Elly Makem: 'Just Do It' Premiere

In these specially commissioned illustrated Digital Comics, Makem addresses the weight of having difficult conversations with family and issues faced within the male gaze.

Showing a conversation between two sisters with one of them being unable to tell the other what is ‘really going on’. It is exploring the radical courage needed to be authentic with people close to you, and how tragically, that courage sometimes never arrives. With the words left unspoken, a wall grows between the siblings and is fed by the isolation of adulthood.

“It’s Not Home”

 “It’s Not Home” is a miniature comic depicting the subtle violation of sapphic relationships by men in microaggressions. An innocent situation, that is penetrated without consent by a gaze that the characters weren’t aware they were subject to. Existing as a lesbian couple in public enforces you to play a game with a dominant force that you cannot escape, and the impact leaves a feeling of disgust. This disgust never goes up the food chain so it is often directed inward. 


Elly Makem/EllyMakes is a Belfast based illustrator, specialising in wacky remixed imagery communicating the feelings, fluidity and non-specificity of her reality. An illustration alumni of Arts University Bournemouth, Makem worked and studied in England before moving back to Belfast. She uses her work as an outlet of personal commentary on the socio-political issues of Northern Ireland, and contemporary living everywhere. Her work features themes of queer and lesbian identity, poverty, women’s rights, existentialism, neurodiversity, compassion, white supremacy, ethics, pop culture, socialism and CPTSD recovery.

© 2019 by Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts Festival. Website by What Elephant. Artwork by Conor Barbour. 

Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. Number 103013