• Accessibility Options

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Logo

Insight - Exhibition

Tue, 17 January - Fri, 10 March
10.00AM - 5.00PM
Oriel Gallery



A collaborative exhibition from 6 established visual artists and one writer

Helen Bradbury – Painting

Andrea Spencer - Glass

Gwen Stevenson - Digital media

Helen Hanse - Stone carving

Frank Holmes -Drawing/collage

Evan Sloan - Contextual text/poetry


This exhibition is designed to showcase each art form giving the visitor personal insight into each creative process and the evolution of a work.

The interplay between the artists in the development of this exhibition showcases paintings, drawings, glass, digital media and carving linked through installation and poetic response.


Artist Statements

Helen Bradbury

Helen Bradbury is a visual artist living and working in Co. Antrim.

Her often, elemental paintings are influenced by the relationship between people and place.

Together these create a movement of natural force against manmade intervention, which generates an ongoing dialogue which constantly alters the shape, texture and colour of the landscapes where we live.

The pieces within this exhibition show works that were generated over 2022 which encompass thoughts and emotions arising from living life after covid, alongside personal response to the global and environmental politics that confronted us during that year.


Andrea Spencer

My work is a direct reflection of the immediate, natural environment where I live and work, on the North Antrim Coast. I feel a deep sense of connection to nature, specifically the tidal traces that constantly renew and replenish the landscape of the strandline. This place of constant change, markers of time and shifting sands provides an endless source of fascination and inspiration for my work.

I manipulate glass using heat and gravity, creating pieces which disclose the fragile, complex and complicated systems and structures underpinning many life forms. Through my work I aspire to illuminate humans’ mutuality with the earth and observe the edges where human nature and the natural world fuse.


Gwen Stevenson

Gwen Stevenson is new-media visual artist, based in Co. Tyrone, working with new media and technology and is a current recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Individual Digital Evolution Award. Her work reflects the impermanence of life and a critique of how technology has accelerated contemporary life. She believes that access to art and technology can initiate and support social change. Gwen works with groups and organisations to set up programs for longer term consultation that are safe creative spaces for collaboration and co-creation. Please visit www.gwenstevenson.com for more information. 


Helen Hanse

This body of work sees the beginning of an exploration into the space between drawing and carving in stone. Being newly inspired by wild swimming, and the feelings of playfulness, support and connection experienced, has led to these new pieces, where Helen Hanse experiments with gesso, limestone and marble powders. This work comments on elemental contrasts such as weight and lightness, flow and solidity, grounding and freedom.


Frank Holmes

Frank Holmes graduated from Ulster University Art College in 1990, and who works out of Belfast. Holmes has exhibited in both group and Solo Shows, within Belfast, Ireland, Bristol, Berlin, Bosnia, and Mexico.  Holmes also works as a Hcpc registered Art Therapist, and Artist in Healthcare.

My artwork in the show is a visual conversation/dialogue between me, my sketchbook, and my artwork.  Conversation does not always happen in that order; it goes where it needs to connect.  I see my sketchbook as a Bridge that offers time and Space to explore my internal world freely through creativity and when process becomes externalized, exploration can happen. Themes explored in this body of work have been Covid Isolation, and Grief.

“insight is something you previously didn’t know, or didn’t yet think about, that has the power to surprise and inspire you” (Rowan Gibson)


Evan Sloan

Evan Sloan is a young writer living and working in Randalstown, Co. Antrim.

The words for these pieces of interpretive writing evolved out of a series of studio visits which used a responsive approach to explore the relationship between the artist and their working process in the studio.

The meaningful and personal insights gained through these visits captured the experiences, emotions and passions that lay behind and informed each artist’s work at an intimate level.

I believe that the thought process of an artist, whether it be based on past experience, current emotion, or passion, is at the centre of an artwork. The resulting art piece is a product of this.