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West Belfast artist takes centre stage at St Mary’s

Past inspires Deirdre

Deirdre Mackel at her exhibition at St Mary’s University College Deirdre Mackel at her exhibition at St Mary’s University College
By Ciara Quinn

ART exhibitions at St Mary’s University College are one of Féile an Phobail’s annual highlights and exhibiting her work for the first time this year is Upper Springfield Development Arts Manager Deirdre Mackel.

Entitled ‘Dressed To…’ Deirdre explained how her paintings are rooted in memories of her West Belfast childhood, described as a “more symbolic and imaginative recapture of times, places and experiences”.

“I started this collection of work a year ago and it’s really about my childhood memories.

“I called the exhibit ‘Dressed To’ because as a young girl you always thought that things like dresses were clothes you would grow into. I’ve used the daisy chain in a lot of the work because when we were young we would always sit and make them. In the paintings they are symbols of hope but also of restraint,” she said.

“I’ve used blue in a lot of the work and it’s a new colour for me so it’s been interesting to paint with it.”

She added: “This exhibition is very much a return to painting for me. I stopped for a while, I always meant to get back to it. My dad Donal passed away last year. He taught me to draw and this in a way is for him.

“I’m really excited about exhibiting this year. It’s a bit of a debut run as when Féile 2014 starts I’m going to be displaying in the Gerard Dillon gallery in the Cultúrlann. It’s a fantastic space and a great platform to show my work.

“I really hope people come down to view the work, it will be up for the Festival duration. The work really is a snapshot of time emerging expectations.”

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