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20th May 2021 in Arts

After being closed for most of last year, Belfast Exposed reopens the doors to the public with a visual feast of three showstopping exhibitions that promise to both excite and challenge audiences.

The three exhibitions – Aeon, A Lightness of Touch and Street View: Yan Wang Preston – celebrate both international and local artists. Rickli’s and Preston’s work are underpinned by a concern and reverence for the environment and affirms Belfast Exposed’s commitment to show work that focuses on, and highlights, environment issues. Belfast Exposed, despite the covid-19 pandemic and multiple lockdowns, has spent the last year supporting and promoting new talent and the exhibition ‘A Lightness of Touch’ is a continuation of that commitment and essential work for the development of the photographic and art infrastructure of Northern Ireland.

Gallery 1: AEON – Marcel Rickli
Gallery 2: A LIGHTNESS OF TOUCH – MFA Photography Graduates
Street View: YAN WANG PRESTON
3rd June – 17th July

Aeon
‘Aeon’, is a solo exhibition by Swiss international photographer and artist Marcel Rickli, who combines conceptual and documentary photography that explores radioactive waste repositories and questions how they will affect humanity for future generations. In Rickli’s investigations he examines the use of signs, symbols and language as a communicator capable of warning of the dangers of these sites for thousands of years to come. The exhibition is a striking representation of these inquiries with high visual content in large scale photography and sculptural elements enhanced by a subtle sound installation.

A Lightness of Touch
Celebrating photography’s rising stars of the future, ‘A Lightness of Touch’, is the end-of-year degree show for the MFA Photography graduates at Ulster University, which connects a broad range of thoughts, experiences, and feelings. The content is far-reaching and diverse with works by national and international artists. What bind the artists of this show together is not the subject of their work, but their sensitive and tender approach towards capturing their subjects; a particular lightness of touch.

Street View: Yan Wang Preston
Yan Wang Preston is an award-winning practicing artist whose exhibition on Street View is a combination of renowned bodies of work – ‘Hé – River Together’, ‘Mother River’ and ‘Forest’. These photographic based works have been made over the past 10 years and includes images, performance art, videos and books. Presented in a multi-media digital format, audiences will get a holistic view of the artist practice investigating relationships between people and place with long-term interests in contested definitions, myths, politics and ideologies of nature incontemporary societies. They are stunning examples of endurance photography which are as compelling as they are ambitious. A prime example of this is ‘Mother River’, on one level anmodern-day adventure, where the photographer faced hazards from altitude sickness to mudslides. Preston used a large-format field camera, which produces huge negatives, offering images with astonishing detail and resolution. The images generated from the process form the most systematic photographic documentation of the Yangtze River made by one person since 1842.

“Supporting emerging talent is ever more important as we ease out of Lockdown and each and every one of these MFA graduates demonstrates talent in their respective genres. Within the show, there is evidence of a very human approach that deals with topics that are considered challenging. The works are profound with a tenderness not often seen in group shows and the sensitivity embraces the audiences into new ways of seeing.” – Deirdre Robb, Chief Executive, Belfast Exposed.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Belfast Exposed’s galleries will operate with a one-way system, and based on government guidelines, a maximum number of people will be allowed in the gallery at any given time. Visitors to the gallery can expect a meeter-and-greeter to instruct them through the gallery spaces and inform them about the exhibitions on show.

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