Alastair MacLennan, one of Britain’s major practitioners in live art, is Emeritus Professor in Fine Art at the School of Art and Design, University of Ulster in Belfast. Since 1975 he has been based in Belfast and was a founder member of Belfast’s Art and Research Exchange. He is also a member of the European Performance Group Black Market International. During the 1970s and 1980s he made long durational performances in Britain and America, of up to 144 hours each, non-stop, usually neither eating nor sleeping throughout. Subject matter dealt with political, social and cultural malfunction. He currently travels extensively in Eastern and Western Europe, also America and Canada, presenting “Actuations”, term he uses for performance /installations.
Sandra Johnston is a Northern Irish artist working in the areas of site-responsive performance actions, installations and drawing. Since 2001 she has developed an extensive body of research exploring creativity in relation to the aftermath of social trauma, in particular issues of ‘contested space’ and empathetic communication.
The artworks are experiential in nature, based on processes of improvisation and assembled using mainly found objects. The actions arise as propositions, whereby, audiences directly observe gradual accumulations of images and the emergence of latent relationships. Gestures are offered as ‘provisional behaviors’, existing like relics salvaged from a forgotten moment – flawed, inexact and silent. Within these situations, the artist’s body is located as an entity arrested in its sparseness and mutability to change.