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Potter fired by different techniques

By Elizabeth Baird

Published 15/04/2016

There is work by the new USWA President Kay Cullen Oonagh Catchpole, Deirdre Hiscocks and Joan Kingan
There is work by the new USWA President Kay Cullen Oonagh Catchpole, Deirdre Hiscocks and Joan Kingan

Burnt Ground: John McKeag, Island Arts Centre, The Island, Lisburn. Monday-Friday, 9.30am-9.30pm Saturday, 9.30am-5pm. Until May 12

Although he originally trained as a painter, John McKeag has been working as a potter for the last 15 years.

Working intuitively, it is important to him to make a real connection with each piece and that each piece "feels complete and has a sculptural simplicity and presence".

The exhibition title comes from the fact that he uses fired clay as a 'ground' on which to explore a variety of other techniques. He has renewed his interest in discovering the possibilities of gestural brushwork, pattern, colour and mark-making in general, creating some really interesting pieces of work which are both imaginative and inventive.

Down to Earth: Ulster Society of Women Artists

Gaffan Gallery, Castle Espie, Comber

10am-5pm daily. Until May 7

The Ulster Society of Women Artists (USWA) had their first exhibition almost 60 years ago in The Belfast Museum and Art Gallery. The movement was driven by Gladys McCabe who, having already exhibited numerous times in England, was outraged by the fact that no arts society in Northern Ireland would accept women. Determined to bring about a change in attitude, she invited 10 of the best known women artists of the day to join her in forming the USWA and they have exhibited every single year since that first, fairly revolutionary, showing.

Membership today is more than 100 women. Once again, this year the society is exhibiting in the beautiful setting of Castle Espie and the work on show is by diploma holders and award winners. As always in a show like this there is something to suit every taste. Among others, there is work by the new USWA President Kay Cullen Oonagh Catchpole, Deirdre Hiscocks and Joan Kingan.

Belfast Telegraph

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