Past Exhibition

How We Learn

Wendy Ewald, Julian Germain, Wendy McMurdo, James Russell Cant, Marysa Dowling and Belfast schools - 3 April to 24 May 2014

Wendy Ewald, Images from 'On Reading', (2003) © the artist

Wendy Ewald, Images from 'On Reading', (2003) © the artist

Julian Germain, Escuolla Estadual Nossa Senhora do Belo Ramo, Belo Horizon, Minas Gerais, Brazil, Series 6, Mathematics, November 17th, (2005), from 'Classroom Portraits' 2001 - 2012 © the artist

Julian Germain, Escuolla Estadual Nossa Senhora do Belo Ramo, Belo Horizon, Minas Gerais, Brazil, Series 6, Mathematics, November 17th, (2005), from 'Classroom Portraits' 2001 - 2012 © the artist

James Russell Cant, Subject 3: Father, from the series 'Family', 2009 © the artist

James Russell Cant, Subject 3: Father, from the series 'Family', 2009 © the artist

How We Learn explores the contexts in which children learn, and the psychological and physiological transformations that take place through different methods of learning. The exhibition includes work by leading artists working in the field of collaborative practice with children including Wendy Ewald and Julian Germain. The exhibition also represents a significant body of research into a child’s psychological and emotional development through photographic practice in the portraits by James Russell Cant and Wendy McMurdo. The exhibition will include new work produced in a collaborative project between artist Marysa Dowling and four partner schools in Belfast; St Malachy's Primary School, Meadowbridge Primary School, Sacred Heart Primary School and Loughshore Educational Resource Centre.

During How We Learn we are also offering Free tours for schools. For more information please contact us on or +44 (0)2890 230 965

How We Learn is supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and will coincide with the first Belfast Children’s Photography Festival 



4 April 1pm | Talk with artist Julian Germain

11 April 5pm | Curator’s Tour

24 April 6pm | Talk with artist Wendy McMurdo

26 April 11am | Family Tour of Exhibition

30 April 2pm – 4pm | HOW WE LEARN Symposium in partnership with VAI

Speakers: Artist Marysa Dowling (London), Annie Bicknall (TATE, London), Mobile Art School (Dublin), Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership (Dublin)

 22 May 6pm | Talk with artist James Russell Cant



James Russell Cant has worked in London as a photographer since 1995. His editorial portraiture has appeared widely in print both in the UK and abroad and his work has been exhibited by many galleries including The Photographers Gallery and has twice been selected for The National Portrait Gallery Taylor Wessing Exhibition. Since completing an MA in Photography at LCC in 2009 his practice has revolved around the key themes subjectivity, identity, memory and time. He also lectures on the BA and MA photography courses at Norwich University of the Arts.

Marysa Dowling’s participatory practice is rooted within portraiture and concerned with human behaviour. Crucial to her practice is the role that photography plays in daily life as a means of expression and representation. Dowling has worked on commissions, projects and residencies in the UK, Ireland, Los Angeles, Cuba, South Africa, Mexico and Lebanon. Exhibitions include Tate Modern (2012) Courtauld Institute (2011), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, (2009) The Photographers Gallery (2007) The Whitechapel Gallery (2006) John Kobal Portraiture Award, The National Portrait Gallery (1999)

Wendy Ewald is a photographer and educator whose projects have been hugely influential in looking at how photography can be used by children to address and articulate their identity and experience. She has received many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation, and the Fulbright Commission. She has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Nederlands Foto Institute in Rotterdam, and the Fotomuseum in Wintherthur, Switzerland among others. Her work was included in the 1997 Whitney Biennial. She has published ten books. She is an artist in residence at the John Hope Franklin Center and Senior Research associate at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Julian Germain studied photography at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham and the Royal College of Art in London. He has published several books, including ‘In Soccer Wonderland’ (1994) and ‘The Face of the Century’ (1999). Germain’s ongoing belief in the value of amateur and ‘functional’ images is reflected in his 2005 book,‘For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness’, and also in his 2007 project ‘The Running Line’, an installation of more than 139,000 pictures of the ‘Great North Run’ made by amateur and professional photographers. Since 1995 he has been working alongside Brazilian artists, Patricia Azevedo and Murilo Godoy. The ‘No Olho da Rua Collective’ is their ongoing collaboration with people living on the streets of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Germain has exhibited his work internationally, notably at the Photographer’s Gallery, London; Parco Gallery, Tokyo; MASP, Sao Paulo; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and at Netherlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam.

Wendy McMurdo specialises in photography and digital media. She attended Edinburgh College of Art, Goldsmiths, University of London and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Her work centres around the relationship between technology and identity and she has produced several influential bodies of work which explore this theme including In a Shaded Place - the digital and the uncanny' was followed by an exhibition at the Centro de Fotografia Universidad de Salamanca in 1998. This resulted in the publication of the first monograph on her work. She has been included in numerous group shows, including Unheimlich at the Fotomuseum Winterhur in Switzerland, Scanner at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, California, The Anagrammatical Body - The Body and its Photographic Condition at the Neue Galerie Graz, Austria, and Only Make Believe - Ways of Playing, curated by Marina Warner at Compton Verney, UK.