Upside Down – Ciaran Magill

Upside Down
Ciaran Magill
4 May to 9 June 2023

About the Exhibition

The University of Atypical is delighted to invite you to join us for the launch of, Upside Down an exhibition of new work by artist Ciaran Magill opening at 5.00 pm on Thursday the 4th of May as part of the Late Night Art scheme
Bodies in motion, bodies at rest. This exhibition of figurative paintings explores the artist’s fascination with high-energy athletic poses offset against quiet contemplative positions within a domestic setting.
The acrobatic males are like an astral-projection of the artist’s own dreams, often imagined while lying on his bed. Likewise, the levitating females allude to gender politics, a recurring theme in the artist’s sixteen -year career.
With fifteen solo shows to date, this is Ciaran’s first ever solo exhibition of work focused on the human figure combining drawing and painting. The works embody the artist’s love of line, colour and transparent layered paint effects.
Magill’s psychological landscapes often explore an eerie isolation and a sense of foreboding. His conceptual figurative works often focus on issues of gender and sexuality.

About the Artist

Born in 1978 in Newry, Northern Ireland, Ciaran studied Fashion at Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication in London before returning to the Belfast School of Art & Design in 2006 to complete a BA (Hons) degree in Fine and Applied Arts.
His paintings and drawings are held in many private, public and corporate collections, most notably the Open University, DIAGEO, the NI Civil Service and the Centre for Independent Living Collections. He was the 2009 recipient of the DIAGEO NI emerging artist award and has received awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, University of Atypical, and the Freelands Foundation, London.
He has had solo exhibitions at many of the leading public art galleries in Northern Ireland, notably at the Flowerfield Arts Centre (Portstewart), Oriel Gallery (Antrim), Sean Hollywood Arts Centre (Newry), Waterfront Hall (Belfast), Island Arts Centre (Lisburn), Down Arts Centre (Downpatrick), Bangor Library and Ards Arts Centre.
Magill has exhibited in many group shows in locations including Beijing, Shanghai, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and Genoa. He has shown in group shows locally at the Ormeau Baths Gallery, Golden Thread Gallery, The Mac, Catalyst Arts and the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s University.
A selection of the works on exhibition were made possible with an award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

University of Atypical Graduate Award

University of Atypical Graduate Award
The UofA Graduate Art Award is open to graduating Fine Art students from Ulster University who identify as d/Deaf, disabled or neurodiverse. The UofA Graduate Art Award is a career development programme supporting emerging artists and includes mentoring and a solo exhibition in the Atypical Gallery in Belfast.

UofA welcomes applications from emerging artists working in any artform.

Award Details:

The UofA Graduate Art Award includes the following
Solo Exhibition – Atypical Gallery in 2024
Exhibition/artist Fee – £300
Materials budget – £300
Mentoring sessions with an established artist/s
Career development advice
Development of an Access Requirements Brief
Technical support
Marketing and promotion

How to apply:

You must complete the online application form on the UofA website:
All information must be attached to / uploaded with your application form and be clearly labelled including your name and contact details.
Please contact UofA if you have any access requirements or need help to complete the application form.

UofA accepts applications in different formats and you can contact UofA to discuss options that meet your access requirements.

UofA’s decision making process:
Your application will be reviewed by a selection panel and the panel will assess your application against the following criteria:
– quality of proposal (40%)
– potential positive impact for you and your practice (40%)
– quality of submitted support material. (20%)

Submitting your application:
The application deadline is :
Thursday 25th May 2023 by 4 p.m.
UofA cannot accept applications received after this time or date.

