My Name is MayaGallery 2
7th Oct 2021 to 30th Oct 2021
About The Exhibition
Belfast Exposed presents a solo photographic exhibition that showcases new photographic works by Futures Awardee, Manon Ouimet, ‘My Name is Maya ’. Ouimet’s series tracks her conversion to Judaism with her images reflecting her journey from spiritual desire to belong, through a calendar year of richly-grounding festivals, traditions and food.
The Belfast Exposed Futures Awards support artists using photography to create new work and significantly develop their practice. Through curatorial and mentorship in career development, the awards particularly seek to encourage new approaches to photography.
Jewish stories and customs are metaphoric, deep and symbolic. And so, like all journeys that carry poignance, this adventure took Manon to corners of herself that had previously gone unexplored, culminating in a far more meaningful outcome than she’d have ever expected.
Her spiritual pursuit was enriched further by the license with which she gave herself to explore and play with the creative tool and friend that is her camera. This saw her transition, as the series reflects, from an outsider-observing-participant to an insider-participating-observer; part of the community, part of the family and part of the culture. In making this work public, she, in turn, invites audiences to reflect on their spirituality, whilst shedding light on the beauty, nuance and family values of the Jewish culture.
"Manon’s work has embarked on a new journey through her photographs and she has shown bravery to publicly share this spiritual transition from Christianity to Judaism. The photographs and narration connote tender, yet captivating insights.” - Deirdre Robb, Chief Executive, Belfast Exposed.
Manon started out taking portraits, quickly realising that photography, for her, is a vehicle with which to explore her relationship with what it means to be human, be it through others as the subject, or, occasionally, turning the camera onto herself. Manon received her Photography Masters at the University of West England where she made her award-winning project ALTERED, a series that focused on people who have been subject to life-altering bodily changes. Her work often explores the function and composition of the human form and her ever-focusing identity, visual representation and celebrating diversity. Manon’s work has been featured in many international publications and exhibitions and 2021 will see her first solo exhibition. Awards include the British Photography Award 2021, Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Award 2021 and the Monochrome Awards 2019. Her work is sponsored by the Arts Council England.
‘My Name is Maya’ is generously sponsored by the Arts Council England and funded by Belfast City Council and Foyle Foundation.