Now Playing Tracks

loreenduddy asked:

Hey! My name is Loreen and I work as a jounalist for Big Buzz Magazine. I really like your blog and you interest in street art. Was wondering if you could do a wee interview for the magazine? Much love,Loreen

Hi Loreen thanks for getting in touch – yes that is a great idea! Call the museum on 028 9042 8428 and ask to speak to the web team. We’ll take it from there.

Sadly there is only a month left of Street Art and Tags not Labels.

We have been overwhelmed by the positive response from people an it’s great to see so many enjoying the exhibition and the programme of events. Our regular visitors have been really impressed that the Ulster Museum is doing something so different and we have also attracted new visitors, who have come specifically to see Street Art and Tags not Labels and then stayed to see everything else.  Think we may have a few lifelong museum fans!

Our workshops have been really popular too, both ‘This is Friz’ and ‘Street Art with KVLR’ were full to capacity and lots of fun. Here are some photos from both the days. It was great having so many people, covering a wide range of ages and interests, all getting stuck in.





There are also a few free drop-in events. T-13 are back in the Welcome Area, with FloorB Break Dance School demonstrating and teaching.  Then next Tuesday there is going to be an exciting debate discussing the different types of street art in Belfast and whether political murals and street art can be considered in the same genre. We have people from both sides of the argument presenting and who ever attends is welcome to share their thoughts too. This topic has come up at a few of our events so far and provides much food for thought and discussion.  We’ve changed our minds a few times on the way and we’re sure you will too! We’re looking forward to seeing what comes out of this, maybe we’ll even define brand a new type of art….

We also have our final graffiti living room session with Nuala Maguire :(.  If you’re in the museum between now and then have a look around to see where the installation is ‘living’, and check out its progress.

Before all the workshops started I took a couple of days off to visit Kilkenny and attend the Deirdre McLoughlin exhibition. Though graffiti still wasn’t far from my mind…. I walked into a junk shop and foundthis book:


Showing that the trend for recording graffiti has been going on since at least the 1970s!



So, it’s nearly time for the first Tags not Labels workshop…

Friz, the artist behind the Queen Meabh piece, will be demonstrating how she creates her work. What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and it’s only £3! Follow this link if you would like to come along as booking is necessary.

Also do keep an eye out around Belfast for the leaflets showing the other workshops and events we have planned.

On the subject of workshops, our graffiti living room installation with Nuala Maguire has expanded beyond the walls of the museum. Along with the Live and Learn team, Nuala has created these amazing cross-stitch packs:


They are being sent out to Live and Learn group members to complete, so that they can create their own piece of street art. Once returned we will add them to the graffiti living room installation, which is now on display in Discover Art.  This has been so popular we have had Live and Learn members begging us for more packs, a perfect example of how street art can become infectious and everyone can contribute!

Even though the exhibition is up we are still gathering lots of examples of street art. Here are some recent examples of some work we have found. If you find anything interesting around the city feel free to upload your pictures to the Ulster Museum’s Facebook page.


Happy New Year!

We hope you all had a very merry festive break and are enjoying the start of 2012.

We all arrived back at work this week very excited about the new year and the start of the programme of events for Street Art and Tags Not Labels.

Our first workshop is on the Saturday the 21st and is with Tags not Labels artist Marian Noone aka ‘Friz’.


If you want discover how she creates these amazing pieces of work and to meet the artist herself please call 028 9044 0000 to book a place. Tickets for the workshop are £3.

Also if you want to check out the other events we have planned for this exhibition have a look at the pdf for our upcoming leaflet.

Textile Graffiti

We promised you a while ago that we would provide you with a better image of Nuala Maguire’s work for Tags not Labels. Here are some more pictures of the amazing masks she made, they are all based on mouths from graffiti.


It doesn’t stop there, Nuala has adorned other things with her embroidery graffiti. This is a close up of the cardigan she was wearing at the last workshop. We ALL want one now!!!

If you want to see more of what Nuala gets up to check out her Facebook group Haberdashersystemsmasher 

You will hear more from us after Christmas about Nuala’s work with the Ulster Museum and other events that are going with the Street Art and Tags not Labels. In the meantime you can get information off our website 

If you fancy coming to see the exhibitions over the Christmas period the Ulster Museum opening hours are:

Christmas Opening times 

Friday 23 December 10.00 to 17.00

Saturday 24 December  Closed

Sunday 25 December Closed

Monday 26 December Closed

Tuesday 27 December - Saturday 31 December 10.00 to 17.00

Sunday 1 January 2012 10.00 to 17.00

Monday 2 January 2012 10.00 to 17.00

Also if this weather keeps up and you want to go on a street art hunt with friends and family over the holiday print off this map, which can also be found in the exhibition:

Merry Christmas!!! Hope you enjoy the Christmas street art we found





Open to the public!!

