Belfast Telegraph

Our business awards are in good hands thanks to Jasper

By Clare Weir

From the House of Lords to the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards -- Banbridge artist Jasper McKinney is sculpting something special for tomorrow night's big winners.

The renowned artist was born in and lives in Banbridge.

A graduate of the University of Ulster and Slade School of Fine Art in London, the award winning painter and sculptor's work is held in many collections across the world including the House of Lords, the USA, Germany, Japan and Mexico as well as museums and galleries closer to home.

Mr McKinney currently works as Assistant Director of Student Services at the Southern Regional College and indeed was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list for services to further education and student welfare in Northern Ireland.

And now each category winner at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards will have their own McKinney original made in bronze and Kilkenny marble after his unique designs were selected to honour the recipients.

"My sculptural work uses abstracted forms and this piece is based on the typographical form of a B -- B for Business, for Belfast, for Best," he said.

"The whole process of making the award, from the thinking, the sketching, the developing of the idea into a 3D model, to the moulding and the shell casting in the foundry, can take from 8-12 weeks.

"I like to work in bronze and I think it is very important to use locally sourced materials," Mr McKinney said.

"I appreciate that the business awards and other companies and clients have chosen my work rather than just go to a catalogue and pick something generic and mass produced.

"The creative industries are very important to the Northern Ireland economy and it is important that we have a strong link between business, innovation, industry and the arts as such partnerships can enrich the whole economy."