Lower Garfield Street
Description of chosen placeDerelict and has been for years.
What do you imagine the space could be?What we wanted in 2009! A residency space for artists. An extract from the case made by The Forum for an Alternative Belfast is below: NI has the UK’s highest concentration of empty commercial space is coinciding with creative activity already emerging in Belfast to confront this issue. Equally, artists are struggling to find working/living spaces and Belfast does not currently have a residency programme which can host multiple artists with living and work space in the same building – a growing practice worldwide. The proposed interdisciplinary, international residency programme situated in a refurbished – previously unused – historic building would redress these problems while proactively enriching the city centre’s culturalvibrancy. The scheme would provide international artists with both work and living space located in the city centre in a revived location. Artists would have a communal living area and kitchen, private bedroom and studio. The residency would combine many practices, including visual arts, architecture, music, and literature. Participants would take up occupancy for periods ranging from two weeks to three months. A ground floor gallery below the residency building would showcase the works created by residencies and local artists work. Overall, the programme aims to showcase Belfast as a cultural hub for artists to work, live, and participate in exchange through open studio events, talks, performances and exhibitions. Regarding financing, the programme would create revenue as participating artists would pay residency fees, their subsistence, and flights through support from their local arts councils and governments. Additional funding would enable sponsored residencies and run the gallery, although it would be able to work self sufficiently. Through this, we offer a solution to two prominent issues and greater benefit to the Belfast community.
Top image: Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images, via Mashable/Retronaut
Submitted byJohanna Leech
February 20, 2023