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#MeetTheResident – Francesca Biondi

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We caught up with Blick Cotton Court resident Francesca Biondi about her business Gallery 545 and new pop-up exhibition in Sea Holly gallery which is on until 26th September

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business?

I am the Art Director of Gallery 545, a new online and pop-up gallery I have been developing in particular over the past year. Gallery 545 promotes talented emerging and more established artists based in Northern Ireland showcasing their art both on its website www.gallery545.com and at pop-up exhibitions in different venues. The gallery has now become my most important project, and I see it as the culmination of my work as an art consultant. I have been working as an art consultant for over five years, bringing together my passion for visual arts and my expertise and experience in management, art history and curating. I have been supporting artists and collaborating with arts organisations, interior designers and businesses so that I can display their art pieces at exhibitions and collections and connect artists with art lovers. With Gallery 545 I have expanded my work, as the gallery now represents twenty artists and displays their art also online and at pop-up shows, thus reaching a wide and varied audience of people interested in art.

Can you tell us about your new exhibition?

My new exhibition is Gallery 545 Pop-up: Contemporary Art of Northern Ireland, a pop-up show hosted at the Sea Holly Gallery, a new beautiful space in the heart of Belfast, until 26 September. I am delighted to work with the Sea Holly, as we share the same vision and commitment to promote artists based in Northern Ireland. All the works are both at the gallery and online at www.gallery545.com, and I will talk about them during a pop-up tour on Saturday 21 September.

What is the exhibition about?

Gallery 545 Pop-up features twenty accomplished artists and showcases a unique selection of different art works encompassing suggestive landscape paintings, vibrant abstract paintings, striking portraits, unique fine art prints, delicate textile pieces and innovative painted objects. It aims to highlight the diversity of their artistic practice and the wealth of artistic talent in the region.

Who are the artists that are part of the exhibition?

The exhibition features all the artists Gallery 545 is working with. They are established, mid-career and emerging artists who have achieved recognition here and many also internationally.  I would like to mention them all, as I would like to thank them and credit them for the unique pop-up show that I was able to curate with their art pieces. It’s a real privilege for me to work with such talented artists. They are Lisa Ballard, Natalia Black, Ronan Bowes, Alacoque Davey, Craig Donald, Dan Ferguson, Wendy Ferguson, Karl Hagan, Trina Hobson, Ashely B Holmes, Rachel Lawell, Aimee Melaugh, Clement McAleer, Rosie McGurran, Grace McMurray, Kevin Miller, Latisha Reihill, Charlie Scott, Anushiya Sundaralingam and Jennifer Trouton.

Why is it important to have pop up exhibitions in Belfast?

I think that pop-up exhibitions are crucial to bring art to new and varied audiences of people interested in art. I always choose welcoming and well-attended venues, spaces that visitors can easily access and where they can enjoy and discover art.

What advice would you give to emerging artists starting out in this industry?

I would advise them to find out more about local and international commercial galleries supporting emerging artists and to approach them. Even if these galleries might not be in the position to represent them, it is always helpful to receive their feedback about their work, as this can help them to identify other opportunities. Advice from other more established artists is also very helpful, as well as from non-profit organisations supporting artists, such as Visual Artists Ireland, as they can provide information about how to develop their practice.

 

If you would like to find out more about Gallery 545, visit www.gallery545.com or contact
Francesca Biondi – hello@gallery545.com / 07960 130414.
Gallery 545
Office at Blick Studios
Cotton Court
30-42 Waring Street
Belfast BT1 2ED

Gallery 545 Pop-up: Contemporary Art of Northern Ireland
Sea Holly Gallery
35 Hill Street (above the Harp Bar)
Belfast BT1 2NB

