Bernie McAdam graduated with an honours degree in Fine Art Painting from Belfast School of Art, Ulster University in 2019. During her course, she spent a year in Zagreb Academy of Fine Art in the Erasmus programme and was invited to exhibit her paintings in the Klovicevi Dvori gallery. Her work was added to the official collection of the Academy.
Since graduating, she participated in many group exhibitions in a number of Belfast and Louth based galleries. She has been a member of the Creative Exchange artists collective in Portview, East Belfast, since August 2019 and curated the group show, Which Way Next at The Eastside Visitor Centre in January 2020.
Her first solo exhibition, Kingdom of Haven, scheduled to be shown in May 2020 was instead hosted online and took place in Flax Gallery at Theatre at the Mill in Newtownabbey in October, 2021. Bernie engaged with Belfast based PSSquared Gallery’s Communal Open shared online drawing project, with a group exhibition of participants’ work in the gallery in September 2021, having directed two of the online sessions. Her work was also shown in Pluid – The National Comfort Blanket exhibition in the Cowshed Gallery, Farmleigh House in Dublin in August and September, 2021.
She is a member of Creative Spark Print studio in Dundalk and has taken part in a number of group exhibitions in The Basement gallery in An Tain Arts Centre in Dundalk. Bernie participated in two 20:20 Print Exchange projects organised by Hot Bed Press with other artists from Creative Spark studio. Most recently, she took part in a group exhibition of prints created by studio members entitled Seven, which took place throughout different venues in Dundalk in May 2021. She is currently engaged in research for a collaborative project to be hosted in Belfast’s Pollen Gallery later this year.
Bernie’s work encompasses oil painting, print and drawing.
Gmail: [email protected]
Alana is a figurative painter based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Since graduating Ulster University in 2016 her paintings have been acquired for public collections including The University of Ulster and Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In 2018 – 20 she was selected for the Royal Ulster Academy annual exhibition . In 2019 Alana won Northern Ireland Young Artist of the Year and was awarded the SIAP General Arts award. In 2020 she received the Arts Council Northern Ireland Artists Emergency programme and Artist Resilience fund.
Staged within a created reality the artwork is based around the exploration of childhood, family relationships and the speculative relationship between what is real and what is imaginary.The paintings deal with a hyper reality using both figurative and abstract elements that explore the use of movement and colour to convey ideas of surreal dream like states and alternative realities. Taking inspiration from cultures, the Renaissance and consciousness; primarily based on young people integrated with organic forms.
Habitat is a collection of paintings inspired by art made by families at home. The project began with a series of free online art tutorials tailored for adults and children to work on jointly, with the aim of creating positive memories during time spent at home. Participants were invited to send their creations as reference to inform this series of figurative paintings which explores childhood and family relationships.
Lenka Davidikova’s artwork explores the idea of searching for an interpretation of the human condition, through introspection, and relationships with others. There is a sense of attraction to alienated, displaced characters in Davidikova’s artwork. Davidikova does not aim to create fixed images, guided by concentrated, focused attention; rather, she aims to be guided by active but unfocused attention, resulting in correspondences guided by ‘unconscious scanning’. Davidikova’s artistic practice consists mainly in working with various drawing media or ink. It is the immediate action these media offer that Davidikova is drawn to. The versatile ability of charcoal and graphite allows Davidikova to capture both gestures and emotions. In contrast, the limitations of the usage of ink, place a demanding element upon the artist’s fluid fixations.
Recently Davidikova started to experiment with the idea of making hand sewn 3D textile sculptures representing the human form which is often crippled. Having studied Fashion Design in Slovakia and hand sawing from a very early age, going back to reinterpreting skills and motions she once enjoyed becomes an important fresh element to Davidikovas artwork. It reinforces meditative aspect to her work processes.
The idea of the ‘Presenting Female Exhibition’ is to place emphasis on the female figure, in both its natural and unnatural settings, reflecting on the position of women within traditions, culture, and society. Depicting some of my personal heroines from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Slovakia, the ‘Presenting Female Exhibition’ questions often assumed female trajectories. The ‘ Presenting Female Exhibition’ aims to celebrate the ‘ female ‘ figure within this society to bring awareness of her abilities to cope and to embrace everyday life; cultural differences, traditions she keeps alive, challenges she deals with and strength she shows to stand up for herself.
MMXX is a collaboration between Francesca Vendramin (ceramicist, FV/Ceramics Studio) & Stephen Dow (printmaker, heraldblack).
