December 7, 2012
Catalyst Arts began life in 1993 in Belfast, with no fixed abode, and is now nearly 20 years old. It was formed as a not-for-profit, artist-led initiative in response to a perceived lack of exhibition opportunities for emerging artists living and working in Belfast and the surrounding area. By 1994 Catalyst had secured its first dedicated gallery space at Exchange Place, and has moved five times since. Now based at 5 College Court, Belfast, the organisation consists of eight voluntary directors who work together to deliver a dynamic contemporary art programme.
Catalyst Art’s constitution was initially modelled on Glasgow’s Transmission Gallery, an artist led space set up in 1983. Since Catalyst’s founding its model has in turn been adopted by 126 Gallery in Galway.
Catalyst is managed at all times by a committee of up to 10 unpaid directors who meet on a weekly basis to plan the gallery’s schedule for the week ahead. Each director volunteers at Catalyst on a two-year rolling basis. This ensures that the organisation continues to support new directors and produce a perpetually changing, ambitious programme.
This non-hierarchical system means that, as directors, we each have an equal say over, and responsibility for, the day-to-day running of the organisation. In nearly two decades Catalyst has had more than 60 directors who have served their term on the committee, and to this day many of them continue to support the organisation.
As directors, we aim to provide people of all ages with an opportunity to get involved with the organisation by becoming a member, submitting work for exhibitions, volunteering with the installation of shows, assisting artists with their work and, of course, by becoming a director themselves. As a members-based organisation – whose membership is made up of past directors as well as annually registered members – we strive to provide opportunities and support to hundreds of members every year.
All members have the opportunity to exhibit in the annual members show, submit for curated members-based exhibitions and can have their say in how the gallery should move forward in the future at the annual AGM.
We endeavour to create new opportunities for members and emerging artists to show their work, and aim to secure the organisation’s future by training new directors to continue to carry the Catalyst torch.
The gallery’s annual exhibition programme usually consists of over 20 exhibitions showing hundreds of artists at all stages of their careers. Catalyst also holds the oldest biennial live art festival in Europe, ‘FIX’. Since its inception in 1994 the festival has played an important part in the organisation’s development and has helped to define contemporary performance art in Belfast.
Admittedly this is quite an intense two-year experience for a part-time group of volunteers. However, this large workload gives directors the chance to obtain a broad skill set and to act in a range of supportive roles such as project manager, technician, administrator and curator. Often this type of hands-on experience is hard to gain in a more traditional gallery setting and Catalyst therefore functions as an important training ground for emerging arts administrative staff.
Catalyst is approaching its twentieth anniversary, and we have begun to focus on exploring our legacy, with an emphasis on evaluating the organisation’s considerable archive and promoting the sustainability of the Catalyst model (demonstrated by recent archive-based exhibitions at NCAD, Dublin and the MAC, Belfast).
With a newly elected archive committee, we are working on cataloguing and digitising Catalyst’s archive. In recent months, the organisation has also expanded its online presence, providing exhibiting artists and members with an opportunity to have their work viewed by an ever-increasing global audience. With thousands of new viewers to the website, we have achieved a marked increase in the number of visitors to the gallery and the amount of artists submitting to open calls for. The website also functions as an accessible archive of past exhibitions, projects and events as well as acting as a promotional tool for members’ websites.
Catalyst Arts remains an important part of Belfast’s visual arts culture; we continue to promote young and emerging artists and curators and to extol art as a viable career option for new and existing practitioners.
December 5, 2012
‘We’ is the upcoming exhibition I am curating at catalyst arts, featuring selected works by local, national and international artists that explore issues surrounding identity through various mediums.
Featuring Craig Cox, Kevin Gaffney, Padraig Robinson, Athony Luvera, Brian J Morrison and Artur Zmijewski.
October 21, 2012
August 9, 2012
Super Massive Black Hole is dedicated to the photographic imagery resulting from the time-based processes found in many interdisciplinary art practices today. The magazine seeks to engage and represent respective projects and ideas which utilise Photography (digital or analogue), New Media (high or low tech), and Performance (through documentation). Fine Artists are encouraged to engage with the magazine as a way of exhibiting, testing, developing and experimenting with new (or old) ideas whether it is through a single image or a structured project.
