Real Life Experience- Yvonne Kennan,  Hugh O’Donnell

Real Life Experience. Film/ documentary by Yvonne Kennan and Hugh O’Donnell.
Part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. 25 April - 14 May 2016.

Opening: Thursday 28 April, 6-8pm.
Opening hours: Wed-Fri- 1-5pm, Sat 11am-3pm
.

Ellen Murray, Northern Ireland's first transgender election candidate, is standing for the Green Party in the Assembly elections this May. One of the reasons for her candidacy in West Belfast is to 'raise awareness of the high rates of suicide and self-harm among younger transgender people.'
Northern Ireland is in transition. Old binary constellations: unionist/ republican, traditionalist and progressives, anti-pro-abortion, anti-pro LGBT marriages are beginning to be debated and understood in more complexity.
And people, like you and I, are speaking out loudly, claiming the right to be 'different', but not to be treated differently.
 
Real Life Experience, a film/ documentary about a transgender couple in Belfast, is not speaking out loudly, but gives the viewer a close insight into the lives of Adrienne and Michael in all its complexities, challenges, obstacles and love for each other.
15 minutes long, it is an honest, intimate and at the same time political film by two artists, Yvonne Kennan and Hugh O'Donnell, who met and worked with the couple over half a year. What they achieved altogether is not an issue heavy film, but a colourful portrait, part document part staged performance.
Though the subject of Transgender is always present and talked about, from hormone treatment, legal procedures to clinic appointments, the images often transpose the issue and politics to an unreal world; to scenes and conversations on a car journey or to personal announcements on the driver seat of an empty train.
A film full of condensed real life experience and refreshingly absurd episodes.
A short film to talk about- and act.

Hugh O’Donnell and Yvonne Kennan write about their project:
We had many adventures documented through the mediums of video and photograph. We enjoyed many conversations about tights, societal attitudes about Trans-gender, and identity, drumming, ballet, trains and cheese pie's (with too much pepper). We gained insight into the political and personal triumphs and hurdles for two people facing many issues around Trans-gender/ Asperger syndrome/Disability/discrimination and Love.

Thursday 12 May, 6pm:

Screening, followed by an informal discussion.

Everyone welcome



From: Real Life Experience- Seven Photographs

This project and its outcome is part of community as artist// workshop as exhibition, the key theme for PS² in 2015/16. Throughout the year, artists worked together with individuals or small groups from several community(arts) organisations and initiatives in a series of 8 projects, from a collective film project with young volunteers at an urban farm, arts& craft classes in a small costal village to a pop video project with gay young men.
PS² acted as agency to match artists with the desires and interests of the participants, as venue for workshops and meetings and finally as exhibition space for the outcomes of the projects. Each project will also be presented in an adapted version within the spacial and social neighbourhood of the participants/ groups, an aspect which shifts the presentations and its format away from an art space into real life situations.
The series of 8 community as artist// workshop as exhibition projects allowed PS² an insight and growing understanding into the complexities, pitfalls and potentials of socially engaged art and participatory processes..A mutual learning and discovery process which hopefully leads to fruitful outcomes, excitement and great new art.

Real Life Experience- Yvonne Kennan,  Hugh O’DonnellFilm still

Tuesday Drawing Class, lead artist: Duncan Ross together with a self-organised group of pre-pension aged creatives- see
A Portrait of St. James's, lead artist: Lyndsay Donly working with young volunteers at an urban animal farm - see
QueerSpace, lead artist: Sheelagh Colclough- see
QueerSpace, lead artist: Robin Price
Village Workshops, lead artist: Anne-Marie Dillon, weekly arts&craft workshops in the small costal village of Ballykinler
Hostel project- lead artists: Yvonne Kennan and Ciara O'Malley, a series of workshops in 3 homeless centres
Puddles, Fountains, Scissors, Rock- lead artist: PS². Project tailored for Belfast BabyDay, small children, their parents and guardians see
Real Life Experience, lead artists: Yvonne Kennan and Hugh O’Donnell, observing, documenting and performing with the transgender couple Adrianne and Michael.

Real Life Experience- Yvonne Kennan,  Hugh O’Donnell

For more information about the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival see.
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Images:Y.Kennan/ Hugh O'Donnell



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