Northern Ireland news

Childhood memories of growing up in NI are inspiration for artist Stephen Johnston's solo exhibition

Stephen Johnston will debut his art work, entitled 'Combustion', later this month

A CO Down artist has drawn on his childhood memories of growing up in Northern Ireland as his inspiration for an exhibition that features paintings based on the idea of metaphorical petrol bombs.

Stephen Johnston (33), who is originally from Clough, will debut his art work, entitled 'Combustion', later this month.

It features a set of seven paintings based on the idea of metaphorical petrol bombs, juxtaposed with various bottles of hot sauce.

Each piece is a "clever variation from the last, combining different brands of hot sauce with a number of different incendiary devices such as a match or a lighter".

The paintings are described as a "delight in bold and vibrant colour, incredibly detailed and impeccable in their execution and uniformity" with the seven pieces "retaining a strong coherence as a set, while each making an impact as a stand-alone piece".

Mr Johnston's previous work 'Elements of War' also drew on his experience from his childhood in the north.

His new solo exhibition aims to highlight the "current climate of escalating tensions across the globe", but he said the "story behind these pieces is a personal one".

"Growing up in Northern Ireland from a young age you are presented with the idea of 'us' and 'them', he said.

"There is always a tension, a constant friction, and when I observe the current rising tensions in the west, I notice a similar undercurrent.

"There is a familiar sense that underneath the label groups, a universal human trait of anger, fear and distrust exists."

His 'Combustion' exhibition will be available to view at Gormleys Fine Art Belfast from September 19 to October 3.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news