Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Artist Rita Duffy's joy as long lost painting resurfaces 30 years on

Clearing by Rita Duffy
Clearing by Rita Duffy

Stories of reunion usually involve long-lost relations, parted lovers or forgotten friends, but now one of Northern Ireland's most famous painters will be reunited with one of her first works after almost 30 years apart.

Rita Duffy hasn't seen Renee Meneely's Window – a representation of the famous Belfast women's fashion shop – since she painted it while studying at the University of Ulster.

It has been stored at the university, but is now on public display until February 11.

"It was certainly a shock to hear that the painting has been hanging in the university.

"As an art student I must have been rather naive, I didn't get a penny for the painting – I think it was just taken by one of my lecturers," she said.

The oil painting is being shown in the Jaeger outlet near the original site of the boutique in Donegall Square West.

The exhibit is part of the online art archive, Your Paintings, a joint partnership between the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation and features paintings in 63 museums, galleries and public buildings across Northern Ireland.

To highlight the website's launch, a Big Art Canvas event will be held at Foyleside Shopping centre in Londonderry this Saturday.

Andrew Ellis, Director of the Public Catalogue Foundation, said: "No other country has ever embarked on such a project to make accessible online its entire collection of oil paintings."

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