principles such as collectively, communal resource sharing, and equal allocation. These concerns have influenced our thinking in presenting this exhibition.
Special thanks to the artists, activists, and people who have collaborated with us to realise At the Table including:
Raja Obed, Rachel Fitzpatrick, Kerrie Hanna, Elaine Taylor, Lauren Cudden, Mayte Ruiz Cala, Yusrah, Jane, Siobhan, Rory Doherty, Lucy Rafferty, John McIlduff, Thomas Wells, Khaled Barakeh, Laura Nelson, Darren Ferguson, Aaron Rhodes, Ajax (Evan) Gaston, Ann Davison, Annemarie Zambotti, Caroline Boyle, Catherine Pritchard, Charlie Beare, Darlene Corry, Deirdre McPoland, Doris Gentemann, Ezra Pinkerton, Hannah Johnston, Heather Fleming, Hilary McCollum, Huseini Samire, Jesper Pouw, Karolyn Gaston, Lu Blue, Maoilíosa Scott, Matin Sharafi, Mícheál Ó Ruairc, Miles Greer, Minne Thomas, Mukwaya Ahamed Ali, Richard O’Leary, Saarla White, Ella Kelly, Lorraine Pollock, Audrius Geležiūnas, Beth Welch, Grace McMurray, Janie Doherty, Emma Brennan, Dean Black, Clodagh Lavelle, Colm McCreedy, Fergus Wachala-Kelly, Miles Greer, Leah Greer, George Wallace ,Sara Pereira, Arjen Ploeger, Emer McGuckian, Masella Cassidy, Gerard McGrillen, Ann Davison, John Barr, Soso [Sorcha Ní Cheallaigh], Fionn Dempsey, Hannah McShane, João Flipe Jesus, Nurtane Karagil, Manuela Moser, Stephen Connolly, Anthony Ferguson, Dean Lee, Elaine Forde, Katie Watchorn, Padraig Regan, Dominic McKeown, Husk Bennett, Silvia Koistinen, Janie Doherty, Peter McKenna, Finn Paul, Jane Peaker, Leah Corbett, Rob McGilcuddy
Associate Partners: PPR, AfC,
TRP, AMH & Extern
Partners and Collaborators: Beyond Skin, Anann’s Arch, Still I Rise Diversity Storytelling, Ulster University, Gauge
Funders: PHF, Bank of Ireland, Cultural Bridge, Community Foundation Northern Ireland and Social Change Initiative