The Out to Lunch Arts Festival provides a little bit of everything, from theatre and literature to comedy and art, but It has to be said that the latter is rather poorly represented this year, with only one exhibition in The Black Box Café.
I suppose I shouldn’t complain, though, as there is plenty of representation elsewhere!
The exhibition, entitled Frankie Quinn-XXV, is a special retrospective for which, in the words of the programme, “Frankie has chosen a range of images which he feels best encapsulate his body of work over a twenty five year period”.
Born in Short Strand in 1966 he began photographing scenes of everyday happenings in Belfast and, later, beyond. His work has become quite collectable and he has had two major publications, Interface Images and Streets Apart. Anyone familiar with The Red Barn Gallery on Rosemary Street will probably have seen some of Quinn’s work, as he is its director and is frequently in attendance.
His images — sometimes shocking, sometimes sad, perhaps even disturbing — paint a vivid picture of life as it was and is, on the streets of Belfast. Conflict situations interest him and have taken him to areas like Bosnia and Kurdistan in the mid 90’s and in 2002 to Palestine and Israel. His images have frequently been used in newspapers, magazines and journals and he has exhibited his work as far afield as Australia and the USA.
I think, however, that it is perhaps the images of Belfast that are dearest to his heart. The images of people living their everyday lives in the midst of chaos, portraits of some of the city’s wonderful characters, are all testimonies to the irrepressible spirit of its people.
The exhibition is free, and for further details log on to www.cqaf.com or drop in to the Belfast Welcome Centre at Donegall Place in the city centre.