(Copy) 2022 NewsletterSummer

We hope you will enjoy our 'Wee Weekly ABC' guide to the wonderful selection of Art, Books and Crafts from Northern Ireland we are lucky to have displayed in the Northern Ireland Office in Brussels.

Amazing Art:

Belfast Shores by Andrea Hayes

Belfast Shores
Andrea Hayes works from her home studio in Cookstown, County Tyrone, and has won numerous textile art awards and exhibited throughout Ireland. She draws inspiration from the vast array of textures, colours and dramatic skylines of the Irish landscape. Each piece is a unique collage created in Andrea’s distinctive style; hand painted, layered with appliquéd hand dyed fabrics, metallic flakes and threads and delicately finished with embroidery. She uses a unique combination of textiles, painting and metal elements in her work. Andrea's artworks include a range of small scale framed and mounted textile pieces which are all individually made by hand. The variety of colourway created with hand dyed fabrics and metallic highlights of copper have become a recognisable features in her work.
Andrea told us: "It gives me great pleasure to have my "Belfast Shores" displayed in the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels. I hope it provides a reminder of one of the beautiful viewpoints Northern Ireland has to offer. This piece was created through painting onto fabric, layers of hand dyed fabrics, gilded flakes and machine and hand stitching. This piece gives a unique and subtle view of the iconic Harland and Wolff cranes from the Hazelbank Shores. Thank you so much for supporting a local Northern Ireland maker." Find out more about Andrea's intricately made pieces of art here.

Brilliant Book:

Still Worlds Turning: New Short Fiction by No Alibis Press

This exceptional book published by Belfast-based publishing company No Alibis Press gathers original stories from twenty celebrated and emerging writers from the UK, Ireland and beyond. The book presents new short fiction of the highest quality to fans of the genre and new readers alike. No Alibis bookstore has been selling books on Botanic Avenue, within the Queen’s Quarter, for over 25 years. They are also a hub for the creative arts, regularly hosting concerts, book launches, poetry readings, and lectures. Emma Warnock, Commissioning Editor at No Alibis Press, told us: "As an independent publisher based in Belfast, we work hard to promote talented local writers both at home and overseas. It is absolutely thrilling to see a copy of Still Worlds Turning in the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels.

Still worlds turning

We are grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate that the arts industry in Northern Ireland is outward-looking and inclusive." A visit to No Alibis Bookstore is not to be missed on your next trip to Belfast. In the meantime, you can buy the sublime Still Worlds Turning here.

Charming Craft:

Glass Vase by Scott Benefield

Glass Vase

Working from his home studio on the north Antrim coast, Scott Benefield makes beautiful handblown glass objects, which are designed, produced and finished in his workshop entirely by hand. This limited production is made by combining traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design, engaging with the history of the medium in an informed way and participating in that continuum. Scott says he increases his understanding of the material by going back to the same conditions of fire and gravity, using the same tools that have shaped glass for two millennia: "This piece was blown in our studio outside of the village of Ballintoy. It uses the Italian filigrana technique, first developed in the 16th century on Murano, to embed fine parallel lines of white glass into the body of the piece. The entire process was done entirely by hand on our premises, where we fire the furnace and melt the glass from raw materials.

We're very proud to have our work in the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels as one example of the fine handmade craft that being done throughout Northern Ireland. Small artisanal workshops such as our own help diversify the rural economy as well as support local tourism, and make a contribution to the life of the community." Get to know more about Scott's elegant work and where you can buy it here.