It’s Pronounced ‘Ai-M-Ee’ Art Exhibition, Artis Ann Gallery, East Belfast, January 9, 2020
By Conor O’Neill
Photography courtesy of ArtisAnn Gallery
The concept is quite simple: three up-and-coming local artists, all called Amy, or Aimee, exhibiting under the one roof, all delivering high quality work and looking to expand and enhance their profiles.
Those unfamiliar with the ArtisAnn Gallery will undeniably be doing themselves a favour in visiting this homely little gallery just off the Upper Newtownards Road in the east of the city. The exhibition space is upstairs, but the ground-floor boasts art of all types, from sculpture and ceramics, to contemporary abstract pieces, and of course more traditional work including the figurative, landscapes, portraits, etchings, prints, and all other genres under the artistic umbrella. There’s something suitable for all wallets.
The opening night was relaxed with the attendees ranging from parents to art enthusiasts, and a few of ArtisAnn’s regulars. Going by the feedback in the visitors’ book all seem to appreciate both the talent of the artists and the time and effort gone in to producing such a high quality of work.
In the order as they read in the catalogue, we’re first introduced to Amy Higgins. Higgins graduated from Belfast School of Art in 2016, then went on to receive an extinction in her master’s degree developing ideas around Barbara Creed’s monstrous feminine, the sublime, the uncanny and Hannah Arendt’s notions concerning the human condition.
Higgins has exhibited in many of Belfast’s galleries. In 2016, after graduating, she had a solo show in Goose Lane Gallery which she curated in conjunction with her degree show.
Her work in this exhibition is all oil on canvas, with big colours and styles ranging from the angular A Shadow Not Exactly to the more abstract Submerged and The Trace Of Us.
The second artist is Aimee Melaugh. Hailing from Derry, Melaugh graduated from the Belfast School of Art in 2018. She has sold work to the School and also to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
She exhibited at the Royal Ulster Academy’s 137th exhibition and sold both work on show at the exhibition. This is her second time exhibiting at ArtisAnn Gallery’s ‘Emerging Artists’ exhibition.
Melaugh has also exhibited at Platform Arts Belfast, PS₂ and has exhibited by the Arts Council Northern Ireland backed exhibition at the Glassworks, Londonderry. 2020 sees her taking on a one-month residency at St Augustine’s Old Schoolhouse, Londonderry, through Art Arcadia.
Again, the work in this exhibition is oil on canvas and features work such as Transcend, to Fuse and Lull. Again, full of colour there’s a hint of the figurative in Melaugh’s work with more of a hint of the macabre.
Last but certainly not least is the three pieces exhibited by Aimẽe Nelson. Graduating from the Belfast School of Art in 2019, Nelson’s works mostly in sculpture and lens-based mediums. Her artist’s statement reveals she’s, ‘interested in the scientific and philosophical principals of light.’
The blurb then goes onto state, ‘She playfully experiments with ideas of duality, exploring parallels between light and shadow, visibility and invisibility, interior and exterior, reality and illusion aiming to manipulate the viewer’s experience of light, to play with perception and one’s feeling of self.’
This is Nelson’s second exhibition at ArtisAnn Gallery, she has also been awarded with exhibitions in FCB Studios, Queens Street Studios and the Royal Ulster Academy 2019 Exhibition at which she went on to win The Mullen Gallery Award for Best Sculpture. Other accolades include being shortlisted for the 2019 Wood Foundation Sculpture and Painting Prize. Her work is to be found in public collections including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Her three piece in this exhibition are Fold, Translucence One and Translucence Two. These pieces are exploration of light through photogram and cyanotype prints which are photographic techniques using artificial light and sunlight in order to make the images. Nelson is currently Artist in Residence at Belfast School of Art for the academic year 2019/2020.
It’s Pronounced ‘Ai-M-Ee’ exhibition up to and including February 1st, 2020.
One thing of note: ArtisAnn Gallery runs the Own Art scheme which allows clients to pay off pieces of work over ten months. For further details visit http://www.artisann.org
The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday 11am – 6pm and Saturday 12pm – 5pm