East Belfast Festival – A Creative Method

4th September – 31st September, 2012

Venue: Hollywood Arches Library / 123 Newtownards Road, site of the old Bryson Street Surgery.

A Creative Method

‘Everywhere we look and everything we read right now seems to tell us that we are at a new juncture. We find ourselves in the midst of an unprecedented moment of change in the city of Belfast. In East Belfast a new landscape is appearing and the old fabric of the area and its neighbourhoods are changing at an enormously fast rate.

PRIME Collective will use a creative approach to archive and document a building in East Belfast currently abandoned, in stasis, and whose function is changing.  The collective will make work in response to the building and will make these interpretations available to view at the local Holywood Arches library. PRIME proposes ‘artistic archiving’, an alternative creative method for historical archiving.’

Bryson Street Surgery

During a two day period in August PRIME investigated the abandoned Bryson Street Surgery (due to be demolished) and developed three separate strands of work aiming to artistically archive aspects of the building and its past.

The resulting works were exhibited in the Hollywood Arches library from 05 – 30 September, 2012, as part of the East Belfast Arts Festival visual arts programme.

Tonya McMullan

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 When Bryson Street Surgery closed down and moved to new
premises, the curtains from the examination rooms were left behind.
Tonya collected this material and made tote bags for users
of the library to carry their books in.
Tonya discovered various curtains at the surgery with a range of patterns,
from woodland scenes to beige geometric designs, which, when re-appropriated into bags that can be disseminated, adopted a different meaning.
Alissa Kleist

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Photography captures and archives the past in a way that no other medium can.  It is often expected to present some form of truth or reality while simultaneously being a highly manipulative, subjective medium.  The image that Alissa took not only documents a building that is on the verge of demolition but also pictures an imaginary alternative reality. Built by one of Bryson Street Surgery’s patients, the schooner sails amongst an illusive archipelago in a space that will soon solely exist as a memory and in a single photograph.

Charlotte Bosanquet

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Charlotte is a current patient at the new Bryson Road Surgery clinic, and used the old Bryson Street building when it was still in use. She asked her doctor, who used to have a practice in the building, to visit the surgery and ring a hand bell for one minute. To ring the hand bell in the empty surgery and listen to the sound afterwards captures a record of the space, the sound bouncing off empty walls and through empty cupboards, around the marks of paint on old walls. The bell and audio were both presented as part of the exhibition at the Holywood Arches library.