Award queries should be submitted via email to:
Access requirement questions/queries should be submitted via email to:

Urban Survival Kits Exhibition 2023

About the exhibition – what to expect
Urban Survival Kits (USK) is an innovative Erasmus + programme led by the University of Atypical for Arts and Disability (UofA) in Belfast and devised by artist Julie McGowan. This exhibition is the result of a two-year long international creative learning project exploring how disabled and neurodiverse adults can develop and design personalised survival kits to support their local, national and international travel requirements.
This partnership between the UofA, in collaboration with local participants from the NOW Group (Belfast) and European partner organisations Cotopaxi (Poland); Blauschimmel Atelier (Germany); Akdeniz University (Turkey) and Upset Theatre (Croatia) has been participant led with the aim of empowering d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people.
The USK’s programme included a series of live and online workshops specifically tailored to provide an inclusive and immersive learning experience to participants. This allowed for a safe way of experimenting, externalising, reframing and ultimately sharing real-life stories and experiences, removing the barriers that d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people experience when travelling, and creating individual communication tools that are tailored to ensure positive travelling experiences.
In June of 2022 an international group of 50 people participated in a week-long, learning programme that took place online and in the Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens and the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. The Urban Survival Kits exhibition is the artistic outcome of that time spent together and a starting point for planning travel adventures. The artists mapped out their personalised creative journeys that started online in January 2022 in Belfast and artists then spent 3 fun days online, building connections and learning from each other. After this each group in our partner countries spent 10 days experimenting with art in preparation for their travels to Belfast.
The group began their adventure during a five-day training programme, starting with a journey of self-discovery through the creation of 3D portraits and models with individually designed backdrops. Integrating the models created an opportunity for exploring familiar or imagined environments or storylines. Participants designed and created individual Urban Survival Kits containing everything they might need for a Dream Day Out.
On the last day, the group visited Botanic Gardens, where they mapped and digitally recorded their journey, collecting sounds, images, and objects of interest. They used this material to create a digital trail of the visit. The trails created will be used in the development of an interactive online map and will be available to follow and add to via the USK website.
The exhibition opens on 23rd March 2023 and will be added to with new content made over a five day training programme taking place in April 2023. This unique project culminates in Belfast on the 21st of April 2023 with a celebration of the learning programme and creative input by the USK artists. A virtual exhibition will tour each partner country in June 2023.
For more information about the artist and organisations involved:
#urbansurvivalkits #erasmusplus @universityofatypical @blauschimmelatelierev @stowarzyszenieprawconiafilmowacotopaxi @upsetteatar @akdenizuniversity @NOW_Group @nowgrouporg @pracownia_cotopaxi @universityofatypical @akdeniz_universitesi @auftrabmitblauschimmel
Light refreshments will be served.

Access Booking – To book your access requirements please email

Visit Us – Atypical Gallery and Ledger Studio

University of Atypical
109 – 113 Royal Avenue, Belfast, BT1 1FF. Northern Ireland
Office and Atypical Gallery – Opening hours
Tuesday to Friday: 11.00 am – 5.30 pm
t: 02890239450

Jacqueline Wylie: In Conversation

Jacqueline Wylie: In Conversation
24th February 2023
6pm – 7pm 

Join us for an informal gathering with artist Jacqueline Wylie for an exhibition tour and talk about her work and ideas, it’s a great way to start the weekend and find out more about this unique and talented artist’s work. 
Light refreshments will be served.

All welcome
Access Booking – To book your access requirements please email 

Visit Us Atypical Gallery 
University of Atypical 
109 – 113 Royal Avenue, Belfast, BT1 1FF
Northern Ireland

Atypical Gallery – Open
Tuesday – Friday
 11am – 5.30pm
Call Us
t: 02890239450

Visit Us – Online

Access Information
Ground floor & level. Loop system. Accessible toilet. Height adjustable sink. Hoist & changing bench. Audio described tours. Braille. Onsite defibrillator. Period products.
Sanitizer units and a warm welcome!

See you soon.

