1994, East Belfast; a man stands in his backyard, outside it a path, around that a fence; beyond it another path and another backyard, where a woman stands. This photographed narrative is included in Frankie Quinn’s Temporary/Permanent exhibition at the Ulster Museum, showing four photographic series, taken in 1994, 2002, 2012, and 2019, the last being a colour photography series. Quinn’s tale of the Belfast’s peacelines shows areas of the walls where, with time, everyday living overtook any formal decisions that were made.
Two images in Series IV are particularly strong; one is of a woman filling an inflatable pool in the foreground of a peace wall. It is the geometry in this photograph that makes it different: all the other images give the walls a role, either a visual direction or a narrative function; the moment in this photo existed regardless of the wall. But there it stands. The other is the image of a boy running in front of a wide wall with superhero murals on it. These murals appear in a black and white photo triptych from 2012, created as a response to the decision to dismantle the peaclines. The colour photo from 2019 acts as a reflection on the stasis in the walls’ existence.