Birthstone Snail Exhibition - Dawn Crothers


Birthstone Snail Exhibition 'Treasure forever what make you unique'
Friday 26th May 2017
Whalley Fine Art
Guest of honour – Dame Mary Peters
7pm to 9.30pm
From Ancient times wise men and healers have believed that gemstones have mystical powers and conduct the energies of the ruling planets with which each gemstone is associated which affect our physical or emotional well being and healing powers. Birthstones, or Gemstones, and their attributes were related to signs of the Zodiac or month of birth and referred to as Birthstones.
My fascination of birthstones stems from when I was a young girl growing up in North Belfast. I took a trip once to the Ulster Museum where I was first introduced to gemstones. I remember the design of the Old museum were the stones were displayed in large glass cases in completely darkened rooms and highlighted by pin pointed spotlights! The colours and sparkle of the stones were amazing and I remember just wanting to take them all home.
Where I was brought up in York Park off the Shore Road I also remember collecting lots of shells and keeping them in a shoebox in my room. York Park was built on reclaimed land and the shore line came up to where I lived many years ago. I always find it strange now that I have moulded my career in painting snails given I used to collect mollusks and sea shells when I was young...maybe it was a sign back then!
Since coming up with the idea of painting snails over 10 years ago the shells have always reminded me of gemstones. The variety of colour I use in each painting has really lended itself to the birthstone series and love the three dimensional element the paint has compared to the stones edges. I have also introduced some small diamond shards and gems to the pieces to give them a gem like quality and sparkle which is the first time I have ever introduced anything like this in my work.
I work on a lot of personalized commissions throughout the year where someone would request a certain colour or name the snail after a friend or family member. One of my main commissions I would undertake is for new born babies and from this I decided the birthstone Ltd Editions would be a great present given the babies month of birth and birthstone colours!
The twelve original works have all be painted on circular board and have been framed in hand painted box frames. I decided to use circles to make the series more identifiable and gem like and have also been working on a range of hand embellished canvas prints that will also be launched with the exhibition and be available online and in galleries throughout the UK and Ireland.
Since embellished canvases involve greater involvement on my part as an artist than an unembellished one, art lovers can get a step closer to an original at a fraction of the cost. Each of the 12 birthstone snails will be hand finished and decorated by me which makes every piece unique!
I have also produced one large scale circular painting which encapsulates all the birthstones on one canvas which measures 4ft in diameter!
The birthstone series has been over a year in the making and being a mother of two young boys aged 4 and 1 years has made it more challenging to find the time to complete the series.
We have a real family team though which helps everything come together as my husband and I own and run our own gallery and framing business, which is in its 10th year now. Our premises located on the upper part of the Belmont Road is set in an old stable in the grounds of a historic mansion house which really lends itself to displaying our artwork and love that we can use the building as our studio and gallery space!
The Birthstone Snail Exhibition will take place on Friday 26th May 2017 at 7pm. The venue will be Whalley Fine Art, 378a Belmont Road, Belfast BT4 2NF. The show will be opened by Dame Mary Peters and will support her charity the 'Dame Mary Peters Trust' supporting young people in sport. The event will also be sponsored by several local businesses and there will be a competition on the evening to WIN one of the Hand Embellished Ltd Editions. All original paintings will be available prior to the opening night. Enquiries – Stephen Whalley – 02895430340 stephen@whalleyfineart.com
www.whalleyfineart.com www.dawncrothers.com
Event sponsors – Old Schoolhouse Restaurant Mary Peters Trust Par Ici, Belfast Harland Wines Rodgers and Browne Estate Agents


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Dawn Crothers - Christmas Gift Day


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Heidi Wickham - 'Arctic Hares....and Polar Bears?'



"Arctic Hares and Polar Bears" is a culmination of making drawings that I love, along with the more worrying information concerning the rapid decline of the Arctic ice sheets that these nobel creatures depend on.

I have been predominantly a drawer of animals since I was a child. Once I moved to Ireland in 1992 , I was looking for the physical and emotional room to kick start my career in fine art. When my youngest child had started pre school, I started working again, mainly making art in community groups .

In 1999 I built a workshop in the garden, and although I was still teaching art , I devoted more time to my own practice.

I draw animals because that is what I love. At one point I had quite a menagerie including dogs, cats, chickens and guinea pigs. I now have just three cats and bees.

Like writing , I believe that one should draw what you see. I watched my animals everyday and drew them over and over again until I was so familiar with their shapes , I could allow my line to become looser and more confident.

I always had a fascination with bears and the polar regions. I'm a keen hill walker , and have hiked in snow and ice here and abroad. As a charcoal artist, I can stay within the world of monochrome quite comfortably as the medium lends itself to stark contrast , so I love the white of the snow and the beauty of dark outlines of trees or buildings in that landscape.

