Neil Shawcross donates 36 paintings to his adopted city

Exhibition celebrates Belfast writers and musicians

Lancashire-born artist Neil Shawcross has gifted his complete “Writers of Belfast” collection to Belfast City Council in appreciation of his “home” city.

Lancashire-born artist Neil Shawcross has gifted his complete “Writers of Belfast” collection to Belfast City Council in appreciation of his “home” city.

 

An exhibition of paintings by Neil Shawcross that pays tribute to Belfast’s leading novelists, playwrights, poets and musicians has opened at the Andrews Gallery of the Titanic visitor centre in Belfast.

The English-born but for many years Belfast-based painter has gifted 36 large canvasses to Belfast City Council.

The exhibition features 7ft-high paintings of book covers, posters and albums, and will be on public display at Titanic Belfast until Thursday, November 1st.

The city council is considering touring the exhibition after it ends next week and, according to a spokeswoman, is working to find a permanent display home for the paintings.

Three years

Mr Shawcross, who has lived in Belfast since 1962, has been working on the Writers of Belfast project for the past three years. He donated the work to the council in appreciation of his “home” city.

The people featured in the collection include CS Lewis, John Hewitt, Van Morrison, Marie Jones, Ciaran Carson, Sam Thompson, Brian Moore, Louis MacNeice, Deirdre Ní Grianna, Derek Mahon and Gerald Dawe.

And while not a Belfast native, the late Seamus Heaney is also included, given his long poetic and academic associations with the city.

Cover of collection

Mr Shawcross painted the cover of his collection, North. The collection also features a cover of Anna Burns’s book Little Constructions. She recently won the Booker prize for her novel Milkman.

Mr Shawcross was born in Lancashire in England in 1940 but has lived nearly all of his adult life in Belfast. He was awarded an MBE in 2014 for his services to the arts in Northern Ireland.