Female performance artists at work

Part 1

From 4 -9 March

“A culture is not an abstract thing. It is a living, evolving process. The aim is to push beyond the standard-setting and asserting human rights to make those standards a living reality for people everywhere” Mary Robinson

Humanism in process: female performance artists at work, addresses issues of feminism and art, promoting visibility of inequalities and strategies to address these situations, creating openness, awareness and supporting women’s wellbeing through performance art. Demonstrating how performance art has been and is a contemporary art form that suits the needs of human diversity and expressions of freedom.

The project resonates with feminist demands for spaces, activities and a culture for expression to their needs, demands and concerns. Since the 60s, women and feminist struggles have embrace performance art in order to convey their concerns, positions and demands, forming political empowered communities.

The female artists we have invited to this event have fought, embodied and influenced their artists communities and, to a certain extend, their societies, opening new ways to approach issues of gender through their artistic practice, sometimes under hard conditions. These artists have a valuable experience to share with artists and women in Northern Ireland and continue the historical rehabilitation of women’s rights and the humanistic process of equality, based on creativity, knowledge, reflection and debate.

The overall project includes invited artists Mónica Mayer (Mexico), Denys Blacker (Spain) Sandra Johnston, Jayne Cherry(NI), Aine Philips (Ireland) and SARC artists (Sonic Art Research Centre) Una Lee and Paula Guzzanti.

The first part of this project has been specifically dated to coincide with International Women’s Day, in March, beginning with a workshop hosted by Denys Blacker, followed by a Roundtable Discussions, Workshop Presentations, Solo Performances and a Performance Monthly Meeting.

Later, in May (6 -12) there will be a second part to this project, with a Workshop hosted by one of Mexico’s leading artists, Mónica Mayer. Further information to follow later.

Program March                          

Artists: Denys Blacker (England-Spain) Sandra Johnston (NI), Una Lee and Paula Guzzanti (SARC based)

Speakers: Dr. Cherry Driver, Bronagh Lawson, Conny Ortiz, Emma Cambell and the artists

Dates & times

Mon 4 – Wed 6 Workshop with Denys Blacker, see details below
Wed 6 – Roundtable talk/discussion at Ulster University, 6pm, chaired by Dr Chérie Driver.Thur 7 – Workshop Final Presentations followed by 60-120 Breaths (solo performances) as part of Late Night Art, Flaxart Studios, 6pm onwards.
Fri 8 – Performance Evening at SARC (Sonic Art Research Centre) at Queens University, 7pm
Sat 9 – Performance Monthly meeting, 11am, Buoy Park (Note: the International Woman Day march will begin at 12noon from Writers Square)

Event Locations:

Workshop and Presentations: Flaxart Studios, Havelock House, Ormeau Rd, Belfast BT7 1EB (former UTV studios).
Roundtable talk/discussion: Ulster University York St, Belfast BT15 1EDPerformance Evening: SARC (Sonic Art Research Centre) at Queens University, BT9 5BQ

Performance Monthly meeting: Writers Square Donegal Street, Belfast, BT1 2HB


All the activities are FREE,
except the 3-days workshop, £60, including lunch

Event contact: Bbeyond
Web: bbeyond.live
Email: bbeyond@europe.comFacebook:BBEYOND.PerformanceArtMobile: 07968643871


Denys Blacker

Denys Blacker (London 1961), has lived and worked in Spain since 1987. She has practice spans performance art, drawing, sculpture and video, and presented her performance work and led workshops for over 30 years in Spain and internationally. Since co-founding Gresol, a non-profit cultural association in 2002, she has curated, and produced over 20 International Performance art festivals in Girona and Barcelona, including FEM, an annual festival showcasing the work of women artists, now in its 15th edition. She is also a member of the international performance group, The Wolf in the Winter and a founding member of the EU funded project ELAA (European Live Art Archive) based in the University of Girona. She is the also founder and coordinator of the collective Corpologia.

Her current research explores the possibilities of telepathy and synchronicity in solo performance works and with the group Ocells al Cap. She has recently completed a practice-led doctorate investigating Synchronicity and Consciousness in Improvised Performance Art Practices at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, UK.

Paula Guzzanti

Original from Buenos Aires (Arg), Paula Guzzanti is a dance artist and researcher based in Northern Ireland. She is currently undertaking a PhD project at Queen’s University Belfast, exploring the experience of affect in collaborative performance-making. Her most recent music and dance collaborations include The Middle Place (2017), I-Reflexes(2016), and poetry and dance Knowing the Dance (2017). Her film and voice credits include the award-wining short film Me and My thoughts (Dir. Devek, 2016) and the performance piece Set Inside the Speaker (Choreographer Hall, 2017), Determinazione Per Piacere (ma non troppo) (Dir Newland, 2014), and SOMA (Dir. Newland, 2012). Her performance work includes dance improvisation, site-specific, screen-based dance and children’s dance theatre. She is a choreographer-performer member of Dance Ireland, and member of the Irish Society for Theater Research. Paula is a supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and dance artist in residence of the Down Arts Centre (Downpatrick).

Sandra Johnston creates site-responsive performance actions, video installations and drawing. Her artworks have often proposed diverse ways of considering the aftermath of trauma, particularly issues of location, testimony and empathetic communication.

