Belfast Exposed


2nd May - 1st Jun

Can you hear me now?

Can you hear me now?! (2024) is a durational piece based on content shared on the artist’s social media, linked to the resu...

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2nd May - 29th Jun


This exhibition is an ongoing body of work by Chad Alexander. The series was created in Belfast and centres on people, predom...

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25th Sep - 7th Oct

Young People Behind the Lens

Over the summer, a group of young people from Start 360 explored the cityscape of Belfast. They found new ways to see the...

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21st May - 22nd May

Showing the faces of dementia with Alzheimer’s NI

Ahead of the Alzheimer’s Society Annual Conference 2019 (ASAC19), Belfast Exposed was commissioned by Alzheimer’s NI to w...

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Street View: ‘Portraits of Saying Goodbye’ by Mark Bell

Street View

3rd Feb 2022 to 26th Feb 2022

About The Exhibition

Belfast Exposed is proud to present Street View: Portraits of Saying Goodbye by artist Mark Bell.

In Portraits of Saying Goodbye, Bell uses the camera as a tool in his own invented ritual to add meaning to relationships. As a young child, his mother would realize in a panic that he was no longer in the house and would instead find him on a neighbour’s porch, plying them with questions. He has never grown out of that way of engaging with the world, and find it helps him connect with other people as more of a participant, not just a spectator.

During the last ten years, Bell has not lived in one place for more than two, gathering friends wherever he went. In moments spent with these people to whom he felt connected, he couldn’t help but feel a melancholic sense that the moment would end. These moments resonate with the Japanese phrase mono no aware (物の哀れ) which speaks of the awareness of the transience of things and a quiet sadness because of it. Along with that sadness, however, a celebration of the experience of which you bore witness.

For Bell, taking a portrait is like a ceremony to set aside the person, to sanctify what is valued most. In the words of Anthony Kiedis, “All I want is for you to be happy and take this moment to make you my family”. In this way Portraits of Saying Goodbye is a set of portraits made up of people becoming part of Bell's acquired family in a new and foreign place. It attempts to be as much a portrait of the person pictured as it is a record of his connection to them and the melancholy found intertwined with closeness.


Street View

The award-winning 'Street View' provides a multimedia exhibition experience to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is a large digital window display, complemented with audio narratives, that showcases contemporary artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Belfast Exposed believe photography is for everyone, it is accessible, meaningful and has the ability to tell stories, allowing us to create dialogue and reflect upon our history, inform our present and inspire a positive future. Street View is another opportunity to extend our vision beyond the confines of the gallery.

The Artists

Mark Bell

Artist Biography

Mark Bell is a visual artist and storyteller from Salt Lake City, Utah, currently based in Belfast Northern Ireland. His work is rooted in personal relationships and is concerned with connection and belonging.


Exhibition Opening

Thursday 3rd February | 6:00pm - 9:00pm | Belfast Exposed



'Street View: Portraits of Saying Goodbye by Mark Bell' is generously sponsored by Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.