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

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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


About Author

Born 1979 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Brendan Jamison studied for six years at the University of Ulster where he gained a BA Honours degree in Fine and Applied Arts in 2002 and then a Master of Fine Art in 2004. Over the past eight years, his sculptures have been widely exhibited throughout the world with shows in Scotland, Wales, England, France, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Italy, America, Canada, New Zealand, India and China. He has also been awarded residencies in New Delhi and New York. From 2006-2009, Jamison taught study skills coaching at Belfast's School of Art & Design. In 2009 he was a visting lecturer at the University of Florida. That same year, a small Jamison work was entered into the permanent collection of MoMA, New York's Museum of Modern Art, as part of the international unbound project titled 'A Book About Death'. In 2010, Jamison was commissioned by Native Land & Grosvenor to build sugar cube scale models of Tate Modern and NEO Bankside for the London Festival of Architecture. His carved sugar cube sculptures were later sold at Sotheby's (Bond Street, London) in an exhibition of contemporary art curated by Janice Blackburn. 2012 will see a carved sugar sculpture of Number 10 exhibited inside 10 Downing Street, London. Jamison has received six awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and is represented in Ireland by Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin. He is represented in the UK by the Golden Thread Gallery and Dickon Hall Gallery, Belfast. Jamison enjoys considerable world-wide media coverage for his sculpture practice, with significant reviews in Sculpture Magazine, published by the International Sculpture Center in America. Other notable reviews include The Washington Times, BBC Brasil, BBC News, ITV News and Channel 5 News in the UK, The Times, London Evening Standard and Metro newspapers in London, The Hindu and The Inside Track in India, The Jakarta Post in Indonesia and The Weekly News in Scotland. In Ireland he is regularly featured in the art magazines Circa and the Irish Arts Review. Jamison is also frequently discussed on BBC Radio Ulster and reviewed in local newspapers The Irish News, News Letter, South Belfast News and Belfast Telegraph.

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