Belfast Frame And Picture Centre: Annual Art Exhibition | Review
Belfast Frame And Picture Centre • Friday, 17 November 2017
By Neil Trelford • Photos: Gerry Coe
Snuggled on Capstone Street, is Belfast Frame And Picture Centre. A family run business renowned for quality for over four decades and now in recent years becoming well known for their Annual Art Exhibition.
This year’s exhibition is a typically eclectic mix, a something for everyone show of fine art by a wealth of talent but with a price range that suits all budgets.
The hosts, Charles and Gail Kennedy welcome their guests with a homely charm and the gathering is as vibrant as the hustle and bustle of Belfast’s hip Lisburn Road.
This isn’t about a hard sell but the appreciation of an array of wonderful pieces and the mingling of art lovers with the artists themselves.
A raw and earthy feeling is threaded through the few rooms of this cosy gallery but with a juxtaposition of some bold statements and challenges.
Recent Royal Ulster Academy Of Arts Award winner, Cara Gordon shows some of her contrasting themes of iconic Citroen automobiles to the timely poise of her ‘Belfast Elephant’ during a week that saw the loss of Belfast Zoo’s lovable Tina.
Belfast Elephant by Cara Gordon
The natural life theme is continued in a somewhat country-file rendition by Peter Collins’ ‘Live’, his image of a dashing fox set amongst the vivacious felt sculptures by the very diverse artist Hilary Hinds, one of which is her darting hare entitled ‘Harem Scarem’.
The beauty of our oceans is captured in disparity. At one end of the scale local artist and avid beachcomber Tracey McKane, creates beautiful assemblages from driftwood, sea glass and pottery shards and actively addresses the scourge of plastic on sea-life. At the other end, Pat Hunt celebrates the enchantment of the deep blue sea with her new work inspired by the Conch shell and displays her works ‘Awakening’, ‘Threshold’ and ‘ Tidal Treasure’.
Tidal Treasure by Pat Hunt
Ross Cunningham’s ‘Buster On The Orange Carpet’ is a big and bold oil on canvas and almost boasts the centre of attention. But alongside this almost futurist specimen hangs two pieces by Philip Flanagan, a highly acclaimed sculptor and painter. His ‘Ploughing’ theme is inspired by the energy of County Fermanagh and its farming islands, challenge you into the brain-teasing visualisation of his early 2000s abstract work.
Guests with Buster On The Orange Carpet
If architecture is your thing then pieces by Colin Maxwell and Graham Catney will grab your attention. For those that long for faraway lands, temptation is provided by three others. Marjorie Bloch’s dark ‘Road To Damascus’, Marcus Patton’s Gold Coast’s sun-drenched ‘Currumbin Beach’ and Gerry Coe’s ‘Cuban Car’ sizzling with Hispanic vigour. Sport is represented too by Jackie Crooks’ ‘Hurler’ collection.
With a lead up to Christmas, a fireplace warmth is delivered by an arrangement by Joanna Mules with her ‘Let’s Stay In Tonight’ abstract piece, on show with some of her favoured bronze works. Stoking up the Christmas cheer is a delightful ceramic bauble ensemble that pops with a unique indigo print by ceramic sculptor Anne Butler.
And like any Christmas, a sneak preview of something special has the present seekers excited. World accomplished artist, best known for his observations of daily life that he captures the mundane and ordinary with an extraordinary quality, Hector McDonnell has another genius piece nearly finished. A Stuttgart train station project is an epicentre of political and public wrangling and McDonnell captures the passion of the Stuttgart people in their plight of transforming the future without losing the values of the past.
Hector McDonnell – Work in Progress
Finally and by no means just a stocking filler, a precious and chartered history of Belfast is abstractly portrayed in Gail Kennedy’s representation morphed from Harland and Wolff’s famous yellow cranes.
Abstract by Gail Kennedy
This little artistic haven is open to the public, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 12 noon. So why not call in to admire wonderful works of art and who knows surprise yourself or a loved one with a unique piece of locally created culture.
For exclusive interviews with renowned feature artists Hector McDonnell, Cara Gordon, Joanna Mules and Pat Hunt then stay tuned for our feature in the next CultureHUB Magazine.
Review by Neil Trelford (Author of The Youth Club) http://culturehubmagazine.co.uk/9139-2/
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