INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed Belfast artist Terry Bradley has chosen his home town to premiere his latest exhibition. Despite having work hanging in galleries, homes and exhibitions all over the world from Las Vegas and New York to London and Dublin, Terry said it was important for him launch the new work in Belfast.
This exhibition was a landmark for Terry who has revealed this time fans and critics will see a much softer, lighter side to his personality.
Speaking before the exhibition in the old Northern Bank building on Waring Street Terry said: â€œDockers and Dolls may be the backbone to this exhibition but really there was no theme when I started.
I love the Old Northern Bank building where the paintings will be hung and it’s location so close to Sailortown inspired me to produce work that I would be pround to stand beside there.
â€œArt for me is emotional, something will happen and I will add it to the show. Everyday Iâ€™m adding more and more. In life there is dark and light and with this show thatâ€™s what I hope people will see. Thankfully Belfast is moving away from some of the shadows in our past but we all need strong images to replace what we grew up with. I see my dockers paintings as a breed of Irishmen to be proud of and as positive, hard working role models.”
â€œThere is a heavier emphasis on tattoo art after I attended a tattoo conference in Vegas which I found really inspiring. Coming from North Belfast I grew up around a lot of sectarian and contentious tattoos but this experience opened my eyes to tattoos as an art and a form of expression. I love that a tattoo can be so personal and positive. I think we’re all used to tattoos having negative, political messages but I see it as self expression. I think if you have tattoos that mean something to you then you really know who you are as a person and you’re comfortable in your own skin. It’s a very confident statement, especially for women.â€
In this exhibition Bradley enthusiasts were able to view a selection of paintings that reflect a trip to New York which inspired Terry to produce a series of raw charcoal sketches of his trademark Manhattan dancers.
Terry added: â€œIâ€™ve always found New York to be very inspirational, the freedom and self expression is something I aspire to for myself and I find it very liberating to just sit and absorb the city. That and the whole world of Burlesque is a great combination and it works for me.â€
The exhibition also seen Terry diversify by incorporating other materials such as watercolours and pastels into his images.
He said: â€œI have used watercolours for the first time to counteract the harshness of the tattooed dockers and I am delighted with the result. This collection is definitely more rounded and really reflects where I am with my work right now.”
And why Belfast ?
â€œBelfast is my home, itâ€™s where Iâ€™m from and Iâ€™m proud of that. With this show I want to reflect what Iâ€™m really about: raw, accessible art and the real strength of Belfast.”
Professional tattoo artist, Joe Mullan, was also on hand giving live demonstrations of his work.
Photos by Â©Fabrizio Belluschi/FAME Inc