Belfast creative Neil Kerr returns to The National Grande Cafe one year on from his hugely successful Breed art show, which saw work by Banksy and Faile alongside some of the world’s most sought after street artists, all gracing the stunning interior of the former bank.
Back with a new group show Us Against Us, Neil has invited 15 other locally based artists to contribute works for a show that promises to be thought provoking and inspirational. The exhibition will run from the September 18 until October 12.
Being with people who make me feel safe and happy. I’d like it to be somewhere warmer than Belfast but for now, it’s feeling safe and happy in the mizzley rain.
Tell us something your mum doesn’t know about you?
My mum knows pretty much everything, when I throw a temper tantrum I usually compare my new self to my old weird self as a means of showing her that I have grown up.
What would you do if you had the keys to the city for the day?
Can I fire all the politicians and replace them with the penguins from Belfast Zoo? I imagine the penguins would probably do a better job.
What’s the most interesting discovery you’ve made in Belfast?
When you dunk a Mint Aero into a cup of tea it makes a weird noise. I have forgotten exactly what that noise is and so will have to buy a Mint Aero again today to remind myself.
Which building would you most like to be locked in overnight?
A bank, if they leave me the access codes and keys to the vault otherwise some huge supermarket where I can fill a van full of food, take their money and go on a holiday for a while and eat lots.
I live in a bubble so am not up to speed with the celebrity world. Is reality TV still big? Is the news considered reality TV? Can I go on a dinner date with Jeremy Corbyn and have steak and a few pints? At least I’d have learnt something, had a bit of banter and not come home with fake tan on my collar.
Describe your perfect day in the city?
An Ulster fry with my mum, dad and sister over at the Lock Keeper’s Inn, though for my perfect day they would have knocked down that ugly big brick wall and replaced it with glass so we can all look out and see the River Lagan. What were they thinking? Then we’d have a walk along the tow-path, after which I’d head to Start Together Studios to record modular synth noises all day with Rocky, Ben and Greg. Finally, I’d cycle home after all the traffic has disappeared and crash on the sofa with Mike, Lucky and ice cream and watch a film.
Earliest Belfast memory?
Sitting in the front garden with my brother Conor in Stewartstown Park, playing with our Star Wars figures when the army appeared and casually sat behind the hedge. I always thought it was so cool, it used to be my dream to be shot in the arm, I thought it was heroic and I’d be the coolest person in Belfast. My dreams changed.
What movie most closely resembles your life story and why?
Any movie where things are great then go horribly wrong then turn out great again. Let’s go with Santa Clause, The Movie.
Sum up Belfast in three words?
Banter, friendly, frustrating.