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Not exactly alive but not quite dead

Not exactly alive but not quite dead was the first event hosted by Pollen after our move to North Street. The installation and performance by Nina Oltarzewska, our 2021 Graduate Award winner,  was held in the Flax Project Space on the ground floor, directly under the new Pollen space. 

We were delighted to use the new project space, especially as Nina is also one of the emerging artists with studio space in the same building. 

Nina made a stunning performance and we are very proud of her.


Moving House, Farewell to Queen Street

With all the regeneration happening around Belfast City Centre it was only a matter of time before Pollen Studios knew a new home needed to be found. This proved to be quite difficult for a small organisation with a limited budget. We were delighted when Flax Artist Studios threw us a lifeline and suggested renting a space on one of the new buildings they had secured for their emerging artist group. September was a busy month as we signed the contract and upped sticks in a matter of weeks. We now live on thw 1st floor of 7 North Street.


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.


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. 


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.


Belfast Open Studios 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.

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Belfast International Festival of Performance Art


An evening of performance art

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.

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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.


Belfast International Festival of Performance Art

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


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 Saturday 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

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