2012 Winning Entries

LEO BOYD – MechaKong vs Belfast  Boyd has used his fascination of film posters from the Far East as inspiration for this work. He has embraced the use of photomontage that combines colour and strong graphics. This has created a sense of drama, excitement and fun. His deliberate reference to East Belfast and everyday imagery makes this an accessible and entertaining artwork.

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IVAN FREW – flight 3est  Frew is a printmaker whose image 3East is a collage based on the industry, design and innovation that has taken place in the east of the city. Three experimental jet aircraft that Short’s developed during the fifties and sixties are shown, including the world’s first vertical take-off and landing designs. The work has a graphic presence and you can also see influences of American realist painters and German expressionists in the use of colour and positioning of the images. There is a strong historic link to local industry, as well an appeal to our fascination and wonderment of aeroplanes and the technology that makes them.

 

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TRIONA WHITE-HAMILTON Constructing East  Belfast Hamilton has cleverly combined an old map, contemporary photographs and eye-catching colours to reflect on the rich history of construction and building in East Belfast – from mills, house and ships – as well as commenting on an aspect of the cultural identity of the mainly Protestant East Belfast – the construction of the ‘Bonfires’.  First derived as a form of sending alerts and messages across long distances,  the 11th of July Bonfires now mark the eve of the 12th of July demonstrations.The strength in the work is her juxtaposition of the old and the new imagery, the construction of modern day bonfires, using palettes as well as commenting on the often contentious nature of our political history.

 

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CLINTON KIRKPATRICK – Hello, Belfast This is a fun and energized artwork that embraces colour, mythology and landscape. Kirkpatrick’s work incorporates elements of his everyday experiences. He likes to portray the people he sees and the places he visits. As in this piece, his work often takes on a humorous role and plays with imagery and objects to create a sense of the place and provoke reaction.

 

 

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CLAIRE LAU –  Stormont Lad This work is a playful image with compelling political undertones in which Lau has created a different view of the  ‘Politician’ found at Stormont, Northern Ireland’s seat of Government, which is based in East Belfast. In the work she plays with notions of doubt, youth and  playfulness by constructing a portrait of ‘the legs of a politico beneath the table’ – a view seldom seen or even thought about.   She states ‘It does not matter what ‘side’ the Stormont Lad is on, if, in this day and age he is on one at all. He’d just a lad at work.’

 

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JIM MELIN – Room for Improvement This is a quirky image that comments on the recent efforts to improve East Belfast, through economic and residential development. The use of the red brick is symbolic to industry and housing in the area and references mural traditional painting. This single brick mural is a bright, happy and somewhat naive painting, contrasting with its  construction site surroundings. The words “New and Improved” are written to provoke the viewer’s thoughts to their opinion (good or bad) regarding the ‘revamping’ that is happening in East Belfast. The work has a postcard feel to it, yet makes you reflect on the major transitions the area is undergoing.

 

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PAUL MOORE – Peace Brothers Renowned photographer Paul Moore has created a striking and engaging piece of work.  It is a symbolic rhetoric that aims to challenge one’s own personal boundaries. The dramatic image of an idiosyncratic male with weathered characteristics automatically conjures up memories of domineering characters, such as referees, pastors and P.E. teachers. The work has an inner narrative and is intended for self-reflection. It is playful yet conveys serious undertones of political and cultural notions of identity.

 

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EAMON McCRORY – Dogs This is a charming painting that captures the  morning stroll and exercising 4 greyhounds by their ‘walker’.  At first it may be viewed as a rural pursuit, however the artist argues that it is still a popular pastime  in the inner city environment. McCrory references  an era where the likes of dog racing and ‘pigeon fancying’ where common place among the inner city working class areas. Although not quite as popular as before, ‘keeping dogs’ and walking them around the streets of Belfast is still a common enough practice – one that we often overlook.

 

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JAMIE McILWEERepossession McIlwee’s work is powerful and expresses subtle political undertones. He has utilized buildings to suggest power as seen in the juxtaposition of the bank and the church images. He has a particular interest in creating awareness of climate change highlighting human intervention in changing the environment and the negative impacts affecting the planet.

 

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STEPHEN SHAW – Fancy Goods Shaw’s colourful painting depicts a romantic concept of a shop front on the Newtownards Road as it appeared circa 2005/6. He cheekily plays on the way half the signage is missing, relying on the viewer’s knowledge of the area. He combines reference to the ‘Loyalist Regalia’ & the “Fancy Goods” which lie side by side with household items, which somehow don’t look out of place together. Nothing here would have been seen as unusual or offensive in the area, then or now. The work is engaging and demonstrates great craftsmanship in his painterly technique

 

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STEPHEN MILLAR – Head in the Strand Millar is a local artist who grew up in the area has a real passion for the east and wants to celebrate the beautiful landmarks of Strand Cinema and Holywood Arches. The work also relates to his experience of a catholic boy growing up in what’s largely considered the most loyalist side of the city. In his painting he highlights exclusion and lack of opportunity by masking words which are poorly hidden to reveal text ‘glass ceiling’ at the top of the painting applies to all in the east. The work is both evocative and emotive. The charm comes from the revelations encountered while viewing the work.

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