Ulster Museum Residency

Collaboration between The Ulster Museum & Catalyst Arts
March 2012


The collaboration between The Ulster Museum and Catalyst Arts ran from March 2012. Catalyst Arts was approached by The Ulster Museum to curate an ongoing residency programme. The residency took place in the discovery Art room on the 5th Floor of the Museum. Each artist was invited for a month to create work inspired by the Museum’s collections and provide workshops to a variety of groups.

Past artists in residence include:

Jayne Cherry, Sighle Bhreathnach-Cashell, Charlotte Bosanquet and Martin Boyle.


Jayne Cherry

3rd March

I think we had about 150 – 200 kids on saturday who all engaged and produced some interesting images. most children feel he has trawled himself out of the ocean with a few voting for subterranean and one or two suggesting the sky or a new planet called ‘sweetie land’ and he lived on lollipops. . . . a few kids went home and brought their siblings back to the museum to demonstrate the wax resist technique and were quiet possibly an improvement on me.

no cold wax free casting today as it was too hectic and we needed a powerpoint to heat the wax cookers.


7th March

school class from lurgan – 1st years on a history trip – about 30 kids and two teachers. they noticed the moaning sound first and fell quiet. following a short explaination of my role in the museum and materials i like to work with they viewed malcolm and returned to the table to disscuss the work. intriqued by the cow horns and latex.

afternoon mainly nursery age children who mastered the wax resist mark making with thheir parents making work too. from 2pm older children attended and made cold free wax casts at my work table – very successful. these will fill the platform that malcolm sits on.


10th March

Busy day today, both workshops going full tilt and all age groups enjoying the 3d wax scale making. Interpretations of the type of beast ranging from oceanic type to giant squid to sky dweller and venus fly trap. Many different nationalities in today, bulgarian, american and australian.

Everyone is interested in supplying the beast with an exoskeleton for protection and are genuinely fascinated with pouring warm wax and seeing it become solid and ‘other worldly’. I asked if he could be a candidate for visiting during the ‘night at the museum’ event for children and adults who actually sleep over and go around the exhibits and view with torches. I stated that Malcolm would be deligthed with the company.

i am making work while there and this is on display in the workspace in a locked perspex box.


14th March

I saw a good amount of younger children again who were enthralled again and spent a long time looking at the ‘beast’ and then made images of him as well as his ‘planet’ ‘underground cave’ ‘deep sea cove’…one was able to tell me that the strobe light was a way of contacting others when noise couldnt be heard…..

i am working on an exoskeleton for an egg that we all think may well be the answer to re-establishment of the species.


17th March

I Thought was very quiet while the st.patrick parade was on but busy before and after. children got into making the cold wax free casting right away. grandparents and parents interested in how work was all made and inquiring again about where they can purchase my work. salt mark making explained and demonstrated. interest shown in attending classes.

Continuing to add steel wool, nails, etc to large wax egg.


21th March

discover art was booked in the morning so closed to the public. collage workshop also being offered to children as part of creativity month with the subject being stripes. weaving also offered.

Children still amking the cold wax free castings to make an exoskeleton for Malcolm to get him back home…..


24th March

Another fabulous day in the discovery art department. both workshops on offer and i added a drawing machine that spirals ink into an underground cavern. german visitors asking about the belfast art scene and completely enthralled. a ‘retired’ artist who claimed she had divorced herself from art was going straight home to break out the canvas and brushes……..


28th March

is looming and it will be my last day in the discover art department as i will be teaching these methods to art teachers on saturday 31st.

i shall be sad to leave this residency. it has been wonderful to share art and it many merits with children and adults and to see their sheer delight with what they can make with just a few marks. they will never look at a household candle and salt in the same way!

Martin Boyle
Genuine Replica

4th Nov – 2nd Dec

Martin Boyle produces work that is both playful and performative.

Using already existing objects, he re-presents mass produced items and packaging in multiple forms, through video installation and sculptural pieces.

His work highlights a preoccupation with ideas of value, or lack there of. Through the use of expendable goods work is made from the position of the consumer; dealing with feelings of anxiety, disillusionment, escapism and hope in the face of despair as well as the desire for personal freedom.

Always preferring to understate his point, he creates a context where the viewer requires time in order to view the work. Through subtle manipulation or illusion he plays on our need for immediate gratification with expectation to reveal, to unfold, to expose.