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Galleries: A contrast in styles and approaches at exhibitions

Aura – Lisa Ballard

ArtisAnn Gallery Art Works, 70 Bloomfield Avenue, Belfast

Until June 2


Spring is in the air, and with it comes a seeming rush of new exhibitions, which is just wonderful.

I would like to look briefly at two solo exhibitions offering totally different styles and approaches to their finished pieces.

Lisa Ballard, an artist whose work is familiar to many of us, is showing her new, one person show, Aura, at the ArtisAnn gallery.

Lisa is influenced by Irish landscape but this show also includes works created in Barcelona, where the light is entirely different to that of this island.

Her palette is quite quiet, subtle and subdued for most of this show, though I found some of her pieces containing dark detail, particularly in the foreground. This exhibition leaves you with a feeling that there is something starting to change in Lisa’s work.

There appears to be two sides of the artist on show here, one getting more strongly and confidently graphic, such as in Green Wall light and Leaves, while the other remains within the more colourist, impressionistic style, like Sunrise Island.

Overall, Ballard’s show is worth the visit.

New Works – Kyle Barnes

The Burnavon Arts & Cultural Centre, Cookstown, Until May 31

In October 2014, I reviewed Kyle Barnes’s work on show at the Royal Ulster Academy of that year, where he won the Young Artist Award and the People’s Choice Award.

Kyle is of the hyperrealist school of artists. Large in format and microscopic in detail, his pieces can be totally overwhelming in their visual impact and quite breathtaking in their technical ability.

Kyle works with people as his subject base to tell his and their stories through his paintings.

His studies never disappoint and never fail to leave you in respectful awe of his raw technical talent and how he can take the human face and use it through his hyperrealism to tell multiple and complex tales.

I would go so far as to say you may look more closely at the faces around you after you see this show which brings a collection of large scale portraits of veterans to the Burnavon.

The works primarily consider the personal impact of each person’s experience and the ways in which their life has been changed as a result.

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