Belfast Telegraph

Lost in time... artist's story of our troubled times to be finally told

By Nevin Farrell

He packed them up and put them in storage 20 years ago before leaving Northern Ireland.

Now a treasure trove of lost paintings - many based on the Troubles - is to go on show again after their artist, Anthony Davies, flew halfway round the world to be reunited with his work.

The 67-year-old left Belfast back in 1994 to teach in America, leaving 2,000 pieces of his work in storage, and later moved on to New Zealand.

It remained untouched for 20 years until Davies was tracked down and persuaded to come back. The artist – whose works are on show in high-profile places like the Library of Congress in Washington DC – yesterday said he felt very "emotional" as a special showing of his work was put on in the city for him to see.

Davies, originally from Andover in Hampshire, said he was always interested in doing political art and believed in immersing himself in the area of the conflict, so he came to Northern Ireland in 1983.

"I had to be authentic about it and immerse myself here," he said. "I didn't want people saying 'what do you know about it?'

Connor Weir (19), from Co Armagh, has been working as curator of the collection and says there are 1,733 unframed pieces and 264 framed pictures.

Conor's father Uel Weir (57) is the project manager for an arts initiative taking place at Blackstaff Mill in Belfast's Springfield Road, and he said he is excited that the public will get to see it. "This moth-balled work is a real snap-shot of that decade during the Troubles and we are very excited to be bringing it to a new generation," he said.

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