Opened Ground August 2021

Opened Ground turned out to be the last exhibition that Pollen Studio and Gallery hosted in Queen Street, Belfast. 

The owners of the building finally gave us our marching orders by the end of December 2021. 

As the galleries continue to open as safely as they can, we opened the exhibition for September Late Night Art. There were not as many visitors as we had become used to before the pandemic, but we enjoyed the company of those who did venture out.

We would like to thank Millie for seeing us out with a beautiful exhibition of work that included painting through to textile pieces. We thank you for your patience as we put this event in hold from March 2021 and hope to see you in our new home.


Belfast International Festival of Performance Art   2020

Pollen Studios and Gallery are pleased to host another performance art workshop for Ulster University undergraduates during the 2020 BIFPA event.

This year the workshop will be facilitated by Saskia Holmkvist with artist Shirley MacWIlliam.

The workshop will not be an open event however the outcome of the workshop will be presented in the Glass BoxGallery at the end of the week.

Saskia Holmkvist is from Sweden. In her artistic strategies she raises questions of agency and professionalized language is explored through fractured narratives, employing performance, orality, film and improvisation. A hybrid form of realism, Holmkvist appropriates typical interview scenarios to serve as allegory and example.


By creating mostly performative encounters between protagonists invited directly from their professional fields to interact through improvisation and in relation to site specificity each of the projects can be seen as a platform to perform, narrate, and share strategies, discourses or resistance.


As part of BIFPA2020, Holmkvist will work over several days with a group of Fine Art Students through a Workshop process. In this workshop, a former work from 2001, will be used as a catalyst filter to enable probing discussions around art, time and history.


Holmkvist will be assisted by Shirley MacWilliam, a member of Fine Art Staff. The resulting collaborative work will be presented as part of the BIFPA schedule. The work has been titled ‘Back Translation’ and will take place in the Glass Box Gallery on Friday, 21st. February, 3.50 – 4.50pm.


For more information about the Festival and the participating artists please visit https://www.facebook.com/BIFPA-20-Belfast-International-Festival-of-Performance-Art-1405359069774911/

Pollen Studios and Gallery has been based in 37 Queen Street since 2012. There has been a small turnover of artist members over the years, testament to the the strong bonds created within a hard working team of like minded artists with a passion for sharing art and culture and encouraging the public to visit the gallery. 

Time marches on and there are many changes in the air in the area. with that in mind we are hoping to relocate.

With that in mind Pollen Studios are looking for serious expressions of interest from artists who are interested in studio space in the City Centre. The building will accommodate several open plan working areas with desks for each member. There will also be a gallery space and members will be expected to participate in curation, installation and invigilation of exhibitions. 

Pollen Studios and Gallery is a charity. We have facilitated many events, free of charge, for a wide range of artists and hope to continue this programming during the current difficult time of uncertainty and diminished funding. We ask that anyone who is interested in joining us also shares hope. Our organisation is self-funded and we have not relied on any external funding for core costs so our continued work depends on the cooperation of our membership.


The benefits of Pollen membership are: centrally located studio space, opportunities to network and receive support from other artists experienced in diverse practices, opportunities to curate and organise exhibitions, SEO boosting website links and exhibition call out information and opportunities shared through gallery connections.

Expressions of interest to be forwarded by email with C/V and statement to pollenstudiosbelfast@gmail.com only. 


Belfast Open Studios

June 2019

Belfast Open Studios returns on Saturday 19 October, 10am - 5pm to provide the sixth annual insight into the tremendous creative activity that is going on all around us, all of the time

Pollen Studios and Gallery will be open from 11am - 5pm

Over 250 artists from 11 groups across the city invite the public to visit their studio spaces, see the work they are currently developing and catch a glimpse of the creative process in action. Some studios are offering drop-in workshops, tours and taster sessions throughout the day.


The Amabie Project June 2021

Pollen Studios and Gallery welcome Johanna Leech as curator and artist for this project exhibition originally planned for 2020. The exhibition will show Amabie (アマビエ) inspired artworks by 32 Irish and Japanese artists:  Aimee Magee, Shiro Masuyama, Clinton Kirkpatrick, Chie Yamayoshi, Gerry Gleason, Katrīna Tračuma, Jim Ricks, Nagahata Tomohiro, Jayne Cherry, Christopher Campbell, Izuru Mizutani, Kathy Marshall, Taiyo Tono, Grace McMurray & Elin Watson, Zara Lyness, Chris Watt, Yuji Ota, Grace Fairley, Tesshin Iino, Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell, Molly Hendry, Shunji OHNO, Paul King & Niamh King, Yoshitaka Hirose, Deirdre McKenna, Keita Ando, Fionnuala Doran, Emile Braibant, David Frederick Mahon and Johanna Leech. 

Shared studio Space Available

September 2019

Pollen Studios and Gallery wish Sinéad Breathnach Cashell good luck as she moves into her new studio home. Working for NI Screen on the UTV archives she is now based in Flax Studios at Havelock House. That leaves a space in our shared studio area for a new Pollenator. Please email the studio or contact any of our studio members.


