The Ground Between Us / Life Goes On
'The Ground Between Us'
Response to the festival theme of Loneliness
'The Ground Between Us' is Jacqueline Wylie's response to the festival theme of 'Loneliness' (May 2021)
Three photographs – 'The ground between us 1, 2 & 3'
Slow gif – 'The ground between us 4'
Photograph credit: Sarah Sanders.
The past ten years has been a period of transition for me, marked by states of intense anxiety and loneliness. I returned ‘home’ to Northern Ireland after twenty-five years away, I moved house 7 times, lost both my parents, gained a doctorate, and was diagnosed as dyslexic. Art making, such as these constructed photographs and slow GIFs, have helped me process this change, both physical and psychological. Providing a way to memorialise old familiar routines and acknowledge uncomfortable feelings of loss and disconnection as I take on new roles.
William Bridges refers to this stage of transition as The Neutral Zone, a time between the old reality and sense of identity and the new one, a state between the process of disintegration and reintegration, of confusion and distress when we surrender to the emptiness, and experience feeling of disconnection, loneliness and fear. This feeling of constant transition and becoming is the ‘ground’ I occupy as an artist.
'It isn't the changes that do you in, it's the transitions. Change is not the same as transition. Change is situational: the new site, the new boss, the new team roles, the new policy. Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal.'
From 'Transitions' by William Bridges.
'Life Goes On' - Scenes of East Belfast during the first lockdown
Jacqueline Wylie began to document the impact of Covid-19 on herself and the spirit of her local community of Ballymacarrett in May 2020. Most of the photographs were taken while she walked the Greenway in East Belfast, litter picking and engaging with people, before she was furloughed from her role as a Connswater Community Greenway Leader. The majority of the images were taken of the neighbourhood on VE Day, 8th May 2020.
Now almost a year later six of these documentary photographs will be exhibited this month in the poster boxes outside the Strand Arts Centre including the duration of the festival.
The photographs at Strand Arts Centre form part of Wylie’s response to ‘Accessing Architecture’ funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund Northern Ireland and part of a larger project commissioned by University of Atypical about how disabled people experience and access the urban environment. This part of the project is funded by Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive, supported by the Department for Communities.
If you like Wylie’s photographs, they form the basis of a series of upcoming online workshops “Disability, Covid, and the ‘Second Shift’”. These workshops offer people with a disability the opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months by making documentary or reflexive artwork via photography, drawing and social media. This part of the ‘Accessing Architecture’ project is commissioned by the University of Atypical.
Strand Arts Centre
156 Holywood Road
Jacqueline Wylie - Instagram Takeover - Friday 14 May
'Life Goes On' and other work by Jacqueline will be shared and discussed by Wylie in a NIMHAF Instagram take-over on Friday 14th of May. She has been working on research on how artists use social media to activate art. She is keen that the audience can comment and share their own ideas and experiences and hopefully this would get the word out and encourage people to take part in the upcoming workshops.
Dr. Jacqueline Wylie is a British/Irish artist currently based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her socially engaged practice explores how value is assigned to creativity. Working with a variety of materials (including textiles, photography, text, and social media) her current focus is on the ethics of social media use, particularly space/location and identity through the medium of constructed and documentary photography.
Wylie initially trained as an archaeologist, specialising in industrial archaeology and vernacular architecture. In 2017 she completed a PhD at Ulster University, with a study of contemporary visual artists’ use of social media and the consequences on their studio practice. The past three years have been a period of research and development for Jacqueline and she is currently working on a substantial body of new art work for exhibition in 2021.