I finally got to see The Mac, but it was only a quick flying visit during my lunch break to check it out and see what my initial reaction was.
You arrive in St Anne’s Square and its just there!!! This huge big grey very modern building we now know as, The MAC. Elsewhere in the square are a load of new restaurants which didn’t exist the last time I was there. Quite impressive actually, and we can’t wait to start trying them out.
In I went, to be greeted by a member of the MAC team and given a rundown of where to go and what to see. Starting on the 4th floor and working my way down was recommended….so that’s exactly what I did.
On the fourth floor, you get out of the lift, turn the corner, and there it is, a 10ft Table and four chairs by Robert Therrien. Resisting the temptation to climb on a 10 foot chair, just to get the feeling of being a big kid again, I instead walked under the table had a look around, then continued my journey down through the building.
On the third floor is the much hyped joint William Conor and L.S.Lowry exhibition. It’s the first time Lowry’s work has been exhibitied in NI so it’s quite a scoop for The Mac and a credit to its gallery spaces to be hosting this special exhibit to celebrate Our Time Our Place. Disappointingly, I think I was in the Wrong Time Wrong Place, as the gallery was busy and noisy. A quick peek into the 2 other small spaces on the 3rd floor before I headed downstairs to the ground floor. Passing through a busy cafe and a quick look at the Sounds of the City and Maria McKinney exhibits, before lunch break was over.
On first impression, I love the building, in fact, is there any chance I could just move into the Upper Gallery and convert it into my perfect apartment. As a multi functional venue it’s fantastic as it has the art galleries, places to eat, spaces to use and chill in, theatres to go and see unique productions in, but I think I missed something. Maybe the exhibits just weren’t ‘me’, maybe I just needed more time to relax and appreciate what is undoubtedly a superb Belfast venue.
On a huge positive, it’s free to go in, the exhibits will continually change, the Canteen and Crush will no doubt be great spots to meet up for a coffee with our Belfast buddies, and the building is superb. If you have the time, definitely pop in and see Northern Ireland’s newest arts venue.