Pollen Gallery News


Clay Conversation

June 2019

The Expanded Studio Project paired artists from two cities to explore new approaches to collaboration and produce new work. As part of this exchange ceramic artist Christine Stevens visited Northern Ireland at the end of June and Pollen Studios hosted a conversation asking her question ‘What is your experience of being an artist in Belfast?’ This was a hands-on experience as the process included an extension of working with clay during the conversation.
Christine was more interested in the conversation than the material outcome so skills in working with clay were not important.  She wanted to talk to artists working in Belfast, but not necessarily from Belfast, interested in the here and now, knowing that the question will mean different things to different people.

Belfast International Festival of Performance Art 2019

February 2019

Pollen Studios and Gallery facilitated Ulster University Graduate Artists in Residence running a performance art workshop.

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Pollen Gallery News


An evening of Performance

January 2019

Welcome to an evening of solo performance art in Pollen Studio featuring Timo Viialainen (Finland), Salla Valle (Finland), Sinead O'Neill-Nicholl (Northern Ireland), Elaine McGinn (Northern Ireland) and Chloe Austin (Ireland/Northern Ireland)

This event is organised by Timo Viialainen

Timo Viialainen is a performance artist, sound artist and visual artist based in Helsinki currently residing in Belfast. His first artistic live appearance was in the performance art festival Exit in 2001. In the early 2000s he performed mostly with sound and experimental music related projects. The first solo performance art pieces started to form around 2011 and since then he has performed in numerous festivals and events in 18 different countries. The performances he creates are always site and situation specific.

Timo Viialainen has previously studied music technology and theatre sound. Currently he is studying fine arts Fine Art Academy in Helsinki. To Belfast he ended up thru exchange program in the Master of Fine Arts in the Belfast School of Arts.


September 2018

Video-Install-performance by Eleni Koliopoulou

Sky-field was the third installation project by performance artist Eleni Koliopoulou that formed part of her practice based PhD research in Ulster University. The event was a video-install-action that explored and sought to expand our body's relationship with our surroundings. The audience become co-creator of the installation and was encouraged to participate to it.

Sky-Field is part of her practice based research upon the Butoh body notion as enriching elements of installation art (both formally and conceptually). Butoh is a contemporary Japanese dance form that arose in parallel with happenings in the Western art world. It encompasses a creative meditative state and body awareness, aiming primarily to an alternative dwelling of the environment. Install-action is a term coined by Brian Connolly and marks an interdisciplinary grey area of research.

The event was a welcoming and engaging experience commencing at 7pm and lasting for about an hour.
An informal discussion of the experience followed after the event, at around 8pm, where participants contributed by sharing their thoughts.

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Pollen Gallery News


Belfast International Festival of Performance Art

November 2017

The work was a group performance with a duration of just over 1 hour made by 2nd and 3rd year Fine Art students from Ulster University. The artists involved were Alexandra Hall, Phillip Keers, Marianne Dupain, Sinead O'Neill McNicholl, Lykke Soenderkaer and Natalia  Stojevski. Development of the presentation was led by Rachel Rankin, (BA Fine Art Graduate 2016 and Graduate Artist-in Residence at the University 2016/17)

Belfast Open Studios

October 2017


Belfast Open Studios, now in its sixth year, is an opportunity for the public to come and see how artists work and to take a glimpse into their creative processes.

Belfast is home to over 250 professional artists; painting, drawing, performing, filming and creating. A public open day on Sa

turday 21 October will enable you to see behind closed doors, in nooks and crannies of the city, artists are at work developing the seeds of ideas that result in artworks often shown in galleries, museums, art centres, artist-led spaces and various venues.

Belfast Open Studios is grateful for the support of Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Belfast International Festival, The British Council and Arts & Business NI.

Additional information is available at www.belfastopenstudios.com


Belfast Open Studios

Belfast Open Studios returns on Saturday 19 October, 10am - 5pm to provide the sixth annual insight into the tremendous creative activity that is going on all around us, all of the time

Over 250 artists from 11 groups across the city invite the public to visit their studio spaces, see the work they are currently developing and catch a glimpse of the creative process in action. Some studios are offering drop-in workshops, tours and taster sessions throughout the day.

Participating studios

Artists at the Mill (Conway Mill, West Belfast)

Belfast Print Workshop (Cotton Court, City Centre)

Cathedral Studios (City Centre)

Creative Exchange Artist Studios (Portview Trade Centre, East Belfast)

Digital Arts Studios (Cathedral Buildings, City Centre)

Flax Art Studios (Havelock House, Ormeau Road)

Orchid Studios (Corporation Street, City Centre)

Platform Arts (Queen Street, City Centre)

Pollen Studio and Gallery (Queen Street, City Centre)

QSS (The Arches Centre, East Belfast)

Vault Artist Studios (Tower Street, East Belfast)

Visitors can expect to see paintings emerge from blank canvases, initial sketches becoming fully realised artworks and sculpture being formed from the raw materials. You will be able to see artworks that have never before been seen in public, as well as ones that have been exhibited in galleries around the world. Most studios are also offering the opportunity to purchase work (Dare we mention that Christmas is coming up on the horizon - Shop local, support local artists!)

Part of the Belfast International Festival 2019. Supported by the Belfast Visual Arts Forum.

More information:

 (*will be updated soon)


Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/505439440289913/

# belfastopenstudios2019