‘I have a lucky number 11. I don’t know why I call it lucky because it’s very rare that I would ever check on it…and I do sweat on it a lot. Never comes out…’
How we interpret numbers depends on our perception. They act as codes, possessing and relaying information to tell us about the world around us. Through our life, numbers can become interwoven with our identity. It could be argued that some people feel a stronger association with numbers than others.
The exhibition, Sweatin’, explores these ideas within the context of a working-class bingo hall in the city centre of Belfast. Traditionally a female dominated environment, bingo can be a place of escape, relaxation and mutual support with plenty of craic! Drawn initially to the subject through her own family connections with the game, O’Reilly spent intensive periods of time in the environment in question, listening and observing…and sometimes playing. Sweatin’ offers a portrait of Belfast, whilst also providing a platform for broader discussions surrounding numerical associations, cultural superstitions and the perceived notion of luck.
Helouise O’Reilly received the Catalyst Arts Graduate Award upon completion of the Masters in Fine Art course at the University of Ulster and is currently a member of Flax Art Studios. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and had work featured in the Belfast Film Festival.
This exhibition is kindly supported by The Fenton Arts Trust and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.