JUST FOR ONE DAY : 10 artists in 10 Belfast venues to mark 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement

Just for One Day

What might an artist create that could ever contain the complexity, horror and sorrow of over 3,600 lives lost from the armed conflict in Northern Ireland? And what might ten artists create? In ten locations across Belfast? And how might we respond to these different framings, after 20 years of the Good Friday Agreement?

Just for One Day

Just For One Day is an artistic response on the evening of Thursday 12 April by 10 artists in 10 Belfast venues to mark 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement as well as the 3,600 people who died during the Troubles.

The imaginative art works by poets, musicians, dancers and filmmakers will be performed in a barge, churches, a library and an hair salon between 6pm and 10pm. The initiative is curated by Paul Hutchinson (Imagined Spaces) and Susan McEwen (Blue Moss).

Each artistic response can be visited separately and the curators hope that members of the public will explore venues across the city. A bus will tour around the 10 venues hosting the 10 pieces of art: all the seats were snapped up within two days.

Interviews with Just For One Day co-curators Susan McEwen and Paul Hutchinson as well as the artists involved can be arranged from today, and there are also recording and filming opportunities on the night of Thursday 12 April.

Contact Alan Meban (07734741263) or Susan McEwan (07710185303) for press queries and interview requests.

  • Leonie McDonagh: “Stand and Fall” in An Chultúrlann. A powerful one-hour physical performance piece.
  • Neil Foster: “Safe House” in Former Bank, Newtownards Road. An immersive space filled with sound, images, and opportunities to reflect.
  • Ursula Burns: “Being born in Belfast” in St Patrick’s Church, Newtownards Road. A unique performance of four original songs (including one piece that took twenty years to complete).
  • Crystal Hamilton: “An island far far away” in Mornington Community Project. A reading from her research on how a strange island came to terms with its loss.
  • Jonny McEwen: “Vessel” in Belfast Barge. A digital art piece about empty vessels, both physical and political.
  • Stephen Wilson: “Same difference” in 101 Donegal Street (Redeemer Central)A photographic exploration of religious spaces.
  • Gail McConnell: “Typeface” in Carnegie Library, Oldpark Road. An astounding long poem about love, loss and fonts.
  • Esther O’Kelly: “Keening” in Joan’s Salon, 815 Crumlin Road. A new painting in an original setting.
  • Paul Hutchinson: “Capacity” in Carlisle Methodist Memorial Church. A film about seats, lost lives and vacancies.
  • James Davis: “Art-map” in … everywhere, but especially on the bus! A specially commissioned art map that gives both practical info and imaginative impressions.

Co-curator Susan McEwen says:

“Since April 1998, the Good Friday Agreement has been lauded internationally, and at the time it seemed to offer the hope of a new era of peace across Northern Ireland. Amidst the media attention that will be given to this anniversary, how will the over 3,600 people who were killed during the armed conflict be remembered?

“Ten artists will premiere their personal and creative response to the abyss of loss, utilising ten different spaces across the city of Belfast. Through Just For One Day they will share their response to this loss, this absence, these dead, those still alive.”

Co-curator Paul Hutchinson explains:

“What artists and creativity can do at their best is to offer a new frame to look at where we are twenty years post Good Friday and after 3,600 people being killed. In the face of a colossal subject, the title is important. So ‘Just For One Day’ each of these pieces will be on show. This is a modest proposal to say look at our past, look at our present, look at our future, just for one day in these 10 ways and in these 10 very specific venues.

“Art is traditionally seen in art spaces and what we wanted to do was to juxtapose an art piece with a new venue or format. Some of the venues are close to places that have seen great troubles so we’re aware of the many resonances that these pieces will hopefully make. We’re hoping that the venue changes the art piece and the art piece changes the venue.”

Ten diverse artists in ten different venues will respond to the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and the 3,600 people who died during the Troubles on the evening of Thursday 12 April.

More information about the artists, art works and venues can be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Justforoneday3600/ and Instagram /justforoneday3600 or by emailing justforoneday3600@gmail.com.

Just For One Day has received funding from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Reconciliation Fund and support from the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building.


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