Susan takes centre stage at the Gallery

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A Ballymoney artist has been selected to have her work exhibited at The Gallery Belfast, one of Northern Ireland’s most exclusive and architecturally exciting apartment developments.

Itself touted as ‘Belfast’s new masterpiece’, the Gallery Belfast, which opened earlier this year, challenged Art and Architecture students at the Ulster University to devise bespoke creations to accentuate the unique architecture of the building and complement its surroundings.

Dozens of entries were received by hopefuls aspiring to win a slice of the £5,000 prize money, and in total, seven lucky students won the once in a lifetime opportunity to have their work installed in the highly contemporary New York/Tokyo inspired building.

Fashion and textile student, Susan Montgomery was named the overall winner of the competition with a prize of £2,000. Her ‘Woodlands’ digital screen print work is now displayed in the lobby, affording it the maximum exposure.

Speaking of her win, Susan Montgomery, said: “I had never expected when I entered that I would win. The University always encouraged us to push our name and brand out there, and when I saw that the Gallery were hosting the competition I decided to go for it.

“I’m so excited to see my piece in the lobby, and feel extremely proud to see my piece showcased in the prestigious building.”

Known for its stunning ground floor café bar, Gallery Belfast, which features original works by world-famous Irish artists including William Conor, Colin Davison, Terry Bradley, Brian Ballard and Neil Shawcross, the Gallery Belfast won the Residential Development of 2017 category at the national Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors earlier this year.

Additional winners, who also received cash prizes, were Natalie Cole, Ciaran Vaudequin, Beth Isaac, Anna Johnston, Anna Duffy and Christine Bell. Their designs brought a mix of modern graphic art, printed pieces and multimedia photography work to the building.

Gary McCausland, CEO of The Richmond Group which constructed the Gallery building, and judge of the competition, said: “The aim of the competition was to inspire and facilitate the production of original and thought-provoking artwork that would blend seamlessly with the architecture whilst respecting the location of the building, and then to showcase this work in situ.”

We were overwhelmed by the quality of the entries and are extremely proud to feature the winning pieces of art in The Gallery, which is a showpiece development in our portfolio.”