Contributors for Issue#2
Theme: Other Worlds
Alex Bunn, David Blackmore, Clare Lymer, Angela Darby & Robert Peters, Dianne Whyte, Dragana Jurisic, Louise Elscot, Live Haug Hilton, Patrick Hough, Kevin Gaffney, Jordana Maisie, Dara McGrath, Ruairdhi Lennon & Alissa Kleist, Sarawut Chutiwongpeti, Jamie Saunders, Scot Cotterell, Myles Shelly, Tread, Connell Vaughan, Yaniv Waissa
March 13, 2012
I’ll be showing my work ’42′ in the Joinery, Dublin from the 22nd – 31st of March
October 13, 2011
I have joined Catalyst Arts in Belfast as a Director for the next two years, Check out the Catalyst Arts website i put together www.catalystarts.org.uk
September 13, 2011
A pre cursor to Fix II the bi-annual performance art festival run by Catalyst Arts, Pre FixII ‘Call Me’ is a one night only event held on Culture night in Belfast. Each participating artist is given a 15min time slot to ring the public telephone box to interact with the public. For my 15 minutes i created ‘Artbot 2011′ a virtual soundboard to interact with the public.
August 13, 2011
45 Minutes Live, created and facilitated by artists Ruaidhri Lennon and Alissa Kleist, is a project that aims to examine perceptions surrounding value in society as well as within the art world. The artists invited a local busker, Lewis Carroll, to play for 45 minutes on the opening night of the exhibition, held on August the 18th, 2011, as part of Fieldwork at the Niland Gallery, Galway.
Galway is well known for its abundance and variety of street performers. Seen as somewhat of a cliché and of course an everyday occurrence for the local population, the artists feel that by inviting a busker –a persona intrinsically linked to the street–into the gallery there occurs an interesting re-contextualisation and juxtaposition of perceptions and prejudices surrounding high and low art forms.
There is also a debate surrounding accessibility. Busking belongs to the street, it is more approachable, popular and accessible than many of the art forms shown in a lot of galleries and it is (arguably) a more democratic art form: The street belongs to everyone and the busker places himself at his audience’s mercy. In the street everyone is a critic.
As 45 Minutes Live is a process and research-based project, part of the work lies in the preparation leading up to the event: finding the busker, creating promotional material and marketing the event around the city and through social networking sites.
After the event takes places all that is left are the remnants of a performance.
Select images from 45 Minutes Live:
July 13, 2011
June 1, 2011
MASTER OF FINE ART EXHIBITION
E Floor, Orpheus Building, University of Ulster, York Street, Belfast
Opening: Friday 3rd June, 6-9pm
Continues until Saturday 11th June
Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm, Thurs 9am – 9pm
This years Master of Fine Art exhibition at the University of Ulster in Belfast will open to the public on Friday the 3rd of June as part of the University of Ulster’s Festival of Art and Design. The exhibition will feature work by artists Paola Bernardelli, Cherith Brown, Lesley Cherry, Alice Clark, Rebecca Coffey, Lynn Cromie, Alastair Freeburn, Martin Kinlough, Alissa Kleist, Ruaidhri Lennon, Julie Lovett, Cathal McGinley, Tim Millen, Laura O’Connor and Nadine Stewart.
March 8, 2011
February 5, 2011
‘Misconception’, light installation 2011
February 5, 2011
April 25, 2010
March 18, 2010
The Station opened to the public on Thursday the 4th of March
January 20, 2010
January 4, 2010
November 17, 2009
July 4, 2009
June 10, 2009
May 16, 2009
Thanks to Pam for helping us set up.
May 16, 2009
May 5, 2009
“FROM THE INSIDE OUT”
Joint exhibition with Alissa Kleist.
Opened by Breda Lynch
Thursday 14th of May,
May 4, 2009
Arc welding transfigures Installation.
May 4, 2009
“A Rough Draft Of The Universe As Seen By A Dog”
Visit the 411 Gallery and view other works.