Bio

  • About
  • Christoff Gillen has worked in performance, installation and time based art for the past 20 years.

    He studied sculpture at the University of Ulster, Belfast graduating with a BA (Honours) in 1998 and following this he undertook a MA in ‘Art & Public’ University of Ulster, Belfast in 2009.

    Gillen feels that performance art allows a freedom of experimentation. His work is cathartic challenging the viewer to engage in personal, political, religious and social forms of dialogue. His actions are a commentary on themes relating to Northern Ireland and contemporary cultural politics.

    Gillen is active within the performance and visual arts community in Belfast since 1994, he is a member of the performance collective Bbeyond and a member of Queen Street Studios, Belfast.

    Recent work has been presented at BIFPA2015, Belfast, PAB Open 2015, Bergen, Norway, Bel-Esse Exchange 2014 in Essen, Cologne, Brussels, Lisburn and Derry, Bel-Mad Exchange Places 2014, Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast; IMAF 2013 Serbia; TransArt Cavan Town, Ireland; Duo Days 2013, Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast; Rain 2012, PS2 Project Space, Belfast; Tick Tock 2011; Art Rebels 2010, Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast; Imagine a city of =, Black mountain, Belfast 2009, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast 2009; I AM 2008 Polish/Irish performance art exchange, Belfast; Art Trail 2007 Cork, Ireland.

  • Education and workshops
  • MA Art in Public, 2007 – 2009, University of Ulster, Belfast.
    BA (Honours) Fine Art, 1995 – 1998, University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Diploma in Foundation Studies Art and Design, 1993 – 1994, University of Ulster, Belfast.

    Inter – being: empathy in performance, 1 – 3rd Oct 2015,  with Tew Bunnag & Denys Blacker.
    Laboratory for performance art “Personal rituals of/for postmodern times” with Alastair MacLennan and Elvira Santamaria. 2014-2015, Golden Thread Gallery and Ulster Museum, Belfast
    Nives Correa. 3 – 5 February 2014, Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast.
    Monika Gunther and RuediSchill. 29 April – 1 May 2013. Catalyst Arts,  Belfast.
    Elivira Santamoria. 26 – 28 March 2013. Golden Thread Gallery  Belfast.
    Nigel Rolfe. 27 March 2011. Platform Arts, Belfast.
    Action Art with Elvira Santamaria. 11 – 15 March 2008. Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast.
    Imaria Optimist. Bbeyond. 21 – 22 January 2008. Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast.
    Fix07. Perfopuerto. 5 – 6 December 2007. Catalyst Arts,  Belfast.
    Operations Ambassadors. Marilyn Arsem. 15 – 18 August 2007. Crescent Art Centre, Belfast.
    Operations Ambassadors. Boris Nieslony. 27 February – 2 March 2007. Crecsent Art Centre, Belfast.