Although the anatomy of each animal is different, it wasn't too big a transition to move from cats and hares to bears. It's the feel of an animal's bulk or muscle that I attempt to capture. The bears are the most powerful killers on land, but there is something so beautiful about them that I try to translate in a look in the eye or a ragged fur line. I didn't intend to anthropomorphise them , but once I place in an eye and it looks right back at me , I feel a connection has been made and this drawing is now a portrait.

I collect photos of bears I find wherever I can. I use them to start the process, but like all obsessions, the inner motivation takes over and the drawing becomes it's own unique thing.

Exhibition Details:

'Arctic Hares and Polar Bears'

Opening Night - Thursday 18th August 2016

(Exhibition will run until 8th September)

The show will encapsulate a new series of works by Heidi Wickham mainly as the

title suggests..Arctic Hares and Polar Bears, with a series of other animal related


7pm to 9.30pm

Drinks Reception

Whalley Fine Art & Framing

The Courtyard

378A Belmont Road



T: 02895 430340


Gallery Opening times:

Monday & Sunday: by Appointment

Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm


Whereabouts are you from and how long have you been a professional artist?

I was born near a place called Abergavenny, in the shadow of The Skirrid in The Black Mountains. We moved a few years later and my childhood was spent in the Surrey village of Windlesham.

Having qualified from Bristol Art College, I really started selling work around 2000, nearly 8 years after arriving in Ireland.

What type of work do you like to produce and what is your preferable medium?

I have always preferred using charcoal to make my drawings, it's not that I don't like colour, but the basic and rawness of making marks with essentially what is burnt wood, frees me from all the process involved with other mediums. Charcoal is what we used in prehistory. There's no brush between you on the canvas, I use every part of my hand to draw, pulling the charcoal over the surface and then paring it back using an eraser or tool.

Why and how did you start painting polar bears?

I really only draw animals. I draw bears because I like the shape of the head and the outline of the body. In polar bears , the heads are quite disproportionate to the body, I love that. I want to create a sense of bulk and mass with my bears, fully owning the canvas, but still with a benign sadnesses. I never draw them with teeth bared or in any aggressive way. They are the primary hunters on this planet, but I try to make them passive in my work.

What is your relationship with Whalley Fine Art?

Stephen Whalley approached me two years ago to be one of his gallery artists. He liked the work I was making and so I sent a few pieces to the gallery when he was in Holywood. They proved popular, and so we've been steadily working towards a solo show over the last couple of years. I am very happy to have work with Stephen, as I am from the UK , is a connection back to my roots too, dealing in sterling reminds me of home! I've lived in county Sligo for 25 years , longer than I've lived anywhere, and it's my favourite place on earth.

Have you any hobbies and what do you like to do in your spare time?

When I'm not making drawings, I volunteer with my local mountain rescue team. I'm ten years in it now, and it provides the perfect antidote to the solitary lifestyle of an artist. Switching to a team mentality, as well as the great exercise, helps me feel less isolated. It has happened that in the middle of a drawing, I've gone to a callout, only to return to the drawing hours later once the rescue has concluded !

Have you a favourite artwork you can remember painting?

Many years ago , I made a drawing of a cow. It was a turning point in both confidence and technique. Even though I have made better drawings since, I won't forget that one.

Do you collect art yourself and what type of work do you like?

We collect local artists work , and often will get something small whilst travelling. Our walls are covered with other people's art ! I love drawings of course, but a picture just has to have the right feeling. If you've ever caught the eye of someone over a crowded pub, you'll know what I mean.

What are your plans for the future?

The future is bright. I am having a new studio built this summer and the hares, bears and such will continue to bewitch me. Later this year I'm having a solo in Sligo based on beekeeping. I am on the cairde festival team and we stage an open submissions art show each year which takes a lot of time and effort , and training continues with the rescue team of course.

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Stephen Whalley - Scenic Impressions


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Joe Lindsay - Solo Exhibition - 'Say Everything'



Thursday 7th May 2015 – 21st May 2015

Exclusive Opening Night – Thursday 7th May 2015

Whalley Fine Art, 48c High Street, Holywood


Joe Lindsay is best known for his travel presenting skills on the BBC programme 'Getaways' and his ear for music and now his art career is set to scale new heights. Joe is having his first solo exhibition at Whalley Fine Art in Holywood on Thursday 7th May 2015 which will run for 2 weeks.

