Rosie’s Fascinating Paintings and Belfast’s Ring of Steel Reborn

Rosie’s McGurran is no stranger to this column with her groundbreaking exposure experience at Féile an Phobail catapulting her into her first professionally written review and numerous opportunities both at home and abroad.

She has a new online exhibition with Gallery 545 featuring a series of paintings inspired by the people and places of Belfast, moments of growth and transformation in her life and imaginary characters. Suspended between reality and fantasy, the works tell stories of the past – of life in the city and of the artist, but above all stories of a timeless imaginary world.

“In these paintings, realistic characters and familiar places combine or alternate with characters and views of a fantasy world,” explains gallery owner Francesca Bondi. as self-centered, independent or contained. All of the works have illustrative or theatrical qualities, enticing the viewer to read or create stories recounting the lives and adventures of these captivating female figures.

These paintings are a new direction for Rosie who is usually based in Roundstone but has returned to Belfast during lockdown – gazing at the city with new eyes suspended between reality and memory. It’s a bit like many of us living in the city who have experienced a lot of things that we remember but see the landscape of the city changing around us on a daily basis.

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WILD SENSATION: “We All Gathered” by Rosie McGurran

Imagine if you could how it could look like a work of art?

Rosie’s exhibition at Gallery 545 opens to the public at Blick Studios 51 Malone Road from Saturday 26 March to 10 April.

Meanwhile, to mark 50 years since the construction of the lifeline known as the “Ring of Steel” around Belfast city centre, Kabosh, in collaboration with Professor Kate Catterall from the University of Texas, will present “Drawing the Ring of Steel” on Thursday, March 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

THE WAY WE WERE: Security barriers in Callender Street where shoppers were searched before being allowed into the city center
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THE WAY WE WERE: Security barriers in Callender Street where shoppers were searched before being allowed into the city center

Taking place at each of the former main ‘Ring of Steels’ entry and exit points in and out of Belfast city center – Donegall Place, Royal Avenue, Castle Street and High Street – this free 12-hour theatrical event aims to use one of the few culturally mutual experiences of the conflict to facilitate storytelling between communities and between generations.

For those of us who have memories of these barriers, there will be people ready to record any memories you would like to share. Actors in 70s costume will recreate the movements that happened in the spaces.

Paula McFetridge, creative director of Kabosh, says ‘Drawing the Ring of Steel’ aims to highlight how Belfast city center has developed since that time into an inclusive shared space.

“This will ensure that the stories of the older generation are heard and preserved and will help younger generations and those with no ‘Ring of Steel’ experience to appreciate both the journey that has been made and the distance that we have yet to go,” she says.

Finally, the imagine Belfast festival continues this week and the UK Creativity team have launched a call for paid staff to work on the Our Place in Space project taking place on Divis and Black Mountain in June (and featured in the column of last week). You can email the Nerve Center organizers for more information.

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