It’s hard to believe but Street Art and Tags not Labels are now open to the public, and the response so far has been amazing! 

Once the Tags not Labels artists had finished the exhibitions came together very quickly. The V&A  (Victoria & Albert Museum) courier arrived a week before the opening, with all of the prints for the Street Art exhibition. A day was spent unpacking and condition checking the prints, and then we got the fun job of setting everything out and deciding where each print was going. A lot of this had been arranged beforehand as we had to decided groupings etc.


These final days were also spent installing the light boxes in Tags not Labels, proofreading labels and organising all of those last minute details for the opening . We also got very excited (actually screamed! We should probably get out more…..) when the postcards landed in the shop.

Then we were finally ready for the big day! It was a busy day with press in the morning and the opening event in the evening. Everyone was very excited about the opening, as it was the so very different from what we usually do.

T13 and the artists arrived early to set up for the event. Tim McCarthy and Dave McClelland impressed the guests with their live painting, really giving context and background to the theme of the exhibition.  They will also be carrying out further demonstrations throughout  the course of the exhibition.

And the T13 guys dazzled us with their performances of parkour and flatland BMX (though it did make some of us a little nervous!).

Our Audio Technical Officer, Peter Carson, filmed much of the opening and the performances, which he then edited together with the filming he had done of the Tags not Labels artists at work. This included interviews with the artists and a very impressive time lapse film (spot some of the art department up and down the ladders).  Here it is:

Though the excitement didn’t end there! We were all still recovering from Thursday and the craziness of putting up such great exhibitions, when on Sunday morning we were thrilled to be greeted by this as we came into the museum:


Some of you (complete street art geeks like us!) may be aware of the longstanding ‘feud’ between Banksy and King Robbo, the original master of British Street Art. This was highlighted in the film ‘Graffiti Wars’ on Channel 4, and has been documented in the press.Clearly a talented visitor to the museum felt the need for there to be a shout out to Robbo for this exhibition!

The exhibition is nearly ready!

Well the V&A Street Art prints arrived safely and we have nearly finished installing the entire exhibition.

As we are very busy getting everything ready thought we would post some pictures from Bristol.  The Head of Art, Kim Mawhinney, was there at the weekend and went on a street art hunt.  She took lots of pictures that she sent to us whilst we were with the Street Artists painting in the gallery. We’ve all gone Street Art mad!!




Street Art on the Gallery Walls

We’ve been very busy the last few weeks putting together the gallery design, choosing the photos for display and organising the program of events for the Street Art/Tags not Labels exhibitions. We have also been planning an opening like no other that has been seen before at the Ulster Museum, so apologies for no blog activity over the last week. Though we do have lots we want to show you, which we will be posting up over the next few days.

The big day arrived on Saturday when the artists came into the galleries to paint their work on the walls. And we can now FINALLY reveal who the artists are!!

First up is Friz. Whose work you may recognise around Belfast, check out her website to see if you know it. You may have come across her work elsewhere, such as Winter Base and other urban arts events.  You will also have the opportunity to take part in a workshop lead my Friz (more shall be revealed later!).

Next we have Lucas, who also has his own distinctive style. He is originally from Belfast but spends time in London, where his work can be seen on closed shop fronts and shutters. He feels developing rundown walls has a positive effect on members of the community. This is also why he creates such bright and playful pieces of work.
KVLR is another of the four artists, he is Belfast based and has been developing a strong style and following over a number of years. It is hard to go to the many graffiti sites in Belfast and not see a piece by him, have a look at his site. KVLR will also be leading a Street Art workshop through the exhibitions programming. Details of which we will published soon.

And last but definitely not least we have DOC, who turns the more traditional art of graffiti lettering completely on its head. You can see the transformation and incredible amount of detail that has been added to this when you visit the exhibition.

Now we don’t want to reveal too much of the artist’s work in the gallery are a few shots to give an idea of what has been going on:




On the first day of the work being painted  in the gallery we had contemporary needle work artist Nula Maguire back running one of her great workshops. We were set up in the applied art gallery where we got a lovely relaxed sewing came together and there was  lots more additions to the Tags not Labels installation.


Nuala also did a large amount of work beforehand making these wonderful can cosys and masks that we all loved, including the artists!!

Will show more detailed photographs of the great masks in the next few days!

