Weekend Q&A: Adrian Margey on parenthood, art and reopening his gallery

Adrian Margey (36) is a noted painter based on the north coast. He shares his gallery, Margey and Bjourson Arts, in Portrush with his artist wife Ivana Bjourson

Artist Adrian Margey, whose gallery in Portrush reopens on Saturday May 01
Jane Hardy

How do you unwind at the weekend?

We have two young children, aged six and three, so we’d go for walks with them. They’re both very artistic and like drawing and painting. We live 10 minutes from the beach in Portrush which is good. My weekends are about to change as our gallery is reopening this weekend. It’s be socially distanced visits and all the Covid-19 measures are in place. Two visitors will be allowed in at one time with me, and we’re putting chairs outside. Outside lockdown, we’d hold open studios every Saturday through the year.

What do you recall most about weekends growing up?

I grew up in Kilrea in Co Derry. Seeing my grandmother was a weekend ritual and I remember listening to her regaling me with stories of her country childhood near Dungiven. She worked for one of the big houses in the area and accompanied the young ladies to events. I was really into music and the arts. I sang in school musicals and at 12 or 13 went to art classes given by Tom McGoldrick who instilled in me a love of landscape painting.

Friday night or Saturday night?

I’m a Saturday night person as it’s the end of my working week and I can put my paintbrush down. We try to get out to eat, when the grandparents can babysit.

Do you have a must-listen weekend radio show?

When painting, I’d tune in to Conor Phillips. On Saturday it’s BBC Radio 3’s This Classical Life.

Must-watch weekend TV show/box set?

I enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit about the girl who became a champion chess player. Ivana persuaded me to watch Ann with an E, an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, and it became a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Favourite eatery – or is it a takeaway?

We like Neptune and Prawn, an Asian fusion restaurant in Portrush. We also like Italian and always order arancini because it reminds us of a summer we spent in Sicily.

Is Sunday still special?

Yeah, it is. When younger I’d spend Sunday singing in the choir in St Mary’s, Drumagarner. Now it’s all hands on deck with the kids.

How do you feel on Sunday night about Monday morning?

I don’t suffer from anxiety as I’m a great man for ‘to do’ lists. If I have a list, I’m happy.

Margey and Bjourson Arts reopens on Saturday May 01. For more information visit

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