Why is it Always December? Millennium Court Arts Centre, William Street, Portadown Until May 25. Monday, Friday, Saturday, 10am-5pm. Tuesday and Thursday, 10am-9pm
Curated by Gregory McCartney, this exhibition features work from X-ray Audio (Stephen Coates and Paul Heartfield) Nadege Meriau, Mhairi Sutherland, Fiona Hession, Siobhan McGibbon and John Smith.
The title refers to an Eighties song and the inspiration comes from the Eighties itself, to what is referred to as 'a hangover of a decade.' A rather empty time when, " …the hopes of the Sixties had come to nothing. Punk was over and everything was violent, grey and Thatcherite." In Northern Ireland it was a time when everyone had a religion and no job.
In Little Deaths, Mariau uses microscopic images to convert the familiar into something dangerous, and McGibbon exposes the monsters just beyond the edge of sight. Hession's Black Holes draw us into ourselves and John Smith recreates a portion of Elliot's The Wasteland (above), setting it in a bar, which is both compelling and beautiful.
These Days Are Persistent and Changeable: Martin Boyle and Lorraine Burrell
Golden Thread Gallery, 84-94 Great Patrick Street, Belfast
Until June 11. Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm
These Irish artists both live and work in Belfast, both studied at the University of Ulster and have exhibited widely outside Ireland. Both capture the small moments in life that often go unnoticed which, coupled with the gallery's interest in the juxtaposition of the real and the imaginary, is the perfect exhibition choice.