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Ulster Museum marks centenary of Irish artist Gerard Dillon's birth with retrospective exhibition

Bimpe Archer
26 May, 2016 19:22

A MAJOR retrospective art show has opened at the Ulster Museum to mark the centenary of the birth of one of the most celebrated artists in 20thh century Ireland.

Gerard Dillon, born in west Belfast in 1916 and brought up on Lower Clonard Street off Falls Road, was a largely self-taught who started out as a house painter and decorator.

More than 20 of his works, including oils on canvas and works on paper are on display in the exhibition titled `Gerard Dillon: Painter, Dreamer, Clown'.

Dillon left school aged 14 to train as a house painter and spent a brief period at the Belfast College of Art.

He moved to London in 1934, where he worked in a variety of manual jobs to support his artistic endeavours.

Much of his art was inspired by the west of Ireland, with his lifelong fascination with Connemara, inspiration for one of his most famous works The Yellow Bungalow which features in the show.

Dillon died in June 1971, aged 55, and is buried in an unmarked grave at Belfast's Milltown Cemetery as he requested.

Kim Mawhinney, National Museums Northern Ireland Head of Art said the exhibition combines the museum's own collection and works from the National Gallery of Ireland, the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork and private collections.

"It beautifully reflects the complexity of Dillon both as a person and an artist," she said.

"His variety of techniques and interests in landscape, nature and people are beautifully captured in this exhibition."

Riann Coulter, of the FE McWilliam Gallery & Studio in Banbridge, curated the new exhibition.

"It's wonderful, in this year of the centenary of Dillon's birth, that the public can enjoy this exhibition which encapsulates so much of who Gerard Dillon was, as a man and as an artist."

The paintings will be on display until November, with a series of complementary events, including special tours, gallery talks and lectures.

26 May, 2016 19:22 News