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Instagram post 2146534546907388553_295518986 The Time is Now // Life After University
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Instagram post 2146522697562419124_295518986 The Time is Now // Life After University
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We are excited to introduce our fourth panellist Alice Kearney who is a graphic designer & illustrator based in Belfast.
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"I’m Alice Kearney, a graphic designer and illustrator living in Belfast. My work is usually a good blend of both crafts. After I graduated from Graphic Design & Illustration in 2017 from Ulster University, Belfast I’ve worked full time in design studios and I also freelance on the side.
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Music is a big inspiration for me as a lot of the work I do is for the NI music scene. I work with a lot of emerging musicians and regularly brand Oh Yeah Music Centre events such as the Northern Ireland Music Prize and the Sound of Belfast festival. I wanted to take part in the discussion as graduate life can be a bit tricky and hopefully, I can help out another creative trying to navigate the world post-uni."
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Instagram post 2145969183333296990_295518986 The Time is Now // Life After University
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We are excited to introduce our third panellist Mark Fenning who is a Lens based artist and Digital Media Assistant.
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His art making practice explores photographic printmaking techniques, photography, polaroid and alternative photographic processes.
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His artwork is inspired by representations of masculinity in fashion and film.
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His Masters research examined creative employment pathways and he feels this panel will be a great discussion from different perspectives of the creative industries.
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Instagram post 2141429763846488942_295518986 Join us for our first Share 6 event of 2019 – “POWER” over @belfastdesignwk on the 4th of November from 7:30 - 9PM in our Belfast Design Week Hub.
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We’ll be joined by 6 creative industry speakers who have all stepped outside of the usual patterns in their specialist areas to come up with new and exciting ventures, to think creatively or change paths entirely.
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The theme for this year for @belfastdesignwk is ‘POWER’ and the word has its intricacies have so much sway on our personal and professional lives. Power can be seen as positive or negative.
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Power can be a constant struggle or it can be delicately shared. Power can be a responsibility that some of us wish we had, or a stronghold we wish others didn’t. Its dynamic is an integral part of the design industry today, and it is why we’re excited to be exploring this theme for Belfast Design Week 2019.
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Our speakers are:
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Lucinda Graham / @lucindaggg_
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Rachel O’Grady /
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Liam O’Neill / @liamonetwo
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Hannah Sharp / @hannahlizsharp
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Melanie Wiggins / @melwiggins
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Jamie Baird / @jamiebeardillustration
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Instagram post 2139968897393559087_295518986 @womenfolk.co & Blick Shared Studios & @creatingaspace have teamed up to create a unique interactive event with a panel of female design entrepreneurs based in Belfast talking about their experiences as a female entrepreneur , the journey in the design industry and how they have crafted their business up until this point. The panel will be taking place on the 5th November during @belfastdesignwk
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The phrase ‘The Time is Now’ came from noticing a change within Belfast within the creative scene. We love that there is a rush of women in design that are inspired to pursue their creative dreams. .
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There will be a panel of four female designers from different design disciplines and backgrounds discussing their perspective of achieving success within the design industries. We will be asking the panellists to share their story of how they built their businesses and what the realities they have faced in the midst of creating an entrepreneurial lifestyle.
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Book your space at Blickstudios.org
Instagram post 2139201445055334038_295518986 We are delighted once again to be involved with @belfastdesignwk now in its 5th year. Belfast Design Week is a collaborative festival, last year there were more than 100 individuals, small businesses and organisations involved in over 60 events throughout the week. The festival is a great celebration of Belfast as a creative city. There is currently an open call for people/businesses to get involved with this year's festival, if you have an idea for an event, are interested in volunteering or submitting an article you can get all the info here http://belfastdesignweek.com/
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Instagram post 2134439374883376928_295518986 -- NEW FREE WORKSHOP-- Pitching with @timtendo. Learn how to communicate your business idea and get people excited about your creative business. Wednesday 23rd October 6.30pm - 8.00pm. Limited places
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Instagram post 2130566333094774766_295518986 We recently caught up with Ronan Lunney interviewing him on his time in Blick after being here 5 years!
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He speaks about what he has learnt in business, how the Blick space has been beneficial for his business and top tips for people just starting out! To read the full article visit https://www.blickstudios.org/blog-posts/ronan-lunney-farewell-blog/
-We are also excited that he is facilitating a 4 Week Squarespace course starting tonight! He will be covering the foundation of what you need to create a website on Squarespace! To book your space today, visit https://getinvited.to/blick-shared-studios/blick-academy-squarespace-course/
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Instagram post 2130496273772954643_295518986 When you can create in a beautiful environment, inspiration hits and everything clicks.
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Our Malone Road studios always shines light, even on those hard full days.
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Always find your light! Today is one of those beautiful days!
Instagram post 2129828232236000981_295518986 Lovely day for meetings in the Cathedral Quarter
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Instagram post 2128335477504534457_295518986 Last chance to book! 4-week Squarespace course starting this Wednesday evening. Give yourself time to design and build that website you have been putting off for ages or learn how to tweak and improve an existing website.https://www.blickstudios.org/events/blick-academy-squarespace-course/