Cover Image: She Walks Rope, Jacqueline Wylie, 2022 
(Photo credit: Robert Cleland)

Claiming Space, Creating Space  Dr. Jacqueline Wylie 

About the exhibition
Claiming Space, creating space is a new solo exhibition by Dr. Jacqueline Wylie. Wylie is a multidisciplinary artist whose ideas are often shaped and informed by her background as an industrial archaeologist.
Wylie’s playful approach to art has a serious intent: to test the boundaries of what is valued and considered ‘art’ or ‘craft’.
She has a fondness for using inexpensive, easily accessible and ephemeral materials, with a longstanding passion for textiles inherited from her mother. During the first lockdown in 2020 Jacqueline made and distributed coloured chalks to children within her local area. This process fired an interest into her immediate neighbourhood and the desire to understand more about the history of the area and its people. 
Wylie’s earlier work used handknitting to explore the divide between craft and art. In 2021 she began a new series of knitted paintings that shifted her practice in a colourful direction. 

During lockdown she began researching the location of the rope walks in Ballymacarrett, East Belfast, referencing ordnance survey maps from the 1830s.  
In response to her findings, she made a durational, site-specific performance walk, using chalk to map the location of a historic rope walk within her community. These marks retrace the footprint of the ropewalk, travelling over modern roads and pavements close to a contested interface area.  

For Wylie, walking and drawing is a powerful way to uncover local industrial heritage. The Belfast Ropeworks Company was the world’s largest manufacturer of rope during the early 20th century, with a large proportion of the workforce being female. 

Here, women knitted on a grand scale, making fishing nets and landing nets during WW2. 
Traditional narratives tend to downplay women’s role in the workforce, so their significant contribution to ropemaking remains largely invisible and unremarked. It is striking that no physical trace of this important economic activity exists today apart from archival references.
For this exhibition Wylie was invited to respond to the NI Screen’s video archive and ordnance survey maps in an attempt to memorialise generations of anonymous men and women who walked rope into existence.

The University of Atypical for Arts and Disability would like to thank our funders: Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council & Department for Communities 

We would like to acknowledge contributions from:
Northern Ireland Screen
Digital Film Archive 
(Copyright ITV)
Ordnance Survey NI

About the Artist
Dr. Jacqueline Wylie was born in Dungannon and has a practice based in East Belfast. She has exhibited regularly, locally and nationally and in recent years has participated as an artist internationally in Lisbon, Oldenburg and Škofja Loka on the Erasmus project titled Craft:In for University of Atypical. 
For further information checkout @jacqueline_wylie

Commune – Group Exhibition

Group Exhibition
1 December 2022 – 20 January 2023
Launch from 5pm – 8pm

Join us on Thursday the 1st of December 2022 for Late Night Art for an evening of cultural celebration, community and to mark our final exhibition of 2022. Commune brings together a selection of new work by artists commissioned by the University of Atypical’s D/deaf Disabled Artists Support Fund during the Covid pandemic in 2021.

This multidisciplinary exhibition reflects the dynamic practices of artists from the region who identify as D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse showcasing their creativity and contribution to our cultural landscape. The DDASF Award was funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities.

Commune features work by Jacqueline Holt, Sinéad O’Donnell, Sinead O’Neill Nichol, Paul Moore, Alexandra McCalmont, Joel Simon, Dara Condon, Alice Burns, Ita Watson, Vikkie Patterson, Johanna Leech, Billy Woods, Benen Dillon, Jacqueline Wylie, Shiro Masuyama, Jamie Baker, Adam Elder-Mullan, Ciaran Magill and Emma Campbell.

Please note we will be closed for the festive season from the 20th of December 2022 until the 5th of January 2022 inclusive.

Visit Us – Atypical Gallery
University of Atypical
109 – 113 Royal Avenue, Belfast, BT1 1FF
Northern Ireland

Gallery – Open
Tuesday – Friday
11am – 5.30pm

Call Us
t: 02890239450

Visit Us – Online

Access Information
Ground floor & level. Loop system. Accessible shower toilet. Height adjustable sink. Hoist & changing bench. Audio described tours. Braille. Onsite defibrillator. Period products.
Sanitizer units and a warm welcome!
See you soon.

Image: Courtesy of the artist Paul Moore, Video still from A man walk into a room (2021)

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