BIAF23 | Visual Arts Highlights

BIAF23 | Visual Arts Highlights

Discover the rich offerings of our city's galleries through the BIAF Visual Arts programme, featuring a mix of iconic artistry and emerging homegrown artists (as well as the USA!). This year, the BIAF Film programme celebrates music in Irish film and gives audiences the chance to rediscover some of the greatest British films ever made on the big screen in Belfast's best independent picture houses. 


Victor Sloan – Beyond
Thurs 12 Oct - Thurs 21 Dec

Belfast Exposed | Free | 11am - 5pm (Tues - Sat) | Closed Sun & Mon

Belfast Exposed presents Beyond, a new survey exhibition of work from world renowned Irish visual artist Victor Sloan.

Containing both some of Sloan’s iconic works and a series of never before exhibited images and video pieces, Beyond gives audiences a chance to view a broad survey of work from one of Ireland’s major artists, spanning Sloan’s entire career. The exhibition features both Sloan’s trademark hand-manipulated conceptual images and a range of his documentary photography and video pieces.

142nd Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition

Fri 13 Oct - Mon 1 Jan / Ulster Museum / Free
10am - 5pm (Tues - Sun) | Closed Mon 

The RUA Annual Exhibition is one of the most eagerly anticipated exhibitions in the Northern Irish cultural calendar, providing a unique platform for acclaimed artists and emerging talent to showcase their artwork in the fabulous galleries at the Ulster Museum.

The exhibition contains examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and more.

The Next Four Years

Sun 15 Oct / Lyric Theatre | Free

If performance designers could offer new possibilities for Irish theatre after the pandemic, what shapes and sounds, spaces and acoustics, materials and formats, structures and hierarchies might they propose?

Join some of Ireland’s leading designers for a film screening and live conversation about the role of design in the future of Irish theatre, following the presentation at the 2023 Prague Quadrennial, as part of a national tour. 

Faith Couch – FOR LIFE

Thurs 19 Oct - Sun 26 NovNaughton Gallery, QUB / Free
11am - 4pm (Tues - Sun) | Closed Mon

A new solo exhibition by American photographer Faith Couch, exploring the memory landscape of Blackness and the folklore and magic that lives within it.

The artist’s preoccupation with love – in all its forms – has led her to pursue the creation of her own cinematic universe using the medium of photography. Through concentrated research on films as a primary source for learning about culture, gestures, and ideology, Couch creates images that look as if they were film stills.

From the Quiet Man to The Quiet Girl – An Irish Film Music Journey

Thurs 26 Oct / Strand Arts Centre / 7:30pm/ £10 | £7 concession | £5 for Film Hub NI Members

A celebration of Irish film music, and the role played by music in telling the great stories of Irish cinema over the past 100 years at Belfast’s iconic Strand Arts Centre. 

Join top award-winning composers from the Screen Composers Guild of Ireland and host Hugh Odling-Smee (Film Hub NI) as they explore seminal Irish films, and how their scores reflected the culture of the day. Featuring the music of Stephen Rennicks, John Williams, Mark Gordon, James Horner, Sarah Lynch, Elmer Bernstein, Cater Burwell, Van Morrison, Henry Mancini, Hannah Peel and Glen Hansard.

Häxan with live score by Nick Carlisle
Ulster University / £5

A screening of Häxan, the classic 1922 silent film written and directed by Benjamin Christensen, with a QFT-commissioned score, composed and performed live by Nick Carlisle.

Venous Returns
1 - 2 NovSonic Arts Research Centre / 7:00pmFree

This short film is a collaborative work initiated by visual artist Alison Lowry, aerial performer Kate Finegan and voice artist Jess Kavanagh.

Directed by Laura Sheeran, costuming is provided by threadstories and Lia Cowan, with a soundscape created in collaboration with Isaac Gibson at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast.

The showing on Wed 1 Nov will feature a post-screening discussion.

Cinema Unbound: The World of Powell & Pressburger
Various dates / Queen's Film Theatre / £8.40 / £7 concession

Dive into the cinematic universe of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, whose creative partnership in the 1940s created some of the most stylistically ambitious, thematically rich, subversive, and sensual British films ever made.

Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell and Pressburger is a major BFI UK-wide film celebration, taking place at QFT from Oct-Dec, and launching during the Belfast International Arts Festival.

Screenings include: 

  • A Matter of Life & Death
  • The Tales of Hoffmann
  • Black Narcissus
  • I Know Where I'm Going
  • A Canterbury Tale
  • Suspiria 
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