A new performance art event exploring how the pandemic has changed people’s lives takes place in Writers Square in Belfast this Saturday June, 25, 2022.
Tairsearch, which is Gaelic for Threshold or Próg in Polish, is a collaboration between internationally renowned performance artists Sinead O’Donnell from Ireland, Selina Bonelli from England, and Marta Bosowska from Poland.
The three have been working together online since March and are spending this week visiting various parts of Belfast collecting material and ideas before their public performance on Saturday.
Belfast-based Sinead, who is co-ordinating the project said: “We are three disparate female and non-binary performance artists coming together to find new ways of continuing to make art in a post-pandemic world and to develop new and innovative methodologies that can be used by us and other artists.
“This project is about not just adapting and managing but acknowledging that the world has changed and that our practices will never be the same. We want to use this project to develop new ways of working that encompass the past and the pandemic, but that adapt to us and our future.”
Damien Coyle, Chief Executive of the University of Atypical, added: “The Tairsearch project addressed an important aspect of disabled people’s experience during the Covid pandemic, while developing new creative approaches for disabled artists, blending online and live elements. The work evolved during the pandemic and this final performance takes place as we cross the threshold from lockdowns and isolation into a new beginning.”
Both Marta and Selina have worked in Belfast before the pandemic and are excited at the prospect of collaborating on a new work drawing on their memories of the city and how it has changed since Covid-19.
Marta said: “Belfast is the city where I started with performance art in 2009 because it has a very strong community of artists. This project is very important to me going back to my roots. As an artist I am working with memory and borders and I love the energy of this city.”
Selina added that she was interested in exploring how the pandemic has increased and magnified the divisions that were already existing between people: “The pandemic exacerbated the fears we had and separated us literally and physically. The question is how we can come back together as that separation still resonates in our bodies.”
Created by D/deaf, Disabled and Neurodiverse artists, Tairsearch is funded by the Four Nations international fund by Arts council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of England, Arts Council of Wales & Creative Scotland and is supported by the Belfast based disabled-led University of Atypical for Arts and Disability
The performance takes place on Saturday June 25, 2022 from 2-6pm in Writers Square, opposite St. Anne’s cathedral on Donegal Street, Belfast.