Award-winning visual artist Mairéad McClean comes to Belfast Exposed this autumn with HERE.
Combining new and previously exhibited work, McClean examines one of the most contentious episodes of recent Northern Irish history through a personal lens.
A combination of photography, film, installations and sculpture, HERE comments on the tension and anxiety felt by those living in Northern Ireland in the 1970’s. The Troubles were at their height. Danger and threat – both visible & invisible – permeated everyday life. For those trying to live a relatively normal life during this time, navigating this landscape of tension was an essential part of the every day. This was particularly true of children & young people, growing up during ‘an explosive period of conflict and political unrest’. Much of McClean’s work addresses these themes, and HERE unfolds the complexity of this experience through her memories of how she understood the place she was growing up in.
HERE combines both newly created and already existing work in a new, unique display. This flexibility is an intentional choice from McClean, and reflects a political approach to her work. As Shirley MacWilliam writes in the accompanying essay, McClean therefore 'aims not to myth make but to remain open to taking new points of view or looking at a bigger picture’.