  • Solo
  • All we need is Love at Performance Art Bergen, 5-6th September 2015, Bergen, Norway
    Rainbow of Hope at Still Bunker event 20th August 2015, Newtonards Road, Belfast
    Rainbow of Love, 31st July 2015, Belfast City hall
    1000 and one kisses at Belfast International Festival of Performance Art13th March 2015 Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Last night I dreamt… 1st October 2014. Location Brussels, Belgium, Bel–Esse Exchange , organised by PAErsheActus and Bbeyond
    Last night I dreamt… 30th September 2014. Cologne, Germany, Bel–Esse Exchange , organised by PAErsheActus and Bbeyond
    Walking 27th September 2014. Essen Germany, Bel–Esse Exchange , organised by PAErsheActus and Bbeyond
    Imagine relaunch Belfast Barge. 21 August- 21 September 2014, Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Personal rituals. 20 June 2014, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Solidarity. 8 May 2014, Belfast City Hall, Northern Ireland
    Freedom Freedom Freedom. 5 February 2014, Bel-Mad Exchange places, Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast.
    1968 Journey 2013Walking Banatska DublicaImagine a city of =. 9 – 12 September 2013.IMAF 2013, Novi Sad,  BanatskaDublica, Odzaci, Serbia.
    Trans Art Lough Sheelin. 23 August 2013. Cavan Town, Ireland.
    Without Voices. 1 May 2013, Duo Days, Catalyst Arts, Belfast.
    1968 Journey 2012. 22 July 2012. Rain event. Antrim road, PS2 Gallery, 5 Exchange Place,  Belfast.
    Relate Reflect Reveal II7 June 2010, University of Ulster,  Belfast.
    Relate Reflect Reveal I2 May 2010, PS2 Gallery, Belfast. News. 8 June 2009. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Imagine A City of =20- 27 October 2008. I AM Performance Festival, Stranmillis College, Belfast.
    Imagine a city of =.6 October – 28 October 2008.  Black Mountain, Belfast.
    1968 Journey 2008. 9 June 2008. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Black Mountain. 20th May 2008. Belfast.
    Long Borders7 February 2008. Catalyst Arts, Belfast. Exchange Places. Belfast/Helsinki. Bbeyond.
    Love. 29 November 2007. Fix07. Ormeau Bridge, Belfast.
    What about the Art. 23 October 2007. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Renaissance II. 28 September 2007. Cork,  Ireland.
    Make it Matter7 March 2007. City Hall, Belfast.
    Cleansing – Healing. 21 August 2006. Carrick – Dublin, Ireland.
    Absent Present21 January 2005. Catalyst Arts, Belfast.
    The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. 28 February 2003. Catalyst Arts, Belfast.
    Lost lives. 14 - 15 February 2003. City Hall, Belfast.
    Open Platform. 7 December 2002. FiX02, Belfast.
    Journey Carrickfergus. 7 June 2002. Carrickfergus, Ireland.
    Oscar Wilde. 21 – 25 May 1998. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Target. 7 May 1998. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Absent Present. 3 March 1998. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Social Political Identity, Religion Community. 7 – 12 November 1997. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    A Curious Fix. 25 April 1997. Catalyst Arts, Belfast.
    Education Sun Water Earth Growth Soil Seed Life Foundation For All Living. 22 April 1997. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Confession Public Humiliation Desperation Celebration. 21 February 1997. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Renaissance I. 3 December 1996, University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Positive Negative Anti-Pro. 29 October 1996, Crawfordsburn.
    Healing and soothing without dialogue24 October 1996. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Positive Negative Anti-Pro. 15 October 1996. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Dean James. 21 June 1996. Catalyst Arts, Belfast.
    Physically – Conditioned Development Revealing. 10 May 1996. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Experiment. 18 – 21 March 1996. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Dis/Location. 5 March 1996. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Journey Carrickfergus. 15 December 1995. Carrickfergus to Belfast.
    Conscious – Subconscious. 8 December 1995. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    There’s more to Life than Sex, but not much more. 23 January 1994. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Isolation Separation Future. 21 December 1993. City Hall, Belfast.

