It’s safe to say that all us Belfast folks are missing the hustle and bustle of the city especially at this time of year. East Belfast photographer Claire Towe has been capturing the atmosphere of our wonderful little slice of the world with her project ‘Wee Belfast’ where she plays with perspective to help shine the city in a new (tiny) light.
Claire, your photos are so unique- what inspired you to start taking them like this?
Ach thank you. The concept was born from wanting to capture the city’s vibrancy, even though compared to some cities we’re only small, or ‘wee’ if you’re from here. I’m a huge fan of Slinkachu – a London-based street artist who abandons miniature people on the streets of the city, so I was inspired to create a series of images that utilised composition of tiny people in a similar way but captured Belfast’s regional wit like never before.
Do you have a photograph that you are particularly proud of?
Oh that’s a tough one. Kinda like asking me to pick a favourite child. But, if I had to pick one it would be my ‘Ulster Says Yeoo’ print which is available to buy online from wearebornandbred.com. I just love the composition, colours and sentiment. It pretty much sums up Wee Belfast in a photo.
In the past, you have sold prints with a cut going to Action Cancer, and you’ve more recently paired up with Another World Belfast, can you tell us a bit more about that collaboration?
The fact my prints can help raise funds for causes close to my heart is a win-win for me. The collab between myself and Another World Belfast is a truly beautiful one. So many of us have spotted the ‘Show Some Love’ street art around the city but may not know about the meaning behind it. I wanted to shout about this through my photography.
This not-for-profit organisation works on the principle “if you can’t change the world, you can change someone’s world within it”. Their @thelovepackbelfast project seeks donations of essential toiletries and underwear to help individuals, familiar and charities in need, all over Northern Ireland. We’ll be launching two prints in the next week or so with all profits going back into the project to help people less fortunate.
Lastly, what’s your favourite thing about the city? What are you most excited to do when things get back to some kind of definition of ‘normal’?
Oooohhh. It’s got to be the craic! I lived in London for two years and always missed the Belfast craic. Our humour, wit and friendliness is something I am extremely proud of. Even when I’m out shooting, people will always stop and check that I am ok – mostly because I’m sprawled across a pavement. So yeah, a night out or beer garden session is on the cards, somewhere where the craic’s 90.
You can check out more of Claire’s Wee Belfast prints on Instagram, or on the Wee Belfast Big Cartel Website .
Interview by Sam Dineen