‘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

Disability, Covid-19, & the ‘Second Shift’

The second shift refers to Arlie Hochschild’s 1989 book, which describes the labour performed at home in addition to the paid work performed in the formal sector. It is comparable to the extra hidden labour of people with disabilities, the necessary and reasonable adjustments they and their families need to function in society. We know that disabled people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and this project is an opportunity for individuals to take a snapshot to illustrate how they have been affected.

Lead artist Jacqueline Wylie will facilitate two zoom meetings to introduce participants to each other and discuss what artwork can be carried out independently and safely under the current lockdown restrictions. This is an opportunity to talk about topics like isolation, loss, and the realities of our lived experience and our daily journeys during a pandemic by contrasting them with virtual journeys on-line and in our imaginations.

Jacqueline will then facilitate a digital residency on Facebook over four weeks where participants will be encouraged to share and discuss their own developing art work. Jacqueline will share her own documentary photographs taken during the first lockdown, which will be shown at Strand Arts Centre in East Belfast in April/May 2021. This will form the basis of new work developed alongside participants, aiming to foster a supportive community for art making.

Finally, we will come together for another two zoom meetings to discuss a potential exhibition of participants to be curated by Jacqueline at the Strand in East Belfast.

BOOKING: These workshops are aimed at people who identify as disabled and spaces are limited so please register your interest as soon as possible.
Booking closes – 14 May 2021

Helen Hall – The Moving City

Dance/Movement Workshop


The University of Atypical is delighted to work with award winning local dancer Helen Hall in offering a series of experimental workshops exploring dance and movement to find ways of expressing our physicality of how we move through our city and surroundings.   

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.

Helen invites you to join us on a creative journey to collectively gather ideas around movement and what it means for you. No dance experience is necessary.  Your contributions will be through physical movement expression that you can document with a phone/video and through verbal responses, or whatever form of communication suits you best.

These responses will become the building blocks of an artwork responding to the concept of Accessing Architecture and will feature in an exhibition, compiled into a short film.

For the film Helen would like to gather input from participants in a number of ways.

  • Discussion groups or whatever form of communication suits you best.
  • Attending group workshops via zoom.
  • Responding to creative tasks. This could either be within the group workshops or as tasks set by the artist to complete in your own time.

Participants should ideally have access to:

  • something they can record their voice into, eg a phone. Or if you communicate in other ways, then a method you can share your thoughts, ideas and responses to the artist.
  • A video camera/smartphone for recording responses, eg, movement expressions or snippets of journeys.

Helen Hall is a dance/movement and visual artist.  She is intrigued by the journeys we each make to navigate through the city. As someone with severe sight loss, Helen has developed her own unique ways of negotiation and is interested in how this is expressed physically. She is intrigued to work with others, to find out about their own unique ways of navigating their surroundings. She is interested in working with participants to creatively explore this idea and give voice to these beautiful ways of being.

Workshop Plan

Workshop 1 – Discuss the topic and meet the group.

Zoom workshop

Workshop 2 – movement explorations around the ideas of taking a journey.

Zoom workshop

Workshop 3 – Task Set: to record yourself talking about a short journey you take. Think of everything you sense or feel or physically do.
Artist will give detailed instructions and a sample.  Send your responses to the artist.

Workshops 4 -5 – Discuss the recordings.

Task Set: make movement explorations in relation to the responses.

Workshop 6 – Task Set: Capture video footage in relation to the explorations in the previous workshops. Participants will have a number of days to complete the task.

Workshop 7 – Task Set:  Artist sends images and sounds. Participants record self describing what you sense or feel when you hear or see the images and sounds – memories and association.

Workshop 8 –  Zoom. Discuss and show responses in relation to movement to the group

BOOKING: limited spaces available so please register your interest as soon as possible.



Access: Please let us know your access requirements in advance, you can do this when you fill in the booking form.

The workshop will be captioned.

About Accessing Architecture

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.

Five artists have been commissioned to work with groups of D/deaf and disabled participants to creatively examine the built heritage of the city and contemporary attitudes towards access and inclusion in urban planning, design and architecture. This project will also contribute to a growing movement that aims to create a more integrated and exciting city for the future.

The University of Atypical is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

LOOK UP! with James Ashe

James Ashe invites you to download his Belfast map and draw on the blank side what you see in your area, interesting features of the built environment that sometimes get overlooked. He is keen to see the world through your eyes and find out how you navigate space, and encourages contributions from D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people to share their maps and notations of the buildings they experience.

You’re invited to upload your drawings and share them on the LOOK UP! Facebook page or Instagram page. Your drawing will be exhibited and incorporated into a large printed map and included in the Accessing Architecture exhibition later in the year and will be free to take away during the exhibition (Covid permitting).

Artists of all ages are welcome to take part, using traditional drawing methods or digital, it’s all good! Please tag your drawing #lookupanddraw and add a short description of your image.


International Women’s Day 2021

Niamh Scullion Reading
3pm – 4pm

Join us on International Women’s Day for an afternoon with Belfast based writer, maker and doer Niamh Scullion. The theme for this year’s IWD is “the new phenomenal” and Niamh’s prospects as a new novelist have us excited. You’re invited to join us online for a friendly gathering where Niamh will read a short excerpt from her novel in progress, invite you to join in a read-through of a short film script, and have a discussion on some of the themes.

Access: Please let us know your access requirements in advance by emailing – deirdre@universityofatypical.org


Image ID: Photograph of Niamh Scullion, head shot of face with blond hair tied up, wearing a white t-shirt and earring.  

7-8 pm

The University of Atypical is delighted to host I’M NOT NORMAL as part of the International Women’s Day 2021 programme. 

Responding to this year’s theme The New Phenomenal, join us online for an evening with the unique talents of multimedia artists Hari MacMillan and Michael Curran, both currently residing in Scotland. 

Hari and Michael will converse on the impact identity and experience have had on their lives and art practice.


More Info: www.harimacmillandotcom.wordpress.com

#thenewphenomenal #IWDNI21 #IWDNI2021

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