This recent addition to the Belfast arts scene was built in the 1990s to support local artists and provide a space for them to display their work.
The founders of Catalyst Arts saw a cultural vacuum in 1990s Belfast. They wanted the project to act as a catalyst for art and culture and so it offers artists of all disciplines the opportunity to display their work: one example is when it turned the gallery into a sauna with artist Joanna Karolini. It’s an artist-led space, meaning that it’s run by unpaid volunteers, and aims to challenge traditional curatorship which can sometimes seem overly formal.
Catalyst Arts runs talks, seminars and music events and has an archive of over 2000 documents of Northern Irish art history. The centre has strong links with the local University of Ulster, and has shown the work of artists such as David Shrigley, Roddy Buchanan, Simon Starling and Bill Drummond.