A family of stags stand their ground on the edge of the Mount Stewart lake. These perspex figures appear to glow, illuminated with the light of dusk, fitting seamlessly into their surroundings. The pieces are there as part of the Creative Peninsula 15 exhibition at Mount Stewart - National Trust. There is lots to see including my family of stags. The exhibition continues until the end of August. Call in and have a look!
Call into Bangor Castle Walled Garden if you are out and about this month. You will see my installation piece on one of their beautiful apricot trees. I have over 150 little birds in all shades of blues, greens and purples. some are the size of an egg while other are harder to spot at only 12mm tall. Most of the little birds are sitting in the tree while others hop about on the ground below, there are also a few among the hedgerows.
They are part of the ForM outdoor sculpture exhibition. This exhibition includes work from over 20 local and international artists and runs until the end of june. It is definitely worth a visit, and the garden is looking absolutely beautiful.
This week I have been lucky enough to get a few days off! So I used the time to do some painting, It has been years since I have properly sat down and attempted to paint something but I have enjoyed it so much. I even had a little studio kitten for company.
I have been painting lots of local landmarks, the special places that we pass by everyday and sometimes we hardly notice them. I am going to use these paintings/Illustrations in my next exhibition. Keep an eye out for details!
We "Mud", had our most recent group show this month, and what a fantastic show it was! We were luck enough to be able to exhibit in the beautiful gallery at SpaceCraft in Belfast.
Jemma Millen ceramics, Chi Tsang Artist, M A G C, and me, Victoria Bentham Ceramics. We could not have wished for a better, busier opening night. Thank you so much to everyone who came along and made the night such a success!
Now keep an eye out for details of the next Mud show, their are very exciting plans underway!
All of my Giants Causeway dishes have survived their three firings and are now on their way to their new homes. Each sitting on a plush velvet cushion, wrapped in a delicate layer of tissue paper, set into a pretty black box and tied up with a ribbon. What more could you want.
I have been working on a very exciting commission this month! This is a little sneek peek at some of the pieces that have just appeared in out of the kiln this morning. Lots of my not so tiny, little dishes, each with a very carefully hand painted illustration of the Giants Causeway on the North Coast of Northern Ireland. They have been made in lots of shades of blue, green, yellow and turquoise patterns, finished off with a beautiful platinum luster on the delicately torn edge.
I had such a fantastic night at the new showroom launch and "Art at Atelier" (My Ceramics!) exhibition opening at Atelier Design in Belfast. They really know how to do it! Their showroom is like nothing you have seen before, bursting with stylish colour, pattern, furniture and homewares. If you thinking of doing some work to your house this is definitely somewhere that you need to visit!
They also have lots of my Ceramics in their beautiful showroom, so call in and have a look. You will not be disappointed!
This piece was made for the Royal Ulster Academy exhibition in the Ulster Museum, Belfast and purchased by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
In this piece most of my colours are mixed by hand, using stains and oxides, to give bright and vibrant colours, others are decorated with a mixture of beautiful glazes. There are often three or four layers of colour and pattern on a single surface. Some of the pieces are also illustrated with tiny representations of memories and places in Northern Ireland that are special to me.
My work is about expressing memory, but also aims to provoke memories within the viewer. This selection of work is inspired by the places where I have grown up and the magical memories, feelings and atmospheres created there.
Many of my earliest memories are of family holidays to the idyllic lakes of Lough Erne and for as long as I can remember they have inspired me. The colours and patterns that I find in the countryside as well as the shapes and structure of Belfast city are an endless source of inspiration. These places are reflected in the bright and colourful tones that I use in my work.
A few new patterned vases. These can be seen at the beautiful An Clachan Gallery in Donegal. With the help of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland I was able to buy new equipment allowing me to make bigger and more exciting pieces of work. This is just the beginning of lots more large sculptural pieces as well as exciting new commercial work and gift pieces. Keep an eye on my facebook page and on here for more information and images.
