The Duncairn Podcast
Two local artists discuss their work in relation to the theme of race and identity.
In keeping with the Duncairn Arts Centre’s mission to inspire communities and showcase local artists, The Duncairn Podcast has been promoting the creative work of some of Ireland’s finest talent across a range of genres including music, poetry, comedy and visual art.
This discussion will be the first time the podcast has both been shown on video and recorded live. On the panel are visual artist Ciaran Harper and poet and performer Raquel McKee. Both creatives have been using the artwork to explore the themes of race and identity.
Ciaran Harper is a mixed media artist working primarily with oils on canvas. His professional practice is comprised of mainly figurative paintings and composed of found imagery which predominantly features those of Black and African heritage. Ciaran’s mixed Irish and Caribbean roots play an important part in his ethnic inspired artwork. Lately he has been completing a high number of painted portrait commissions for clients and following his passion for photography and filmmaking. Ciaran practices his craft in QSS artist studios in Belfast and is honoured to share the space with 30+ artists and regularly exhibit work in QSS’s gallery space.
Achievements include graduating university and being awarded with the Carson McDowell Price for an outstanding piece of work and working with Child Reach International to raise funds with a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. More recently, Ciaran has had artwork exhibited in the Royal Ulster Academy and the Titanic Building, and was selected by the British Council to be a part of a New Narratives project and visit Rwanda last February. This coming year, in October, Ciaran will be exhibiting a Solo Show in a gallery in Belfast for Black History Month and is looking forward to creating a body of work for this.
Raquel McKee, a Caribbean-born poet, storyteller and actress living on the island of Ireland is a repeated Arts Council of Northern Ireland awardee, and has been commissioned to write for the National Lottery Heritage Funded Links and Legacy 400 project run by ACSONI (African & Caribbean Support Organisation Northern Ireland).
In 2019, she performed her commissioned pieces at Gala NIA in Titanic Belfast, headlined at Lit Up open mic night, performed within her cultural workshop to Herbert Smith Freehills law firm, read at Hillsborough Festival, as well at the East Side Arts Festival, and at Poetry Ireland at the X Borders Transitions showcase, amongst other events.
In 2017 she performed at the John Hewitt Festival Week in Armagh; and returned in 2018 in the role of Asha in the Kabosh Theatre production ‘Lives in Translation’. Samples of her work can be found in Four x Four Issue 28, The Corridor Literary publication X-Borders Issue and Writing Home Anthology by Dedalus Press. Racquel has also contributed to a number of radio programmes and the UKUnMute podcasts.
The event will be hosted by Duncairn Writer-in-Residence, Colin Hassard.