When he's not off on his travels, Joe is a Belfast based TV and radio presenter and broadcaster. Joe has presented Getaways for BBC Northern Ireland for several years. He also presented After Midnight on BBC Radio Ulster and Art Space on BBC NI.
A well-known figure on the music scene in Belfast, Joe runs a popular monthly club night and is an ardent promoter of new music on the Irish scene. As Palookaville, Joe has done remixes for bands A Plastic Rose and Little Matador and is currently putting his first four-track EP together, to be released in 2015.
Joe was also one of the founder members of Skewiff Theatre Company, having performed the one-man show The Agony And Ecstasy Of Steve Jobs, and taken leading roles in Talk Radio and The Odd Couple.
Belfast has seen an increase in Street Art over the past few years with buildings becoming canvasses throughout the city and as Joe explains this has given him the urge to produce his latest collection of work.
Joe explains, 'I have always drawn and painted. When I was a kid, it was copying panels from American comics I got from Harry Halls in Gresham Street, as a teenager I became obsessed with graffiti art through my love of Hip Hop music. I couldn't afford turntables to DJ, I was hopeless at breakdancing and rapping sounded weird with a Belfast accent. But I loved the whole ethos of graffiti.

Brightly coloured, vibrant, strange works of art turning up in subways and on dreary walls, done under cover of darkness and at risk of arrest. These paintings were planned out meticulously beforehand in sketch form and executed quickly.

Vandalism, some called it, but it would remain and infiltrate the art galleries and mainstream culture. This was a transient art form. The works were either erased or painted over and painted over again. And I quickly realised that that was the part about it that fascinated me. It was considered an insult, a challenge, to deface a graffiti piece, but as the pieces were defaced then defaced over, layer upon layer, that is when I regarded it as more exciting..seeing the layers of pieces and paint beneath and at the edges, as artist after artist made their mark in their own particular style. A type of strange evolution.

In America, art stars emerged..Basquiat, Haring, Scharf, etc..taking a street art and making it accepted by the wider art world. This sent out a huge, clear signal. That we all had something to say, with spray paint and markers... and to me and many others, it was the new pop art.

In my work, I still look to those artists who spoke to me then, and I still love the layered imagery and pop cultural references.

Recently I have been looking at mythical creatures. Minotaurs, Centaurs, Griffins. Beasts of mythology and enduring symbolism. But what if they had been real, we could see their skeletons in museums alongside T-Rex and Mammoths. A big spanner in the theory of evolution and indeed creationism. Mythical creatures, Superheroes, Rock Stars. Timeless pop cultural figures.

The exhibition with be made up of a number of large canvasses, Ltd Edition hand finished pieces and prints with is a rally car bonnet from the 1970's, hand finished and sprayed being the highlight of the show.

Gallery Director – Stephen Whalley, Whalley Fine Art, 48c High Street, Holywood, BT18 9AE

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Stephen Whalley - September Exhibition InToTo - Lisburn Road


We are very pleased to announce Stephen Whalley's 2nd Solo Exhibition with Whalley Fine Art.
This exhibition will be a selection of work Stephen has been working on over the past 2 years with a mixture
of local Landscapes and contemporary Still Life pieces, which we are sure will be interesting
viewing to any interested Art Collector.
Please join our mailing list for more informaion and invitations to our events.



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CLICK TO VIEW Eddie Millar Solo Exhibition 2015


Eddie Millar - Solo Exhibition.

We are very pleased to announce we will be holding an exhibition
for Eddie Millar in the New Titanic Visitors Centre in April 2015.

The opening night will be on Thursday 2nd April 2015 in the Andrews Gallery
on the 2nd Floor of the visitors centre.

The show will encapsulate 3 years of work on a variety of narratives based are the
life and times of the Harland & Wolff shipyard.

Whalley Fine Art will also be publishing a book to coindide with the opening of the Exhibition
illustrating the paintings in the exhibition and telling the stories of the folks that worked there.

The books will also be available to purchase through various outlets following the exhibition
which is set to be one of the most exciting and thought provoking exhibitions to be held in Belfast
over the past decade!

For exclusive invitations to the show and for more information please join our mailing list!


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Liverpool Contemporary Art fair 3rd -6th July


Contemporary Arts Fair 2014
Liverpool Contemporary is Britain's new Modern Arts Fair, showcasing work by emerging and established artists from over 50 leading British and International galleries.

The Fair is part of the cultural programme for the UK's International Festival for Business (IFB 2014), which is being hosted in Liverpool and will welcome over 250,000 national and International visitors to the city.

Liverpool has a prosperous art scene as well as a growing collector base. It is a dynamic cultural destination with an international name for presenting the very best in visual art through its public institutions, private collections, leading commercial galleries, and world renowned Biennial.

World Exclusive, Liverpool Contemporary is showcasing a rare opportunity to view and buy original artwork by Nelson Mandela artwork - The Long Walk to Freedom Exhibition. More

Visitors to the Fair will be able to view and buy art from some of the most exciting contemporary galleries working today. The Fair will include Visual Art, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass work and much more

The Fair will present a curated programme of talks, artists, commissions and film projects, many of which are interactive or performative and encourage visitors to engage with Art and Artists directly.

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