Flax Art was founded in 1989 by a group of recent graduates seeking space to make large-scale sculpture and installation artworks. The first space was found in Edenderry Industrial Estate, a former linen mill building situated on the Crumlin Road in North Belfast.
As the organisation developed the studios received funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council which allowed the organisation to continue a sustained growth by allowing artists to develop their practice and hold numerous exhibitions.
In June 2003 the building in which the studios where housed was destroyed by fire. Fortunately, this disaster, which completely destroyed the entire organisation’s contents, including all facilities and artwork, was not the end for the organisation, rather it was taken as an opportunity to take stock and move on and develop further.
In 2004 Flax Art moved into new premises on Corporation Street in Belfast City Centre. Most of the original Flax Artists took spaces along with some new additions. An area of 1,320 square metres provides ample room to house an industrial scale workshop, 7 large studio spaces, 11 smaller studio spaces, an international residency space and a communal fabrication area. A large mezzanine area accommodates the organisation’s office and IT facilities.
FLAX ART STUDIO HOLDERS
Alastair MacLennan, Barbara Freeman, Aisling O’Beirn, Martin Boyle, Tony Hill, Una Walker, Leo Devlin, Lisa Malone, Mike Hogg, Philip Napier, Johanna Leech, Helena Hamilton, Shiro Masuyama, Deirdre McKenna, Graduate Resident – Stuart Calvin and the International Residents space.
Flax Art is unique in its provision of space for artists working on a large scale and Studio holders have all made an impact on Belfast through public art commissions and projects made possible by Flax Art facilities. We currently provide space for 18 artists and have increased access to the facilities through an associate membership. The work these artists produce is exhibited or sited locally and internationally and viewed by a range of audiences. Facilities include:
an industrial scale workshop
8 large studio spaces (downstairs)
12 small studios spaces (upstairs)
a communal area
audio visual equipment
broadband internet access