Belfast Exposed is Northern Irelands principal gallery of contemporary photography, commissioning, publishing and showing work by artists and photographers from Northern Irelandand across the world. The exhibitions, publications and photography projects with artists and local communities are accompanied by a diverse range of related talks, events and discussions. Belfast Exposed also provides photography courses for the general public and designs bespoke photography training for schools, colleges, businesses and community groups.
How We Learn came about after a prolonged period of organisational research, thinking about how we engage with schools. It followed on from a 3 year schools programme called START which ended in 2013.
The artists included in the How We Learn exhibition have been instrumental in developing collaborative practice with children and researching the psychological and physical spaces in which learning takes place. Wendy Ewald has built her internationally influential practice by using photography as a tool through which children can articulate and question their identity and experience. In Julian Germain’s series of Classroom Portraits the artist has made a survey of classroom interiors from around the globe. The exhibition also represents a significant body of research into a childs psychological and emotional development through photographic practice in the portraits by James Russell Cant and Wendy McMurdo.
Within the exhibition we are also excited to exhibit new work produced in a collaborative project over the last six months between artist Marysa Dowling, Belfast Exposed and three partner schools in Northern Ireland; St Malachy’s Primary School, Meadowbridge Primary School and Sacred Heart Primary School. We wanted to create a project that could explore and push the possibilities for photography within a schools structure and create something that met the needs of teachers but was also part of a broader curatorial framework. Marysa began the project by looking at some of the work by the aforementioned artists to the teachers and pupils, opening up a range of different types of photography. Over the course of her residency within the schools and also through a postal and email exchange Dowling worked closely with the teachers and pupils to find a focus for the project and then share skills, direct and edit final work which will be included as part of the final How We Learn exhibition.
From this process of working with teachers, pupils and an artist we have developed a new Schools Programme that will launch during the How We Learn exhibition and will begin in September 2014. To find out more or to get involved in the programme, please check our website on www.belfastexposed.org.
The exhibition will include a major talks programme on and will support an extensive programme of school tours and workshops.
How We Learn is supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council of Northern Ireland and will coincide with the first Belfast Childrens Photography Festival.