Common Groundwork: BBeyond at CQAF

Common Groundwork: BBeyond at CQAF, Various Locations, 1-12 May (No Link, image in Dropbox, copy below)

Common Groundwork is an exchange between Guyu Action artists based in Xi’an, including some other Chinese artists and Bbeyond in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The purpose of the exchange is to highlight the Common Groundwork existing between artists from different cultures with the potential to open future dialogues and exchanges.

This common poetic and philosophic groundwork extends from ancient Taoists and Druidic philosophy, where knowledge and wisdom seem to transcend space and time, being and becoming more pertinent for today’s contemporary society.

This common thread of ancient knowledge merges; wisdom with love and respect for all things, with creativity, reflects a model for living and making art, and is even more important in today’s world, addressing the role of art and artists in society.

Performance artists cognisant of living a lived philosophy have the potential to become catalysts for change, something that begins with ourselves. A saying attributed to Gandhi; ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ is conducive for noble spirits and a good place to start.

Artists:  Chen Qiuge, Li Mengyuan, Xiang Xishi, Su Baiwei, Wang Pan, Mirror Huang, Pan Chennong, Lyu Desheng, Sandra Johnston, Sinead O’Donnell, Wioletta Ratajczak, Rebecca Strain and Rainer Pagel.


Date/Time Location
Opening Reception + Solo Performances Wed 1 May, 6-10pm 2 Royal Ave, Belfast
Solo Performance Thur, 2 May, 6-10pm Redeemer Central, 101 Donegall St Belfast
Solo Performance Sat 4 May 6-10pm Redeemer Central, 101 Donegall St Belfast
Talks/Presentations 7/8 May, times tbc, Ulster University, York St, Belfast
Group Performance, with BBDB, 10 May, 12noon to 2 pm Guildhall Square  Derry
Group Performance 11 May, 12 noon to 2pm Queens Quay, Belfast. (opposite BigFish )

See our Website for further details –

mother tongue

This group exhibition features sculpture, installation, painting, photography, audio and film and represents some of the most exciting contemporary practices in Northern Ireland today.  The diverse artworks in this exhibition are brought together under the title mother tongue, a term that evokes our relationship to language, and our (dis)connection to the land, belonging, family and place.

Curated by Ciara Hickey and Alissa Kleist, exhibiting artists include Brown&Brí, Jane Butler, Myrid Carten, Mitch Conlon, Janie Doherty, Michael Hanna, Jacqueline Holt, Susan Hughes, Dorothy Hunter, Julie Lovett, Phillip McCrilly, Jan McCullough, Emily McFarland, Tara McGinn, Helouise O’Reilly, Robin Price, Jonathan H.S.Ross, Christopher Steenson, Thomas Wells, and Yasmeen Mohsen Zaher.

The 21 exhibiting artists participated in the Freelands Artist Programme, a UK wide artist development programme that took place between 2018 and 2023 supported by the
Freelands Foundation and run by PS² in Belfast.

This exhibition has been generously funded by Arts Council of Northern Ireland, The Freelands Foundation and Esme Mitchell Trust

Image credit: Michael Hanna, 0.1km (Milan 2), 2018, archival pigment print, 30 x 45 cm

mother tongue Exhibition Tour

Saturday 4th May, 2pm – 3pm £3

As part of CQAF curators Ciara Hickey and Alissa Kleist will provide a tour of mother tongue. Please reserve your ticket at

Bua an Chultúir/Victory of Culture

Farhad O’Neill

An exhibition of sculpture based upon Irish mythology

Date: 2–31 May . Thursday,  May 2, 5 – 10pm

Exhibition Opening: 5 – 8pm. Performances: 7 – 10pm

Seán Ó Muireagáin – poet: 7pm

Torby: 8pm

The Shan Vans: 9pm

Following on from the exhibition debut at Feile 2023, Bua an Chultúir/Victory of Culture comes to 2 Royal Avenue for the month of May as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. “Bua an Chultúir is an exhibition of modern  sculpture, carved from turf,  and based upon Irish mythological stories taken from medieval texts.  Opening on Thursday May 2, the exhibition coincides with the Late Night Art Belfast events.

The artist, Farhad O’Neill,  has had a career spanning 30 years with exhibitions and commissions both locally and internationally.  He is pleased to offer this creative effort to the people of Belfast and is particularly pleased to have the company of other Gaels for the opening night.  Seán Ó Muireagáin is a well known Belfast poet who will be reciting on the night.  Torby is an exciting up coming rapper as gaeilge, and the Shan Vans are an exciting new Irish language rock band.  Their involvement will ensure a fun, exciting, and broad cultural experience for all who attend”.


Shiro Masayamas and Leopold Kessler

Smoke is an exciting exhibition and engagement project from two established international artists. Working in collaboration and with a dryly humorous approach, Masuyama and Kessler have developed twin responses to themes of domestic and urban space, guerrilla interventions and herbal substances. This is a two-site exhibition, with a video archive of the artists’ street interventions displayed in Threshold, Flax Art Studios’ window galleries on North Street.

Éabha Campbell

Over the course of the festival we will have our Graduate Awardee showing In Catalyst; Éabha Campbell. Éabha Campbell is an Irish multi-disciplinary fine artist. Specialising in traditional oil painting and the expanded practice of sound-based performance and video installation, their work explores themes of decay, abjection, and visceral experiences from a queer perspective. Campbell was awarded a First Class Honours in Fine Art BA (Hons) from Belfast School of Art.

‘Ukraine – Searching for the Normal’ Cathal McNaughton

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Cathal McNaughton makes a poignant return to Belfast Exposed this April, unveiling his latest collection of images entitled ‘Ukraine – Searching for the Normal’.

These powerful photographs offer a compelling perspective on the enduring political struggles in Ukraine. McNaughton’s lens has previously captured the world’s attention with his photographic chronicles of the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and with ‘Kashmir: Valley of Tears’, as previously showcased at Belfast Exposed. These bodies of work earned him the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Photography in 2018.

‘Ukraine: Searching for the Normal’ exemplifies his unmatched skill and empathy as a visual storyteller, vividly narrating the tale of a nation grappling with the turmoil of war while striving to maintain an aspect of everyday life.

Belfast Exposed, 23 Donegall Street, Open Tues-Sat 11am-5pm, Free Entry

‘He’s not right in the head’

FGB is a Belfast based street artist. His work often highlights important issues shedding light on topics that are often overlooked or ignored. He has the ability to connect with an audience no matter what age, gender or cultural background.

He’s not right in the head’ is an exhibition made up of two new bodies of studio-based works. 5 larger works are about finding joy in everyday objects. Using bright vibrant colours and a playful energy these pieces create a sense of fun and excitement.

10 smaller works have a more subdued contemplative feel to them. The sense of movement in each piece invites the viewer to slow down and appreciate the simplicity of each piece.’

Socials: instagram @francoisgotbuffed website:

Supported By



The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Out To Lunch are annual festivals of music, comedy, theatre, art and literature which take place in January and May in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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