NOCTURNES – Joel Simon

Joel Simon, an artist with a rich background in film-making, unveils “NOCTURNES” as a series of narrative oil paintings. Drawing inspiration from the vibrant nightlife of Belfast, Simon’s exhibition captures the city’s metamorphosis into a cinematic tapestry during the late hours.

Reflecting on the genesis of the series, Simon shares, “After many late-night excursions through Belfast’s streets, I found myself captivated by the city’s transformation into a cinematic tapestry. The darkened alleys and hushed corners served as the muse for ‘NOCTURNES,’ where I aim to convey the heightened drama that cloaks this city, my home since 1995.”

Simon, a former director with over 50 international awards in the film and animation industry, has seamlessly transitioned into the world of oil painting. His narrative paintings exhibit cinematic compositions and stylized poses, a testament to his filmmaking background. “Through visual storytelling skills honed in my previous career, I explore mysterious narratives etched on strangers’ faces and woven into the urban fabric,” says Simon.

This marks Joel Simon’s first solo show in five years, inviting viewers to join him in imagining the untold stories of cohabitants and rediscovering the familiar cityscape. The exhibition promises a journey through Belfast’s nightlife, as seen through the eyes of an artist who has made the city his muse.

Exhibition Details:


Artist: Joel Simon

Public Opening: Friday, December 1st

Formal Exhibition Opening: Thursday, December 7th, 6:00 pm

Venue: Atypical Gallery University of Atypical, 109-113 Royal Ave, Belfast BT1 1FF

About Joel Simon:

Prior to his career in oil painting, Joel Simon garnered acclaim in the film and animation industry as a director, collaborating with luminaries such as Seamus Heaney, Billy Connolly, and BBC’s Gerry Anderson. His transition to oil painting brought forth a fascination with narrative paintings, employing cinematic compositions and stylized poses to craft captivating visual stories.
For inquiries, please contact:

Call-Out Physical Theatre Masterclass

Call-Out for the Bounce Festival Physical Theatre Masterclass

Venue: Duncairn Arts and Cultural Centre, Antrim Road, Belfast
Date: Sunday 8 th October, 11am-4pm.
Tutors: David Calvert, Jade Quinn and Paula Clarke

Physical Theatre Masterclass integrating deaf and hearing performers into a dynamic,
cohesive physical theatre ensemble to devise a new theatre work. The class will initiate the
creation of a deaf/hearing physical theatre ensemble that will go forward to perform in

The class will involve: Physical conditioning based on Qi Gong breathing/muscle and tendon
stretching; improvisation with physical theatre skill frames, including contact improvisation;
the construction of image-based narratives; looking at the creation of last year’s Bounce
Festival Blue Chevy show based on the life experiences of deaf performer, Paula Clarke.

Participants should have: Experience of performance; a willingness to participate in the
development of the new ensemble following the masterclass; be open-minded and
prepared to work in an imaginatively intimate, safe, physical theatre environment.

Limited number of places.

Depending on the number of applicants, interviews may be
conducted during the week beginning Monday 25 th September.

To apply, please email David a motivational paragraph (50 words max) and a short bio (100
words max) at by Friday 22 nd September.

This class is open to a mixed range of abilities.

Please, let us know about your abilities and
needs in your application, as well as any access requests you might have.

Dreaming of a village – Una Walker

Dreaming of a village: An Exhibition by Una Walker University of Atypical, Atypical Gallery

Exhibition opening Thursday 5th October 2023 at 6.00pm

Artist Gallery Talk – Friday 6th October 2023 at 1.00pm

Exhibition will continue until Friday 24th November 2024 at 5.00pm

Exhibition: “Dreaming of a village” is an installation comprising of two- and three-dimensional works and video.

This work draws on research into historic land ownership in the townlands in the immediate vicinity of the artist’s home in rural County Down.

In the course of carrying out the research, including collecting information from Griffith’s Valuation and maps in the Public Records Office, the artist discovered that an area opposite her house, which is now a tree plantation, had until at least the 1830s been farmland and supported numerous tenant farmers and their families.

The video and installation feature stones from the local area which have been used traditionally for both farm buildings and boundary walls. Drawings, based on the farm buildings still visible on the 1834 Ordnance Survey map of the area now covered in trees, are also used in both the video and the installation.

Other drawings are derived from the Griffith’s Valuation maps (1863) showing each local townland, outlined using thick red lines, and its subdivision into plots or “tenements”, using thinner red lines. In much of the locality these plots, frequently delineated by stone walls, were the parcels of land purchased by tenant framers as a result of the Irish Land Acts, and form the basis of current land ownership.

Artist’s Talk: Una Walker will give an informal talk about the origins and inspiration for the work in the exhibition, and answer questions from the public.

Una Walker is an artist and writer based at Flax Art Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has exhibited extensively in Ireland and internationally, making site and context specific installation, audio and video works, and works on paper. Site specific installation works have been constructed in diverse locations including military fortifications, derelict factories and a cathedral. From 2008-2015 she was a Research Fellow at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and a member of the Digital Repository of Ireland Core Implementation Team. The Covid pandemic lockdowns provided an opportunity to make drawings, audio, and video works inspired by places very close to her home.

Connecting Artists Programme

University of Atypical is delighted to exhibit work created as part of the Connecting Artists Programme 2023.

Connecting Artists is a creative programme of the Connections Arts Centre which is an award winning not-for-profit Social Enterprise supporting the Disability community in Ireland.

Their objective is to improve the lives of the people they serve and create a positive social impact. Connection Arts Centre’s mission is to assist people with disabilities to overcome barriers that they encounter every day that lead to them being devalued and excluded from our community. They do this by providing accessible Arts Lifestyle and Training programmes that are inclusive of everyone.

Join Miriam Spollen, Director of the Connections Arts Centre, Dublin, for a tour of the Connecting Artists Exhibition and an overview of the Connecting Artists programme.

Light refreshments will be served. Everyone welcome.

Epitaph – Amy Hannah

The University of Atypical for Arts and Disability is delighted to welcome you to Epitaph an exhibition of new work by artist Amy Hannah opening at 5.30pm on Thursday the 18th of June 2023.

‘Epitaph’ is a body of work that seeks to visualise the experience of the neurodivergent artist in various stages of her childhood / teenage years as well as resonating with other neurodivergent/disabled people and their experiences of growing up in a world that wasn’t made for them.

Making use of stills that recreate key memories, past special interests and safe places, as well as a wide range of repurposed archival images, the artist seeks to not only mourn experiences and friendships she missed out on but accept that the past cannot be rewritten, coming to terms with her neurodiverse mind and growing to accept herself as she is.

Exhibition Opening – Thursday 22nd June  – Launch Event  5.30 pm   
Exhibition continues until the 19th of July 2023

Amy Hannah  – In Conversation  – Friday 23rd June  2023  6.00 pm – 7.00 pm

Join artist Amy Hannah  for a tour of her exhibition and informal discussion about her work and ideas.  This is  a great way to start the weekend and find out more about this unique artist’s work. 

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

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