ajssketchart is an ongoing and ever-expanding project by local artist Adrian Steele. It seeks to explore, record and celebrate aspects of our built environment in sketches and drawings – primarily pencil, pen and watercolour. The project began in and around Ballymena, expanded into Co Antrim more broadly, followed the coast round into Co Londonderry and has recently been focussing on Larne.
The images are used to encourage ‘conversations’ exploring the history and associations of the buildings involved – both online through a series of ‘sketchbooks’ and at meetings of various local community and cultural groups. The artist would never claim to be an expert, but rather invites others to confirm, adjust and otherwise expand the information he has gathered so far. Often the craic is mighty indeed!
At the centre of this exhibition will be material from the growing Larne Sketchbook, but there will also be other Co Antrim images, largely from around the coast, in a variety of formats. Also on show will be some other pictures which present further aspects of the artist’s repertoire. As a poet also, Adrian is keen to ‘sketch’ the character of places in words as well as images – and finds the haiku and other short forms particularly useful for this. ajssketchart is a not-for-profit project with any and all funds gathered being donated directly to charity.
Felting Crazy, the ‘trading name’ of textile artist Shelley Steele, came into being some four years ago – as a vehicle for Shelley’s passion for this wool-based textile technique. Basically, felting is a process of transforming predominantly wool fibre into a fabric. From a very wide range of possible outcomes and uses, some felters choose to focus on one or two – for instance, producing felt pictures or items of clothing. Others, however, like Shelley, enjoy the challenge of exploring the use of felt across a wider range of creative forms. She may be inspired by the natural world to use autumn colours in a nuno-felted scarf, or the pattern of waves on a felt vase. Varying aspects of landscape will inspire her flat-felted pictures. She uses the technique of needle-felting to produce mini-sculptures of animals and colourful Christmas decorations. And so on.
Through this exhibition Shelley hopes to demonstrate the great flexibility of this medium, and to inspire others to take up this craft.
This exhibition is on display from Saturday 15th December 2018 until Saturday 9th February and includes Saturday opening on 15th December, 12th January and 9th February.