Northern Ireland news

New exhibition invites us to view Northern Ireland through a different lens

 This year’s festival begins on June 2

A NEW exhibition by emerging photographic artists is to share alternative viewpoints on Northern Ireland.

A Bigger Picture, presented by Belfast Photo Festival and the Northern Irish Art Network, invites visitors to view Northern Ireland through the "underrepresented gaze of feminist and queer artists".

"Northern Irish photography has established itself internationally as having a distinct and recognisable sensibility," said curator Dr Clare Gallagher.

"However, it remains widely viewed as a masculine terrain, dominated by male voices. The images that define this place have been largely captured through the male gaze.

This year’s festival begins on June 2 

"What this exhibition offers is a countertext, an alternative perspective that addresses the omissions in representation, not only in Northern Irish photography, but in the narrative of what it means to be from here."

A Bigger Picture is at the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast until July 9 and its opening marks the launch of this year’s Belfast Photo Festival programme.

Running from June 2 to 30, it will present a programme of exhibitions in galleries and public spaces throughout the city.

Under its theme The Verge, this year’s festival explores untold stories, underrepresented narratives and perspectives on the world that too often go unseen.

Clare Gormley from Belfast Photo Festival, said: "Celebrating photography that pushes against dominant social, cultural, historical and visual frameworks, this year’s festival features the work of artists who find themselves - both conceptually and aesthetically - on the verge of new territories.

"They bring forth new perspectives on the world we live in, the past we inherit and lead us to the verge of something altogether new."

Festival director Michael Weir added: "How fitting it is that the first exhibition to open our 2022 programme is by a collective of 15 emerging artists through whose gaze we are offered a new perspective on Northern Ireland - a body of work that weaves a rich tapestry of love and loss, hope and struggle, bringing into focus people and place through a less seen, but powerful feminist and queer gaze."

Suzanne Lyle from the Arts Council said the festival includes an "impressive programme celebrating the work of local, national and international contemporary photographers".

"I’m particularly pleased to see the festival include a series of open air exhibitions at Queen’s University, Botanic Gardens and Belfast Harbour Quay, which will undoubtedly capture attention, engage and inspire new audiences as people go about their day," she said.

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