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Waiting for the Number 12: an exhibition by Noel Connor

4th October 2022 - 28th October 2022

Waiting for the Number 12 is a new exhibition of poetry, photography, and film by Belfast artist and poet Noel Connor. Connor explores why the Number 12 trolleybus from Casement Park to Castle Street features so conspicuously in his memory. Using poetry, photography, and film, he examines how events on and around it capture a transition from childhood innocence to the reality of 1960s Belfast.

Born and raised in West Belfast, Connor made frequent use of the Number 12 trolleybus traveling into town as a teenager. The last trolleybus ran on the route in May 1968. For this project, Connor tracked down and worked with the actual trolleybus – the number 246 – that made that last journey. He discovered this only surviving Belfast Corporation trolleybus in a small museum in England. This provided the imaginative trigger for this unique piece of work.

Connor’s short film Lost Lines is an emotive ‘recitation’ of the city’s bus routes, read by his nephew, the actor Colin Connor. Footage of ‘destination rolls’ accompany the reading. These long linen rolls, printed white on black in a crude forced font to fit the display box listed every route in Belfast. One evening in 1972, during a difficult final year at school, Noel salvaged an undamaged roll from a burned-out bus. At home, he used the stiffened linen as a small canvas, copying works by artists like Monet, Chagall, Cezanne, and Modigliani. This reinforced his hope to study art at college.

Alongside the film, a series of photos explores the incredible web of power lines and cables that once crisscrossed the city. Using image and sound, Connor captures their simple, abstract beauty. He creates from them a symbolic significance, lost lines of connection and communication.

Noel Connor has exhibited widely in Ireland and Britain. He has collaborated with poets such as Gerald Dawe, Tom Paulin, Maura Dooley, and Seamus Heaney. This project began with his involvement in Frontier Work, a group show at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny. He later developed the exhibition for a solo show at the Gerard Dillon Gallery at Cultúrlann, Belfast.

For more information, please visit

The Linen Hall: Belfast’s Home of Poetry project has been kindly funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland.


4th October 2022
28th October 2022
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The Linen Hall
+44 (0)28 9032 1707
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Linen Hall Library
17 Donegall Square North
Belfast, BT1 5GB United Kingdom
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Booking is essential for all events including free events. All event tickets are non-refundable. Please view our Customer Service Policy.