Els Borghart (BE) is based in Drogheda since 2008 and works between Ireland, The UK and Belgium. She works as a visual artist and is a founding member, co-director and curator with NeXus Arts. She has an MA in Fine Art (LUCA School of Arts –Belgium) and an MA in Cultural Policy & Art Management (University Antwerp Management School – Belgium). She exhibits regularly and her work is part of both public and private collections both in Ireland and in Belgium. Els received awards by Create Louth, Drogheda Borough Council and the Arts Council of Ireland in recent years.
Declan Kelly (IE) is currently based in Drogheda and works between Ireland, The UK and Belgium. He works as a secondary school teacher, a visual artist and is also a founding member, co-director and curator with NeXus Arts. He has a higher degree in Art (HETAC – Ireland) and a Post Graduate Degree in Education in Art & Design (National College of Art and Design – Ireland). His work is part of private and public collections both in Ireland and in Belgium. Declan received awards by Create Louth, Drogheda Borough Council and the Arts Council of Ireland in recent years.
Our collaborative practice with other creatives was initiated in 2009 under the name of NeXus Arts. We have been working as independent artists/ curators in a local, national and international context while based in Drogheda, Ireland. We have initiated, developed and collaborated on many contemporary art projects, either independently, in association with cultural institutions (i.e. Drogheda Arts Centre, Highlanes Gallery, Gallway Arts Centre, Drogheda Arts Festival, Gallerie De Wandelgangen in Belgium) or in partnership with other creatives. Our starting point is always to advocate visual art they believe to be critically relevant to our times, while looking at the art world from both a curatorial and an artist point of view. Most of our projects have been site-specific and collaborative, and it is in this continuing vein we work with The Belfast Ensemble.
In November 2017, we were approached by The Belfast Ensemble to brainstorm and research some visual ideas and concepts. This resulted in the development and execution of visual concepts, artwork and installation of 2 performance productions to date: The Fall of the House of Usher (Lyric Theatre, Belfast in June 2018) and Barrack Room Ballads (in association with YMT UK at the National Army Museum, London in August 2018). We have now become an official part of The Belfast Ensemble as visual artists.