  • Events
  • Bbeyond 19th December 2015, QSS Gallery, Belfast
    Bbeyond 17th October 2015, Phoenix Park, Dublin.
    Inter – being: empathy in performance, 3rd Oct 2015,  workshop final presentation at Botanic Garden, Belfast.
    Bbeyond 26th September 2015, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.
    Bbeyond 18th September 2015, Cultural Night, Golden Thread Gallery,  Belfast.
    Bbeyond 22nd August 2015, St Martin’s Church of Ireland, Newtownards Road Belfast.
    Bbeyond 15th August 2015, Performance Art Exhibition, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.
    Bbeyond 25th July 2015. Helens Bay, Northern Ireland.
    Bbeyond 14th March 2015. Ulster University, Belfast.
    Bbeyond 21st February 2015. Writer’s Square, Belfast.
    Personal rituals of/for postmodern times II presentation of the workshop with Alastair MacLennan and Elvira Santamaria. 24th January 2015, Ulster Museum, Belfast.
    Bbeyond 17th January 2015. Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.
    Bbeyond 20th December 2014, Botanic Park, Belfast.
    Holding Time IV, 15th November 2014. Conlig Lead Mines Park, Newtonards.
    Bbeyond 8 November 2014, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
    Bel-Esse Exchange 2014 Open sessions. 22 and 25 October 2014. Lisburn and Derry, Northern Ireland
    Bbeyond. 25 October 2014. Derry, Northern Ireland
    Bbeyond. 18 October 2014. Ballycastle.
    PAErshe Actus Bbeyond. 1 October 2014. St Gilles, Brussels.
    PAErshe Bbeyond.30 September 2014. Cologne, Orangerie Germany.
    PAErshe Bbeyond.26 September 2014. Essen, Beaton Salon Germany.
    Bbeyond.19 September 2014.St Georges Square Belfast.
    Bbeyond.19 August 2014. Sailor town, Belfast.
    Bbeyond.19 July 2014. Helens bay.
    Bbeyond. 21 June 2014. 6th Birthday of performance monthly Writers Square, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 23 May 2014. Holding Time III. Stormont Parliament Bulding, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 17 May 2014. Lisburn, Northern Ireland
    Bbeyond. 11 April 2014. IKT symposium event. Art and curatorial practice in zones of conflict, Black Box, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 15 March 2014.Bel-Mad Exchange places, Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 8 February 2014. Writer’s Square, Belfast. Part of Spanish Exchange project.
    Bbeyond. 18 January 2014. Botanic Park, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 21 December 2013. Lawrence St workshops. Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 16 November 2013. Co-operation St Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 20 July 2013. Helens Bay.
    Bbeyond. 20 April 2013. Writers Square, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 18 April 2013. Derry/L’Derry. Holding time, Dalai Lama.
    Bbeyond. 19 January 2013. Botanic Gardens, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 22 September 2012. St Annes Square, Belfast. Culture night.
    Bbeyond. 9 September 2012. Giants Causeway, Antrim.
    Bbeyond. 22 August 2012. Satis house, Ormeau road, Belfast.
    Derry/Londonderry. 17 August 2012. James King and I.
    Derry/Londonderry. 12 August 2012 James King and I.
    Bbeyond. 16 June 2012. Cresent Park, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 14 April 2012. Arthur Square, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 2 April 2012. Titanic building. Holding time.
    Bbeyond. 31 March 2012. Writers Square, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 26 November 2011. Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 12 November 2011. Catalyst Arts.
    Bbeyond. 15 October 2011. Dunbar link, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 25 June 2011. Buoy Park, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 15 March 2011. PS2 Gallery, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 5 March 2011. Saint Anne’s Square, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 8 May 2011. Buoy Park, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 5 March 2011. Ann’s Square, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 22 January 2011. Botanic Gardens, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 22 August 2010. Simultaneous Action, Dunbar Link, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 15 August 2010. 5 Exhange Place, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 24 July 2010. Helens Bay.
    An hour on a Sunday. 11 April – 02 May 2010. PS2 Gallery, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 28 February 2009. Musgrave Park, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 24 January 2009. Botanic Garden, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 20 December 2008. Ormeau Park, Belfast.
    Black Mountain. 26 November 2008. City Hall then proceed to Black Mountain, Belfast.
    Black Mountain. 30 October 2008. Top of Whiterock Road then proceed to Black Mountain, Belfast.
    Black Mountain. 29 October 2008. Top of Whiterock Road then proceed to Black Mountain, Belfast.
    Bbeyond. 16 August 2008. Larrybaine Quarry, Ballycastle.
    Black Mountain. No Bush Protest.15 June 2008. City Hall then proceed to Black Mountain,Belfast.
    Black Mountain. 3 May 2008. City Hall then proceed to Black Mountain, Belfast.
    Black Mountain. 26 April 2008. City Hall then proceed to Black Mountain, Belfast.
    Black Mountain. 19 April 2008. City Hall then proceed to Black Mountain, Belfast.
    Black Mountain. 12 April 2008. City Hall then proceed to Black Mountain, Belfast.
    Black Mountain. 5 April 2008. City Hall then proceed to Black Mountain, Belfast.
    Performance Action. 26 February 2008. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Free Hugs. 15 December 2007. Castlecourt Shopping Centre, Belfast.
    Ex-Site. 4 August 2007. Cregagh Glen.
    Ex-Site. 9 June 2007. Botanic Gardens, Belfast.
    Ex-Site. 26 May 2007. Dry Dock, Titanic Quarter, Belfast.
    Ex-Site. 12 April 2007. Barge, River Lagan, Waterfront, Belfast.
    Ex-Site. 31 March 2007. Carrickfergus.
    Bbeyond. 9 March 2007. Custom House Square, Belfast.

  • Group Shows
  • Still Bunker, August 2015, East Belfast
    QSS Xmas Show, December 2014. QSS Gallery. Belfast.
    QSS Members Show. 3 -22 April 2014. QSS Gallery. Belfast.
    Xmas Salon. 5 -19 December 2013. QSS Gallery. Belfast.
    Catalyst Arts. Northern Irish Art. 24 October-30 November 2013. Curated  by Cheri Driver, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.
    Moments of Inception. 17 October-16 November 2013. QSS Members show, curated by Eoin Dara. QSS Gallery, Belfast.
    I love Catalyst Arts 1993-2013. 1 -10 August 2013. Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast.
    Precusor. August 2013. Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast. Video documentation.
    experiMENTAL. Cataylst Arts Members Show. 1 – 22 September 2012. Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast.
    Tick Tock. 3 November 2011. Space Craft, Belfast.
    Christmas Show. December 2010, QSS Gallery, Belfast.
    Art Rebels 1996 – 2010. 21 May 2010, Catalyst Arts, 5 College Court, Belfast.
    Code RedOscar Wilde. 26 August 2009, Merchant Hotel, Belfast, Culture Nite.
    Primary Colours. 29 August 2009. ISEA, C13, Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
    Locus of Control. 3 August 2009. Feile an Phobail, St Mary’s University College, Belfast.
    An-nex. 8 June 2009. University of Ulster, Belfast.
    Locus of Control. 13-23 January 2009. Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.
    Arc Aid Arts Sales. June 2004. Belfast.
    Straight. August 2003. Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast.
    The Museum of the 20th Century. 13 November 1997. Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast.
    Splatter. 29 November 1996. Crawfordsburn, Northern Ireland.
    Art Rebels. 5–23 February 1996, Catalyst Arts, 5 Exchange Place, Belfast.
    Focus North. 18 June 1995. Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast.

