Visiting Project 24

I’m in Northern Ireland for the next week and a bit so I thought I would check out some of the art exhibitions and events happening in the area!

I’m staying in Bangor with some family and these colourful container crates have been in Bangor town centre for the last year or two, always wondered what they were. Finally got to feed my curiosity and have a gander.

Turns out its a project called Project 24, set up to provide a dull area of undeveloped land into a creative resource with resident artists residing in each of the crates, setting up shop as their own little personal studio (of which I am hugely jealous of! Would love my own little crate studio). Below is a photo I took of the compound itself. Very pretty looking area!

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I saw a huge range of artists and work, some crafty and folksy looking with hand made bags and glass work, others were portraiture and more figurative as well as some more abstract work. I managed to get to speak to a couple of the artists; Lee Boyd and James Moore. Both were kind enough to talk to me about their practice and ask me some questions about mine!

Lee’s work featured some really interesting hybrids of people and animals, he explained how he utilised this method to express the personality or ‘type of person’ each figure sported, he felt that using animals triggered something in the mind of the audience to allow them to better understand the personality of the personal/figure shown in the image better than if it were a simple ‘draw whats there’ portrait. I can completely understand what he means, animals have stronger connotations behind them, like the wisdom of an owl or the cunning of a fox, and by harnessing these connotations they worked well to communicate people. Strange how animals seem to represent us better than we do.

James’s work was far more abstract from what I saw. We spoke about his practice and how he’s recently left his job in the digital market working with film and moving image to pursue his love for the more traditional and expressive medium, major respect for that! We discussed my practice a lot, mentioning which course I was on and trying to explain what mediums I work with (its rather hard to say ‘lots’ without sounding like I’m actually saying ‘I’m not sure’.) Very tricky to explain what I do while still sounding like I’m confident in my practice, which I am! I just can’t say I work with watercolour, or I work digitally, because I like to do both. Its one of those small yet annoying problems… Should think of a way around that.

I exchanged details with both of them and had a nosy around their websites, definitely worth a look of you’re interested! (Links are by their names, above).

There was plenty of other really wonderful work in the other pods as well as other activities happening in the little arty area. Was really exciting seeing all of this happening just down the road! And a good chance to talk to some others about their work.

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