Francesca, from Italy, trained at Central Saint Martins (BA Hons) while Stephen is from Ireland and graduated from the Belfast School of Art. They both live and work in London.
Their collaboration’s working name, MMXX, is a reference to two artists making in the year 2020 and the practice of dating architecture with the year it is built.
Their first project, MMXX.I, is influenced by a shared appreciation of Brutalist architecture, particularly the 1970’s extension to the Ulster Museum in Belfast which also features in the (de)construct series of monoprints by Stephen Dow. It includes wall mounted and free standing ceramic pieces titled ‘Facade’ and ‘Elevation’
The ceramic pieces were developed and made over a period of months at the ceramic studio run by Francesca in South West London.
Pieces are build from sheets of red clays. The clay is carved, textured and embossed to reflect structure and material qualities present in Brutalist architecture. The surfaces are treated with washes of metal oxides, painted with slips and a simple palette of tin and transparent glazes. All work is fired in an electric kiln at 1080oC.
The project’s development and making process can be seen on Instagram account @we_are_MMXX.
Francesca Vendramin FV/ Ceramics Studio
Francesca has been studying and practicing ceramics since 2001. She graduated from Central Saint Martins (Hons) in 2009 and established her studio in 2015.
Her ceramic work tends to develop from a project-point of view. Clays and techniques are explored to create small collections. They are mainly influenced by the domestic and grow organically into (home)ware.
From the domestic to the body, a collection of wearables (FV.01) began to form in 2016 as a sideline of a terrazzo porcelain plate project. Francesca has recently completed a limited edition of earthenware brooches, FV.06 that are inspired by brutalist architecture and in particular by a series of monoprints by printmaker Stephen Dow.
She currently works with earthenware clays using her own slips and a very limited palette of glazes. In the last year she has been collaborating with Stephen Dow to create a series of wall and freestanding ceramic pieces that reflect their shared love of Brutalism. Their working name is MMXX.
Stephen Dow heraldblack
Stephen is an artist and printmaker based in East London, graduating from the Belfast School of Art in 1997 having studied textiles. He worked for John Rocha in Dublin later that year, printing fabrics for men’s and womenswear collections. His work background also includes over 10 years home accessories merchandising for Habitat & The Conran Shop before establishing his creative business heraldblack in 2014.
Now printing on paper instead of textiles, he produces a range of hand printed & original monoprints as well as card and poster ranges that are stocked by retailers in the UK, EU & USA. Stephen’s work is also licensed through Bridgeman Studios and East End Prints and has been used by Habitat, Anthropologie, Columbia University Press, LittleBrown Book Group and Pringle of Scotland.
In 2020 he began collaborating with ceramicist Francesca Vendramin to develop a body of work referencing the structure and forms of brutalist architecture.
Lindsey Power is an English-born artist who has resided in Ireland for over 20 years. Working from her garden studio, she is currently making a series of abstract paintings based on the geology, biodiversity and landscape features of The Burren. Her work is full of gestural, raw, bold and imposing marks that create a sense of immediacy and chaos.
The work is about the things often overlooked within the dramatic landscape such as fossils, rocks, plant and sea life. These are studied forensically and abstracted further. The wild shapes and the variety of colour is viewed by Lindsey as a form of nature’s own graffiti, overcoming the boundaries of its limestone habitat.
The work often begins with photography to gather information for explorative charcoal sketches on paper, or directly onto the canvas.
The paintings are made using acrylic, oil, graphite, ink, marker, pastels and spray paint in experimental ways. Lindsey builds line, form and colour, creating balance or deliberate imbalance with fluid rhythmic motions and frantic linework that often involves boring in marks heavily using her entire body.
Originally trained as a ceramicist, Patrick Colhoun’s practice is now
multi-disciplinary with sculptures and installations combining
ceramic with unconventional materials such as hosiery,
neon, latex, and piercings.
The use of materials such as Meccano hark back to childhood and
lead pellets from shotgun cartridges keep the dark side of Colhoun’s
work alive. Both also strengthen the influence of memory that runs
throughout the artist’s work.
The unconventional approach reinforces an early decision by the
artist to move away from ceramics with a traditional craft approach to
a version of what the artist terms ‘Anti Ceramics’.
Recent work has focused on the notion that the making process has
become a thing that helps the artist function with everyday life and
that the idea of having a project ongoing is integral to the artist’s
wellbeing. The extension of this is the realization that people use
many different things to help them cope with everyday life.
The duality in the titles of many pieces allow the viewer
to make their own mind about the meaning, they can be
positive and reassuring or negative and oppressive.