Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Myths and musicians

Exhibitions to catch before summer says goodbye



This week I thought I'd do a bit of a round- up of what's left of the summer exhibitions, starting with The Vertical Gallery in The Linen Hall Library, Belfast, where there is a show entitled Birds, Boats and Bulls by Newry-based artist Grace Digney.

Subtitled The Mythical World of the Celts Explored Through Bronze and Batik, Digney's show brings together the spirituality of both the Celtic and Christian traditions. Grace's workplace, Gracearts Studio, has been operating for around ten years and in that time has exhibited work throughout Ireland. This show includes paintings, sculpture, prints and batiks and runs until August 31.

Meanwhile, over at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, there's an exhibition of works by John B Vallely entitled Musicians.

These paintings go back as far as 1959 when Vallely was a first-year student at Belfast College of Art and come right up to date with a number of more contemporary works. Irish traditional music has been Vallely's lifelong passion and has always been a theme running through his paintings.

Full of life and enthusiasm, their vivid and vigorous style says much about the artist's love of his subject. This exhibition will continue until the end of September.

The annual schools exhibition in Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick, is worth a look to see just what A and AS level students are capable of these days. Five schools and colleges are taking part and it offers students a unique opportunity to have their work hung in a professional setting and get a little bit of public feedback and praise.

Also in Downpatrick, in the Down County Museum, The Art Of Down exhibition features works by leading Co Down artists in a variety of media. Combined with this is Material Matters, which explains how and why artists use particular media to create the required effects.

At the same venue, Down Through Time brings 9,000 years of human history to life with exhibits and activities to suit all ages. There are plenty of things for children to experience including dressing up in period costumes, rebuilding prehistoric pots, making a Victorian quilt and designing an efficient, productive, wartime garden. Sounds like fun for something different, not to mention free, in the last week of the holidays.



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