Synopsis of Exhibition:
In this collaborative exhibition, Katharine Paisley and Phil Keers join together to explore concepts of
control and reality. The exhibition consists of painting, sculpture, installation, film, text and audio
works. The title, ‘Control Room’ reflects how the audience will experience the works; in some works
they can control how they engage, in some they can only exercise their influence and in other works
they will be completely outside both control and reality.
Katharine Paisley (b. 1996) is an interdisciplinary Visual Artist from Co. Tyrone, who lives and works
in Belfast. She is based at Flax Art Studios, Belfast. Katharine graduated from the University of
Central Lancashire in 2018 with a BA Hons in Fine Art. She works as a Gallery Assistant at The Golden
Thread Gallery, Belfast and as an Outreach Artist. She is currently a British Council Venice Research
Fellow 2022 and a committee member of Flax Emerging Artist Project Space.
Paisley primarily works in painting; however, she experiments with the addition of audio and video
works- exploring how painting can exist beyond a 2D image. Katharine’s practice explores our human
made world and the consequences of this. Within her work she explores themes that demand
urgency, and which highlight a lack of control. Her work has been shown in multiple group and solo
shows nationally; and included in multiple publications. She has also been awarded funding from the
Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Phil Keers (b. 1994) is Visual Artist living and working in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is based in Flax
Art Studios and is a committee member of Flax Emerging Artist – Project Space. Phil graduated from
Ulster University Belfast with a Ba Hons in Fine Art in 2018. The following academic year he had a
year-long residency within the Fine Art course at Belfast School of Art. His practice considers
conceptual themes, investigating gender, sexuality, human emotion, and religion – with the common
theme of promoting mental health awareness, at its core.
His work is multidisciplinary, mainly taking the form of sculpture, performance and installation art
and has exhibited both nationally and internationally – namely Rebel Live Action performance art
festival in Bangkok, Thailand and The Northern Ireland Office exhibition Portrait of Northern Ireland:
neither and elegy nor a manifesto at The Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast. Keers is supported by the
Arts Council of Northern Ireland; including SIAP travel award.
Festivals like NIMHAF, are incredibly important. The festival encourages and fosters
communication regarding Mental Health, a subject which still carries a lot of stigma. This
makes the subject of mental health more accessible and allows lots of different ways and
means to engage with this issue. Art is essential in creating dialogue around mental health; it
brings in a diverse audience and acts as a vehicle for discussion and change. NIMHAF
successfully showcases a broad spectrum of visual arts, providing something for people of
all ages to engage with, with the promotion of mental health awareness at their core.