Belfast Telegraph

Life of Brian at Ormeau Baths Gallery before plug pulled

By Joanne Sweeney

It is a fitting swansong for one of Northern Ireland's most famous art spaces.

Belfast artist Brian Ballard has chosen Ormeau Baths Gallery in Belfast as the venue to show 50 years of the best of his work.

The show - called Ballard at the Baths - will be the last ever exhibition to be held in the listed Victorian building when it closes this Saturday at 4.30pm.

It was confirmed yesterday that the Ormeau Baths Gallery with its Victorian architectural splendour has found a new buyer.

A spokeswoman for selling agent DTZ McCombe Pierce said that a sale has been agreed, but would not confirm if it made its asking price of £1.5m.

Mr Ballard (70) said that he wanted to "give something back to Belfast" to mark his successful art career.

"The exhibition spans my work from 1964, as a young art student, to 2014. I have shown 102 different pieces, including my larger landscapes and I've basically taken over the gallery."

He added: "It's free for everyone to come along and enjoy and this has been made possible by support from Arts and Business NI and Nicholson and Bass. It's sad that it's closing but I've been really encouraged by visitors' response."

Factfile

Ormeau Baths Gallery in Belfast was closed in October 2011 by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland as its running costs were "not sustainable." Opened in 1997, it closed temporarily in 2006.

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