Belfast Exposed


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21st May - 22nd May

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The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search for the Irish Border

Gallery 2

29th Mar 2019 to 27th Apr 2019

About The Exhibition

Belfast Exposed is delighted to present The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border by Tristan Poyser. This is the first solo exhibition for this rising star in the photographic world.

Tristan Poyser’s latest project The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border, began as a response to the results of the UK’s Brexit referendum. Poyser has spent the last two years travelling and photographing the full length of the 510 km Irish border.

The materiality of the border is shown through a physical tear, making the invisible, visible. The act of tearing creates uneasiness, evoking notions of the political and economic tensions surrounding the border's position within the Brexit negotiations, symbolising the divorce of the UK from the 27 remaining states. The Invisible In-between shows the viewer the reality of the border & encourages them to explore the intangible nature & uneasiness surrounding it.

Poyser walked areas of with Irish border born poets Conor O’Callaghan, & Jacqui Devenney Reed, and consulted with author of The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland's Border. (Faber & Faber) Garrett Carr.

Deirdre Robb Chief Executive of Belfast Exposed commented “At this important historic time for Northern Ireland, Britain, Ireland and Europe, regardless of the outcome of Brexit, it is important that art and artists make comment on it. Photography can reveal something we didn’t notice before, challenge our beliefs and encourages us to think, and realise that there is more than one answer to a problem. Through the development of this project Poyser’s unique response is insightful and presents us with a multitude of questions”.

In an introduction to the Invisible In-between Garrett Carr writes: “Poyser went further than just photographing the route of this invisible frontier. He has taken hold of the physical photographs and ripped them along the borderline. Each tear is, I think, a stroke of brilliance. It is more of an act than a mark, although it has left a visual record of itself, and it is more eloquent than one hundred newspaper articles about the border.”

The Invisible In-between documents the border during the time of uncertainty between the invocation of Article 50 in March 2017 and the UK’s planned withdrawal from the EU in March 2019. Although the border acts as an administrative and political division, Poyser describes it as ‘an imaginary boundary’ with little physical evidence of its existence. “I was quite conscious that I wanted these images to be a record in time, as when Article 50 was invoked know one knew how the border would be impacted, and we still don’t.”

Poyser invited the public to consider the impact of their referendum vote, on those living on the Irish border and how it will impact the future. He asks them to tear the photograph where they think the border is, and write a comment about this two-year period of uncertainty and Brexit. Nobody wanted a physical border; the reaction emotions were strong on all sides.


At Belfast Exposed, we are investing in the new generation of photographers. Established in 2015, Belfast Exposed Futures is the name given to the learning programmes that aims to make photography accessible to people from every community, perspective and ability. Belfast Exposed Futures is a dedicated programme supporting new photographic talent in Northern Ireland. The main outputs of the programme support education development, providing skills, mentorship and training opportunities and future career development for emerging artists in photography.

The Artists

Tristan Poyser

Artist Biography

Tristan Poyser has worked as a photographer for 15 years. His projects explore the interactions of people with the landscape & the legacy left, both as physical and cultural scars. The Invisible In-between was in response to a research workshop with secondary school pupils delivered after the 2016 referendum vote. The 14 – 15 year olds had no comprehension of the history of the border, the current situation, or potential impact Brexit could have on their future. Poyser also felt the need to educate himself about the physicality of the border, the people who live there and the impact the referendum could have on the communities living there.

Tristan is an active board member of The Redeye Photography Network, a Tutor at the British Academy of Photography and guest lectures on professional practice.


Exhibition Preview

Thursday 28 March | 6-9pm | Belfast Exposed

Free Admission
Late Night Art

Thursday 4 April | 6-9pm | Belfast Exposed

Free Admission


The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border at Belfast Exposed is generously supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.