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Edge Hill – Common Ground

Common Ground: Belfast 1993 – 1998. 6 November – 6 December 2008
Liverpool based artist Mary Fitzpatrick shows for the first time a series of photographs that chronicles her time in Belfast from 1993-1998.

Mary Fitzpatrick works with photography, video and painting to create large scale atmospheric installations depicting images of places left abandoned after conflict; pictures that result in an abstract trace of stories and presences. Born in Liverpool to Irish lineage, part of a strong community based in the city, her experience of Northern Ireland began from an early age. She
was inspired for her politically charged work during her Fine Art Master’s course at the University of Ulster, Belfast, from 1993 to 1995. Mary lived in North Belfast during the cease fires, peace talks and calls for reconciliation; the end game of this long standing conflict was where her interest in the hidden lives behind modern conflicts began.

Fitzpatrick’s work focuses on the edge of places: Border zones, check-points, and road blocks. Shown here is the previously unseen early archival work from a photographic project which traced the events within the Irish Peace Process, a pivotal time in Irish History, during which the artist collected and documented a visual record. The artist, who was based and studied in Belfast from 1993 to 1998, attended many of the key historic events at that time as part of the project. From peace talks at Stormont to peace talks at the Europa Hotel, demonstrations, rallies, and riots, the artist photographed notable political figures, visiting delegates including those from the ANC.

The documentary style of the images gives weight to the human face of a climactic situation while also highlighting our media-saturated experiences of a 20th Century conflict. Mary has exhibited in Ireland, England, Serbia, across Europe, and the USA. Her art projects have included themes such as the Peace Process in Ireland and the aftermath of the First Gulf War in Kuwait and on the Island of Failaka.

“I’m back in winter quarters where bad news is no longer news,
Where media-men and stringers sniff and point,
Where zoom lenses, recorders and coiled leads
Litter the hotels. The times are out of joint”
Seamus Heaney, Extract from ‘Whatever you say say nothing’

FILM SCREENING: On Wednesday 19th November 7.00pm we will be screening ‘Sunday’ a film written by Jimmy McGovern about the events on Bloody Sunday, followed by a Q + A with Jimmy McGovern and the show’s factual Producer Katy Jones.
BOOKING ESSENTIAL e-mail or phone +44(0)151 261 0514.