Brendan Jamison: Collecting Contemporary Art [Part 1: Landscape Refreshed]


BERLIN (2010) Ciaran Magill, oil on canvas, 70 x 100 cms


Visitors to the sculpture studio often become absorbed by the paintings hanging on the walls, the works being regularly rotated from my ever-expanding art collection. Collecting art is a pure passion and some of Northern Ireland’s emerging artists are making works of a strong international standard. The artist who often draws the most intrigue is Ciaran Magill (born in 1978, lives in Kilkeel) A graduate of the University of Ulster in 2009 and recipient of the DIAGEO N.I. award for ‘Emerging Artist of the Year.” Described by renowned painter Neil Shawcross as ‘a genius’ back when he studied under him on the foundation course in 1998, Magill is a painter who has mastered the art of spooky landscapes through edgy layering effects, strong depth and an accomplished use of line. Desolate and haunting, they exude an hypnotic charm. Over the past two years he has exhibited internationally in New York and Italy, while closer to home, he has shown in many significant group exhibitions at Golden Thread, Ormeau Baths Gallery, ArtTank, Catalyst Arts and the Naughton Gallery.

Of the 19 works I have already collected from this artist, two thirds are of his magnificent landscapes, the others are explorations of the male nude, with influence drawn from Egon Schiele, Hernan Bas and Tracey Emin. Magill’s new figurative works will be displayed in a group exhibition titled ‘Warning! This is Contemporary Art’ which opens on Friday May 4 in Belfast. Also that month, the artist’s second solo exhibition at Down Arts Centre titled ‘Spooky Hypnotic’ will open on Friday May 11 and is highly anticipated.

Next month I’ll discuss another contemporary artist from my personal collection…

ECHO (2010) Ciaran Magill, oil on canvas, 60 x 90 cms


EERIE TWILIGHT (2010) Ciaran Magill, drawing on card, 25 x 30 cms

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