Belfast Exposed is hosting an exhibition exploring transgender issues, entitled Becoming Christine, from 19th November, that includes a range of media beyond photographs.

The photographs are a body of work involving re-presented ‘selfies’, sound and video portraiture.

The selfies follow Christine Benyon’s journey and transition over a 12-year period and range in tone from the painful, to the playful, from the mundane to the contemplative.

This exhibition is part of Belfast Exposed’s three-year strategic plan to exhibit work about transgender topics.

The immersive sound installation and narrated artwork resulted from a collaboration between artist Amanda Dunsmore and Christine.

A presentation of Becoming Christine in the form of a video portrait of Christine will accompany the sound installation, photographs and accompanying publication. The video portrait depicts Christine outside her home in rural Galway; a home she self-built for her family.

The exhibition opens on Thursday 19th November and will include a live streamed artist talk featuring both Christine Beynon and Amanda Dunsmore on Friday 20th November, to coincide with Transgender Awareness Week which takes place between 13th and 19th November.

There will also be speakers and community engagement events (dates to be confirmed).

The legacy of Becoming Christine in combining specific artistic elements which together create an exhibition based in portraiture, is not only reflective of an individual finding themselves but is also reflective of the enormous socio-political change that has taken place in Ireland & England over the past sixty years.

Christine’s ongoing and remarkable journey to full self-realisation and the bravery of this act, make her a true pioneer. “Every time I go outside my front door it’s a political statement,” according to Christine.

Artist Amanda Dunsmore work explores how societal transformation is represented through portraiture. She works with video, sound, photography and installation. Through sculpture and media, she has developed her practice over the past twenty-five years. Her contextual portraits evolve through long periods of research and the work is often presented as a series of extensive socio-political / historical art projects.

Central to Amanda’s art practice is an exploration of potential future memory in society, the accumulative legacy of portraiture in archiving history and the long-term value of socio-political art making.

She has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally and her artworks can be found in private and public collections. Amanda is a lecturer and programme leader in Sculpture & Combined Media at Limerick School of Art & Design, LIT.

Amanda is currently working on two artworks representing female Austrian social reformers, commissioned by the socially engaged art organisation, Kunstraum Goethe Strasse xtd; a synthetic media/AI portrait, ‘Curling Up with Reality’ and ‘The Green & The Belvedere’, an artwork of a prominent Austrian political activist to be filmed in Vienna, 2021. Amanda is also currently writing ‘Accumulative Legacy Practice: Art Making as Longitudinal Social Archiving and Reflection’ a chapter for a 2021 Vernon Press publication.

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