Tags Not Labels

The date for the opening of Street Art and Tags Not Labels is fast approaching and we are busier than ever at the Ulster Museum, organising everything for the exhibitions. The main development this week has been the selection of the four artists who will be painting inside one of the art galleries.

The selection proved very difficult, as the standard of work submitted was so high. We knew that the vibrant street art scene in Belfast held a lot of talent, but had no idea about the amount of bold and innovative work we would receive!

All the work went through a scored selection panel. The four selected artists will be featured on this blog next week. As the standard of work was so high we felt we had to involve some of the ‘runner-up’ artists in the programming for the exhibition, including live painting and workshops.

We are also working in partnership with groups such as Re-Ink-Our-Nation and T13. We visited T13’s space down in the Titanic Quarter to have a chat about how they are going to be involved with the exhibition.  We were very impressed with the massive multifunctional space that facilitates sport, art and dance. We can’t wait to start this exciting new partnership!



Many elements need to be designed and organised when putting together an exhibition. We have to collaborate with people in a multitude of roles, such as designers, conservators, joiners, galley staff, marketing teams, education staff, the museum shop and many more. This week we have mainly been working with the marketing team and designers to organise the design, opening night and promotion for the exhibition. So we can now show you the next exciting development, the logo:


As well as organising the exhibition we have been undertaking wider street art research, so we can show that it is about more than just paint on walls. Through this we came across this little chap lying on the pavement in Shaftsbury Square:


It reminded us of the London based artist Slinkachu:





Other Street Artists use this method to be creative in the urban environment, such as Mark Jenkins:




Follow this link to try something similar at home, we might try and give it a go ourselves this weekend.

Tags Not Labels… An Introduction…

There has been a lot of excitement at the museum over the last few months. We have been installing three exhibitions; The Queen: Art and Image, Silent Echoes: Recent Acquisitions and Post-war International Art, and the 130th Annual Royal Ulster Academy Exhibition. We had a hectic but enjoyable time working on all these different projects at the same time and it has been exciting to see such diverse work going on display in the Ulster Museum. The public response has also been terrific, and it’s great to see the galleries so busy with enthusiastic people.  But things never stop at the museum, and now it’s time to throw ourselves into the organisation for our next art exhibition, Street Art.

Street Art is a V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum) touring exhibition of prints of work from famous street artists, including Banksy Jamie Hewlett, Pure Evil and D*Face. Alongside this exhibition we want to showcase the local street art talent that we have in Belfast, and also illustrate how street art is not just spray paint on walls but can be many forms of art placed in the urban environment. This part of the exhibition is entitled Tags not Labels, a play on the fact that in museums we are obsessed with labelling things! We also want to show that street art shouldn’t just be ‘labelled’ as graffiti. Both exhibitions will open their doors to you on Friday 9th December.

We will explain more about the different aspects of Tags not Labels in the coming weeks.

To showcase the local street art we set up a commission for artists to apply to. Up to four artists will be selected to paint onto the walls of one of our art galleries, next to the very gallery where the acclaimed works in the V&A’s Street Art exhibition will be shown. Alongside this we will be showcasing the best of the photographs we have gathered of street art around the city over the past year.

As this has been the last week for the submission we have been looking at the artwork coming in. The submissions so far have been fantastic and a wonderful insight into the street art that is going on in Belfast. We definitely have a hard task ahead of us when selecting the final works!!! Though we are very much looking forward to it.

This week we also met up with textile artist Nuala Maguire, who we have been working with for the workshop programming. You may have meet her if you visited us in the Art College on Culture Night, where we launched our Tags not Labels commission with our ‘graffiti living room’ installation, inviting people to add to the installation by sewing samples of street art around Belfast.



We want to add to this installation over the course of the exhibition, so you will see it popping up at different points. We were meeting up with Nuala to decide what exciting sewing opportunities we were going to provide for the public and see what we needed to gather. If anyone was as equally frustrated as us on Culture Night by our stupidly small needles you will know that top of the list is ‘buy easy to thread large needles!!’


We’re off now to compile the invite list for the exhibition launch and meet with our Marketing  department to choose the logo for the exhibitions. We hope to be able to unveil the chosen one to you next week!


Here are some interesting pieces of street art or guerrilla textile art for you to peruse over until you next hear from us!  

This is Ulrika Erdes, a Swedish artist who practices ‘public embroidery’:



Jennifer Weir is another local artist:


And of course Nuala Maguire’s lovely work for Tags not Labels, making the doily a lot more appealing! :





Stitched spray paint!!

We make Tumblr themes