CCA is proud to present Fool’s Spring by Niamh Roberts as part of the Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts Festival 2022. The festival’s title this year is Gather in reference to our current situation of easing restrictions. Mental health, in its broadest sense, provides the starting point for Niamh’s new body of work that is on display during the festival.
Niamh Roberts is an artist and poet originally from our city and a recent graduate of the Slade School of Art in London. This new installation is centred around a piece of writing entitled Fool’s Spring and consists of a cycle rack, yellow light and poem. It includes an audio recording of the poem read by Niamh, a printout is available to visitors to CCA. When in the space Niamh invites you to lean on the cycle rack while listening to the poem. The full poem can be read below by clicking on the first page. It is also available to download and stream as a Podcast from CCA’s Spotify, iTunes, Anchor and at CCADLD.org.
The long form poem was largely written when Niamh participated in Frances Whorrall-Campbell’s writing workshop How to write a door and walk through. The title comes from the nick name of a fake season, naming the week of warmth that comes after winter and before ‘second winter’. It is, for the artist, a false start, a brief and urgent movement between periods of stagnancy.
Niamh is interested in repeating fleeting human interventions in their environment, whether seeing a person absent-mindedly moving something from one place to another, thinking about how a sticker got stuck on a wall, or screenshotting the bike ebay ad when noticing a butterfly on the frame.
The poem references the tone of the New Narrative movement way of writing poetry. Niamh writes auto-fiction texts that sound like they could be talking about their life, but the content also comes from a wide range of sources. Adopting the idea that all sources are as valid as the other, Niamh practices a way of making in which no hierarchy exists. Fool's Spring will be on view in the CCA Project Space for the duration of the festival Monday 9–Sunday 15 May 2022.
To accompany the installation, local artist and facilitator Jack McGarrigle will deliver a free public workshop using the themes in Niamh’s work as a starting point. This free workshop will take place in CCA on Saturday 14 May 2022, 1–4pm. The workshop is suitable for ages 16 and over. Places are limited for this event. Booking and information are available here.
Niamh Roberts (b.1994) is originally from Derry~Londonderry. They moved to London to study at The Slade School of Fine Art and graduated in 2018. A Pisces, a poet and an artist - they went on to read in public and exhibit sculptures, now scattered across various defunked and hard to find web-links. Summer 2022, catch Fast Glass, a group photography exhibition at Set New Cross, 15–16 April, Fool's Spring, in CCA Derry~Londonderry's Project Space 9–15 May, Carpeted Stares, a group show in AMP Gallery 15–19 June and 07803178250/07531313883, a two person show with Lowri Heckler at Set New Cross 2–9 August.
NI Mental Health Arts Festival is created by, and for, those who have faced mental-health challenges and who are often missed by both the arts and health education models -providing a space where people can gain insight & share experiences.