  • Festivals
  • FIX15, 19th December 2015, QSS Gallery, Belfast
    Performance Art Bergen, 5-6th September 2015, Bergen, Norway
    Belfast International Festival of Performance Art, 13th March 2015 Belfast, Northern Ireland
    BIFPA. International Festival of Performance Art. 15 March 2014. Belfast.
    IMAF 9 - 11 September 2013. Novi Sad, Banatska Dublica, Odzaci, Serbia.
    Trans Art. 23 August 2013. Cavan Town, Ireland.
    Duo Days.  1 May 2013,Catalyst Arts, Belfast.
    Exchange Places. Belfast/Helsinki 7 February 2008. Catalyst Arts, Belfast.
    I AM Performance Festival. 20- 27 October 2008. Stranmillis College, Belfast.
    Fix07 29 November 2007. Ormeau Bridge, Belfast.
    Cork Art Trail 28 September 2007. Cork, Ireland
    Fix 3. 7 December 2002. Open Platform, Catalyst Arts, Belfast.
    A Curious Fix. 25 April 1997. Catalyst Arts, Belfast.
    Fix 2. 21 June 1996. Catalyst  Arts,  Belfast.
    Fix. 14 – 19 November 1994.  Catalyst  Arts, Belfast.

  • Mural projects
  • Not For Sale. September 2003. Exchange between Portugal and Catalyst Arts, Belfast.
    Virgin Mary and Child. Summer  1993. Morning Star Hostel, Falls Road, Belfast.
    Divine Mercy. October 1993. Falls Road, Belfast.
    Fatima. May 1992. Clonard Monastery,  Belfast.
    Fairytales. May 1992. Newlodge Youth Club, Belfast.
    Film Stars. May 1991. Fortwilliam Youth Club, Belfast.

  • Reviews
  • PANI III, documents and contextualises activities of Bbeyond performance art organisation from 2001 to 2008, published in 2015
    Moments of Inception. Review by Slavka Serakova. November 2013. Belfast.
    PrecusorReview by Slavka Serakova. August 2013.
    Imagine A City of =. Phd Paper by Fiona Ni Mhaoilir. 2013, University of Ulster.
    Tattooist makes a mark in the arts, Tick Tock. Article by Liz Baird in Belfast Telegraph. November 2011.
    West Belfast artist records Gaza death toll on Black Mountain. Article by Roisin McManus in Andersontown News. January 2009.
    Locus of Control. Essay by Mr Eddie Molly. December 2008.
    I Am, Performance Festival. Article by Justin McKeown in Circa Magazine. October 2008.
    Watch this space says artist, Belfast sees a letter a day in the name of art. Article by Ciaran Burns in Andersontown News. October 2008.
    An Activist Alphabet Landscape Art and peace building in Northern Ireland. Papers by Lia Shimada, University College, London for Annual general meeting of world geographers in Seattle, USA. June 2008.
    No Bush. Brendan Murphy in Irish News . June 2008.
    Mystery of hillside letter solved at last. Article by Matthew McCreary in Belfast Telegraph. May 2008.
    Riddle on the mountainside. Article by Matthew McCreary in Belfast Telegraph. April 2008.
    Paper tree a reminder of lives lost in the troubles. Article by Meadhbh Monahan in Irish News. March 2007.
    A timely reminder of victims without a vote. Article by Simon Hunter in Newsletter . March 2007.
    Artists own troubles with special memorial. Article by Matthew McCreary in Belfast Telegraph. March 2007.
    The Visual Artist.  Article by Elaine O’ Sullivan in News Sheet. December 2007.
    Listen to us. Article by John Kelly in Sunday Mirror. February 2003.
    Marking for Iraq. Article by Lesley Walsh and Alan Irwin in Newsletter. February 2003.
    Painting a quick picture. Article by Robert  Ingram in Belfast Telegraph. December 1993.

  • Awards
  • Arts Council for Northern Ireland General Arts Award. August 2014
    Arts Council for Northern Ireland Travel award. August 2013.
    Arts Council for Northern Ireland General Arts Award. August 2011.
    Cultural Department of the University of Ulster, Belfast 2009.