Winter Exhibitions

Posted by Ards Arts Centre|20 December 2016| in Press

Take time out over this busy festive season to visit the two stunning exhibitions currently showing at Ards Arts Centre; "Juniper" by Shona Shirely Macdonald in the Georgian Gallery, and "Absorption" by Ellie Niblock in the Sunburst Gallery.



"Juniper" is a solo exhibition by illustration artist Shona Shirley which takes you on the magical journey of ‘Juniper’ and her companions.

Originally from Scotland, artist Shona Shirley Macdonald is now based in Co. Waterford, Ireland. While specialising in stop-motion animation, she works primarily as an illustrator and is a member of the Illustrators Guild of Ireland.

Her illustration projects range from book illustration to concept art for theatre, and she exhibits her artwork nationally and internationally.

Her solo exhibition ‘Juniper’ is a series of atmospheric, richly detailed and fantastical illustrations that bring to life the story of Juniper and her companions, as they escape from the Giant’s laboratory and search through peculiar and threatening landscapes, trying to make sense of who they are and the world they find themselves in.

The story of Juniper as told in this imaginative and visual way will appeal to children and adults alike.

"Absorption" is a solo exhibition by visual artist Ellie Niblock which features work created during, and in response, to a recent residency in India.

Ellie Niblock creates unique, textured and colourful sculptures that are peculiar but magnetic, and undoubtedly trick the senses.

A recent graduate of the School of Textiles, Art, Design and Fashion at the University of Ulster, mixed media artist Ellie was the first artist selected for the Art Ichol residency, which is itself the first of a range of new international arts residencies in India for artists from Northern Ireland. These residencies are a joint initiative between the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council. 

Ellie’s residency took place earlier this year, and gave the artist the opportunity to absorb the breath-taking local culture and colour of the India.

Her solo exhibition ‘Absorption’ showcases the new skills and inspiration that she has found on her travels and her considerations of how the culture shock has influenced her work including the rich colours, the land, food, textiles and the new people and stories she encountered.

Ards Arts Centre is excited to be in a position to offer everyone the opportunity to see the results of her creative considerations of this vibrant new environment.

Expressing gratitude to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Ellie Niblock said: "The entire trip to India was inspirational. I was surrounded by vibrant colours and wonderful people, which is the influence and has been the focal point of the 'Absorption' exhibition. On display will be a series of sculptural art works based on the visual and emotional affects that this country, and the people I met there, had on me."

Noirín McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland added, "Ellie Niblock was the first artist selected for the Art Ichol residency in India, a platform for creating, sharing and promoting the creative arts. The new India residencies initiative is all about providing a stage for our local artists to develop and showcase their immense talent and to convey the culture and creativity that is inherent in Northern Ireland. Ellie Niblock is a wonderful ambassador for the arts and culture in Northern Ireland and we wish her every success with the exhibition."

Both exhibitions continue until Saturday 21 January 2017.

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