Get out and about this weekend! There is lots of fantastic art on show! I have a few pieces in different exhibitions across the country. Castle Ward's Craft Fest - in the House, The RDS in Dublin, Ards Arts Centre's Georgian Gallery, the gardens in Mount Stewart and the Courtyard Gallery in Bangor.
My first solo show "What if I just . . ."opens in The Space in Arts Crafts on the 4th of May. Be sure to call in for a look around. It will be on for one month and finish off with a workshop on the 1st of June. Get in touch with Ards Crafts for details.
I am very pleased to announce that MUD has had another very successful show! Our second show of the year took place in the Ards Arts Centre in their Sunburst Gallery. "Sintered" opened on the 28th of March and ran until the end of April.
There is lots of work going on in the studio this week to get ready for our first exhibition since Degree Show!! Its very exciting, hopefully there will be lots of new and interesting work to see.
There is lots of work going on in the studio this week to prepare for the first show of 2013 which kicks of on Thursday the 7th of February at 7:30 pm. You are invited to come along, chat to the Artists and enjoy some delicious fancy refreshments. Taking place in the Curve Gallery in Bangor Library with live music by my fantastically talented cousin Isaac Johnston.
Pop Up Tank's "Pew Pew Barney McGrew" is now closed forever!!! :( It was a beautiful shop with some of the best local work around! But its not too late to buy some of my beautiful pieces. A selection of my work is still available to buy from the gift shop at Stormont. It will be there right up until april 2013, so pop in and have a look around. There are new pieces arriving all the time. Also don't forget to look out for more of Pop up Tanks shops opening up around the country.
I have survived my first two Christmas craft Fayres this month! They were brilliant, I met some really interesting people and learnt a lot of very valuable lessons. Next year I will be a lot more organised!!! Look out for new posts on when and where you can buy my work this year :D
This has been the busiest couple of weeks that I have had since the degree show! I have lots of new commissions to get ready and sent out before christmas. The kiln has been on non stop for over a week now. I have just four more firings to go before I can slow down and enjoy Christmas.
There has been a lot happening in the studio this weekend. The kiln is jam packed with more bisc than it has ever fired before. Lots of new stock is being made just in time for the Christmas rush. New colours, sizes and finishes will be coming out of the kiln after their third and final firing on friday the 23rd of november just in time for the start of the Christmas craft fayres.
This is only one of the many new drawings that have been done this week. I am trying to collect my ideas into some kind of order that can be sucessfully made into new clay pieces.
I was having a look on the Arts Council website when I came across one of my very own pieces. I didn't know they had it up along with a bit about me and some info on the piece. They bought this piece at my Degree show in the University of Ulster in 2012. It is the biggest ceramic piece I have ever made. :D Gone to a very good home!
I am very excited to have been chosen by Craft NI as one of six Northern Irish Artists to exhibit and sell my new work in the Northern Ireland Assembly gift shop at Stormont, and just in time for christmas as well. They were delivered up on Monday and laid out inside a beautiful glass cabinet ready to go on sale first thing this morning. Very Exciting!!!
I have spent the day making some new narrative images that will make up part of my biggest ceramic project yet. Each one represents a memory or a place. I try to incorporate my feelings and emotions into them through the use of colour and pattern. I want to express these feelings in my own way while still giving the viewer something to look at, appreciate, and imagery that they can relate to.
Today all the new colours have been made up, the studio cleaned and new clay bought. So now I am ready to start back into a month of very intensive work as three big projects come to an end.
This is my beautiful new collection of old objects. I found them in a tiny little antique shop and just couldn't resist them, each piece came with a story of its own and will go on to help tell a new story. Each will go along side one of my new ceramic pieces to let the viewer have a closer look at the narrative that is expressed though the drawings on the surface of my work. I can't wait to get started on this one!
We all had a brilliant day at the RDS. The standard of work was amazing and included everything from ceramics to painting, sculpture, print and metalwork. I was delighted that my work had been put in with Catherine Keenan's piece. . . . .And I sold it!