Crimea Square Photo: Belfast Festival

Crimea Square Photo: Belfast Festival

It’s festival time again in Belfast as the long-established Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s gets underway. The large public art project WISH has been officially unveiled by the artist Jorge Rodríguez–Gerada at the 11 acre site beside the Titanic Centre. The new face for Belfast on the old face of the city can be viewed from the centre (viewing opportunities now closed) or from W5 at specific times during the festival and to book a free ticket, register here (W5).

Wish by Jorge Rodríguez–Gerada Photo: Belfast Festival

Wish by Jorge Rodríguez–Gerada Photo: Belfast Festival

This evening, the opening concert takes place at the Waterfront Hall with the internationally acclaimed tenor José Carreras and Irish soprano Celine Byrne from County Kildare. As a volunteer with the festival, I will be attending the preview night of Crimea Square, which presents the story of the Shankill Road from 1912 until the present day, using film, performance and sound.

Populated by some of the Shankill’s greatest characters, this production covers major events from the signing of the Ulster Covenant up to and beyond the Shankill Road bombing in October 1993.

Using a unique combination of especially commissioned sound scape and film, the era of the cinema will be brought back to the Spectrum Centre (old Stadium Cinema) through the use of large screens recalling the Shankill of old, using a mix of professional and community actors.

Previews on Thurs 17 and Fri 18 October. Shows: 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27 October. There will be a talk after the show on Thursday 24 October. Tickets are £10 (concession £8) and can be booked hereBelfastFestival_2012Logo-thumb-540x560-98241

This event continues after the Festival on the following dates: 31st October, 1st November and 2nd November.  There will be a post show talk on 31st October. If you would like to book tickets for one of these performances after the Festival, please contact the Spectrum Centre on 028 9050 4555.


Adrian Margey

Adrian Margey

Adrian Margey is a young artist who comes from Kilrea in County Derry. This is also the home village of the former Northern Ireland soccer international and now Sunderland manager, Martin O’Neill, as well as the well-known journalist and writer Paddy Agnew, the Irish Times Rome correspondent (thanks to Seamus Martin for pointing this out!).

I first met Adrian when he was a student of Communications, Advertising and Marketing at the University of Ulster, where my daughter was also studying. He graduated with a BSc Honours in 2007 (see Class Notes). In 2005 he was awarded a scholarship under the Washington Ireland programme and spent two months as an intern in the USA.

Queen's University © Adrian Margey

Queen’s University by Night © Adrian Margey €1200

He juggled his studies with a burgeoning career as a visual artist. Since graduating, he has exhibited widely. His pictures include contemporary depictions of familiar Ulster landmarks and Irish traditional musicians and dancers. He received funding in 2010 from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to run a series of high profile solo exhibitions, which have been well received.

Iconic Dunluce © Adrian Margey

Iconic Dunluce © Adrian Margey €2550

The Guild Hall, Derry City © Adrian Margey

The Guild Hall, Derry City © Adrian Margey €645 SOLD

In 2011 he developed two new bodies of work which went on show at the Radisson Hotel, Limavady at the end of August and at the Culloden Hotel, Cultra. For St Patrick’s weekend 2013, he is holding his first exhibition in the Republic of Ireland, at the Radisson Blu Hotel at St Helen’s on the Stillorgan Road in South Dublin, close to where I am wrote this article. Admission is free and around seventy works are on sale, some of which were purchased on the opening evening.

Sorrento Terrace (Dalkey)  © Adrian Margey €695 SOLD

Sorrento Terrace (Dalkey) © Adrian Margey €695 SOLD

I notice from Adrian’s website that he has painted some Dublin scenes specially for the exhibition, some of them featuring the Ha’penny Bridge across the River Liffey, Trinity College Dublin and others of the Bray area in County Wicklow, including Bray Head and the Sugar Loaf mountain.

Carrickfergus Castle  © Adrian Margey €495

Carrickfergus Castle © Adrian Margey €495

Scrabo Tower  © Adrian Margey €475 SOLD

Scrabo Tower © Adrian Margey €475 SOLD

It all adds up to a very colourful exhibition, which remains open until Monday afternoon (18th). One of the largest pictures (and therefore more expensive) is entitled “Time Stands Still at Trinity College”. It might appeal to a TCD graduate or someone connected with the College, or perhaps a collector who likes pictures of famous buildings in Dublin. The price tag is €895. When Adrian exhibited his work last year at my local parish hall, St Brigid’s in South Belfast, I did not get an opportunity to visit the display. So I am pleased to have been able to catch up with him on my original “home” ground at the bottom of Foster Avenue in Mount Merrion parish.

Trinity College © Adrian Margey €895

Trinity College © Adrian Margey €895

Causeway Trinity College © Adrian Margey €795

Causeway © Adrian Margey €795