The Recy —

1989



We were studying for an MA at Belfast College of Art with Alastair MacLennan the performance artist. He’d say things like “A primary function of art is to bridge our mental and physical worlds.” A small group of us on the course were interested in working outside the confines of the art school. Through local connections we negotiated access to the North Queen Street Community Centre in the New Lodge. This building had been the Gymnasium of the former British Army Victoria Barracks and we built an exhibition around stories of our own family members caught up in the First World War. These accounts lay part remembered but consciously buried locally, The New Lodge is a Nationalist area and this show took place only six months after Sean Savage, Daniel McCann and Mairéad Farrell were shot dead by the British Army in Gibraltar.

The Recy, North Queen Street Community Centre, Belfast with John Johnston and David Wilkinson. I made number markers cut from Highland Light Infantry military service certificates recovered from a fire in the HLI museum in Glasgow in 1988.