SWADDLE – Dominic McKeown

The University of Atypical is delighted to invite you to join us for the launch of SWADDLE, a thought provoking new exhibition by Dominic McKeown. Dominic received the University of Atypical’s Graduate Award 2020 and has received mentoring from artists Maud Cotter and Dr Colin Darke in the preparation for his first solo exhibition.

Accessing Architecture Exhibition

ISL Promotional video

BSL Promotional video

The Exhibition runs until Friday 27 January 2022 at the University of Atypical Gallery at 109-113 Royal Avenue, Belfast.

Below is a virtual tour of the exhibition:

ISL Tour

BSL Tour


strangely disjointed & idiosyncratic

Dara Condon was the recipient of the University of Atypical’s Graduate Award 2019 and we’re pleased to see this promising graduate’s exhibition realised. Dara’s inspiration derives from eclectic pools of thought drawing on scientific theories, sacred symbols and forms, mythology and the power of the natural world.

This is Dara’s first solo exhibition and he has created an environment that explores how the mind processes visual information on a conscious and subconscious level. This new body of work forms a constellation of art forms drawing from the artists life and his experience of the mind, memory and mental health.

Gilly Campbell, Head of Community Arts & Education, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented, “I’m delighted to see this exhibition from Dara Condon open at the University of Atypical.  This is Dara’s first solo exhibition, offering the artist that all important next step in his professional, artistic career.  After such a long period of galleries being closed due to restrictions, it’s heartening to see them re-open and enthusiastically welcome the public back to see art up close and personal.  There are so many terrific exhibitions going on in galleries across Northern Ireland and I would encourage everyone to go along and support your local gallery this summer.”

Booking required – limited numbers are permitted on site, please include your access requirements when booking your place.

Fittings & MisFittings

The DisOrdinary Architecture Project was established in 2008. Since then a network of disabled artists have collaborated with architecture, interiors and built environment students, educators, researchers, practitioners and other interested groups to co-create new and exciting ways to do disability differently in the design of built space.

Fittings and MisFittings is part of Accessing Architecture: Disability and Belfast’s Built Heritage by the University of Atypical is funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund Northern Ireland. The project researches the history of the disabled community in Belfast through the city’s built, industrial and cultural environments.
About DisOrdinary Architecture

The DisOrdinary Architecture Project starts from the experiences, expertise and creativity of disabled artists. We work through co-partnering and co-design to bring together artists and built environment specialists on an equal footing.

Our collaborations aim to generate creative and critical opportunities that open up innovative new provocations for thinking and doing disability (and ability) differently in architecture and the built environment. By learning lessons from what we do, we aim to become thought leaders in the field, and to influence attitudes and practices as well as the design of our built surroundings.

‘Where Do We Live’ Drawing Workshop

With James Ashe

James Ashe invites you to take part in a series of artist-led workshops that will be an expansion of his ‘Where Do We Live’ map project exploring the hidden statues and sculptures in Belfast City. The workshops will begin with exploring the Strand Arts Centre and don’t worry we’ll provide the creative materials!

In these workshops we will look at the built environment and explore the history of the buildings in Belfast. Participants will be encouraged to take photos to inspire their drawings and collect their own images of statues to create their very own map as part of this project.
‘Where Do We Live’ is a free workshop and part of Accessing Architecture: Disability and Belfast’s Built Heritage by the University of Atypical is funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund Northern Ireland. The project researches the history of the disabled community in Belfast through the city’s built, industrial and cultural environments.

Jacqueline Wylie – “Life Goes On”

Jacqueline Wylie began to document the impact of Covid-19 on herself and the spirit of her local community of Ballymacarrett in May 2020. Most of the photographs were taken while she walked the Greenway in East Belfast, litter picking and engaging with people, before she was furloughed from her role as a Connswater Community Greenway Leader. The majority of the images were taken of the neighbourhood on VE Day, 8th May 2020.

Now almost a year later six of these documentary photographs will be exhibited this month in the poster boxes outside the Strand Arts Centre including the duration of the festival.

The photographs at Strand Arts Centre form part of Wylie’s response to ‘Accessing Architecture’ funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund Northern Ireland and part of a larger project commissioned by University of Atypical about how disabled people experience and access the urban environment. This part of the project is funded by Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive, supported by the Department for Communities.

If you like Wylie’s photographs, they form the basis of a series of upcoming online workshops “Disability, Covid, and the ‘Second Shift’”. These workshops offer people with a disability the opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months by making documentary or reflexive artwork via photography, drawing and social media. This part of the ‘Accessing Architecture’ project is commissioned by the University of Atypical.

The work will also be shared and discussed by Jacqueline Wylie in a NIMHAF Instagram take-over on Friday 14th of May. Wylie has been working on research on how artists use social media to activate art. She is keen that the audience can comment and share their own ideas and experiences and hopefully this would get the word out and encourage people to take part in the upcoming workshops.

Jacqueline also has another series of work on the theme of loneliness on the NIMHAF festival website.


Accessing Architecture project is funded by Funded National Lottery Heritage Fund Northern Ireland

Skip to content