Johnston’s performances evolve out of careful observation of different kinds of spacial and social encounters. Each work is directly improvised from these occurrances through activated various aspects of an environment and assembling actions generally utilising found resources. In this regard, the actions behave like relics salvaged from a forgotten moment: flawed, inexact, silent, and yet irrevocable.

Currently she is a Senior Lecturer teaching in the Sculpture Department at Northumbria University, England


Frances Mezzetti is a Dublin based visual artist, working through the media of live performance, installation with video and sound works. A graduate of the National College of Art and Design 1998, she has dedicated the last 21 years to making live performances often in collaboration with other artists. Collaboration is a large aspect of Mezzetti’s practice. In Mobius/Bbeyond Transactions 11 2018 she presented A Nose for a Truth with Mari Novotony-Jones. She is currently working on The Lucia Joyce project, with artist /writer Joyce Garvey. Previous collaborations of note are Appearances, with Sandra Johnston and Pauline Cummins, The Performance Collective and !Walking in the Way with Pauline Cummins. www.theperformancecollective.com www.walkingintheway.net! She draws on her life experiences and on her studies of how the body relates to given surroundings, (Amerta Movement and Move into life principles) people and relationships. Once she has done the research she lets that go and trusts in what emerges to arise spontaneously. !She received a MSc in Art Psychotherapy in Queen Margaret University Edinburgh. Her performances and installations have been in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Indonesia, Italy and the USA. Her work is featured in Àine Phillips ed. 2015, Performance Art in Ireland: a History, Bbeyond, Pani 3 among other publications.

Una Lee is an artist in perpetual pursuit of found sound and ways for alternative

storytelling. She sings, narrates, writes and tells stories, improvises, collects field

recordings and makes graphic artworks. She creates immersive compositions, and

designs her own performances and intervention scenarios, which can be either live or

fixed, or a combination of both. Many of her works, which are primarily sound-centred,

incorporate interdisciplinary aspects and blend performance art, visual art and theatre

practice. The works often address to time, memory and memories, and engage with the

notion of self-representation. She holds BA in Composition from Musikhochschule für Köln

and MA in Sonic Arts from Queen’s University Belfast. She is a current PhD candidate in

Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast. www.unalee.org


Emma Campbell has been a member of Alliance for Choice since 2010 and Co-Chair since 2012. Alliance for Choice have been campaigning for free, safe and legal access to abortions in Northern Ireland since 1996 and have affected the sea-change around abortion stigma in Northern Ireland. Emma was a clinic escort for Marie Stopes, accompanying women in and out of clinics and often spending long stretches in police interview rooms. She has also directly helped those in need of abortion assistance, and faced online harassment as a consequence. Currently a lot of her work involves campaigning directly at Westminster as local power has been put on hold. Alliance for Choice won the Liberty Long Walk to Freedom award with London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign and the FPA in 2017 and the Political Studies Association Campaign of the Year Award of 2018 for our work aiding the Repeal referendum in Ireland and the continuing work in NI.

Dr. Chérie Driver trained as a painter at Ulster and a Social Anthropologist at Queens University Belfast before completing her PhD on the ‘The writings of Griselda Pollock, Ireland, the ‘feminine’ and visual representation’ at Ulster in 2005. As a researcher she has worked on a number of collaborative research projects in the area of ‘art and its locations’ and specializing in art in contested spaces and art and documentation. Appointed Lecturer in art theory in 2010 Chérie teaches on Foundation, BA Hons Fine Art and the MFA Fine Art as well as supervising PhD Research Projects. Chérie was the Course Director for the BA Hons in Fine Art (2012 – 2016) and was the Chair of the Research Goverance Filter Committee in the Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment (2012 – 2018). Cherie curated the Catalyst Arts: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art X which was the tenth instalment of Golden Thread Gallery’s Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art Series, a project that forms a significant archive of Northern Irish Art from 1945 to the present. She continues to lead the Catalyst Arts Archive Project.

Bronagh Lawson

1st Class degree in Textiles Fashion from Winchester School of Art,  Fulbright scholar at Parson’s New York. Thirteen years developing cross community cross border development programmes on Interfaces in Belfast including many women’s projects. Digital heroes’ award winner. Named European equality specialist for EU Equal programme. Currently collaborating on a six year Hydrangea project a Belfast Chicago looking at using contemporary art underpinned by art therapy that can change the dynamic of contentious spaces and the people who come in contact with it. Completing project based on visiting every church in Belfast for a service over a 10 year period. Previous chair of Women’s Tec and Belfast print workshop. Board member of PS squared Gallery

Cony Ortiz was born in Bogota, Colombia; she is an enthusiastic, experienced artist and intercultural community arts facilitator, with extensive training in the arts, health and intercultural issues.

She also has:

  • A wide range of experience of working in the community sector
  • 21 years of involvement in community development work with all the diverse communities in Northern Ireland and Ireland. 
  • A good track record of facilitating her work with respect and understanding of the different issues faced by the different communities in N.I.
  • Extensive training in various aspects of the arts and intercultural communication 
  • Lectures at Queens University Spanish Language and Latin American issues to do with health and wellbeing  through arts, dance and games to second year medical students

She is always open to new situations, making them a learning experience and embraces working in group settings and connecting with others.