Major UK exhibition for local artist

Ballymoney man Sean McCann in his studio. INBM44-13
Ballymoney man Sean McCann in his studio. INBM44-13

An artist from Ballymoney is to hold a month-long exhibition entitled ‘Journey through Landscape’ in one of the UK’s most renowned galleries.

Seán McCann will showcase 54 of his fine oil paintings at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead until November 24. He has spent the past four years creating the works, which include landscapes of the Lake District, Burwardsley, Cheshire, the Highlands of Scotland, Northern Ireland, North Wales and the Canadian Rockies.

A former Dalriada pupil, Seán said: “The title of the exhibition seemed to describe the process of my recent landscape work - it really was a journey through landscape and a journey through painting.

“Looking back, I suppose my journey through landscape began when I was a young boy and each summer I spent school holidays at my grandparents’ farm in Co Down. It is known as the County of the ‘drumlins’ or ‘rolling hills’ and this perfectly describes where their farm was situated. This place is probably where I got a love of landscape from and these times and memories are deeply embedded in my psyche. It was magical.”

Seán’s interest in painting was sparked at an early age. From his early teens he joined his father in evening art classes at the then Ballymoney Technical College in Art classes run by local Ballymoney artist Jack Willkinson to be taught oil painting.

At eighteen he did a foundation art course at the Ulster Polytechnic, followed by a Bachelor of Fine Art degree at Brighton College of Art and a Master of Fine Art at Birmingham Art College.

Seán has travelled around the world visiting destinations including South East Asia, America and Canada, where he has been inspired by the people he’s met and the places he has been to.

He added: “Often an exhibition is the first time that the artist can really see the work outside the studio.

“The paintings are on a gallery wall it allows them to exist separately and also be part of a larger family of paintings.

“When I see this it makes me realise that throughout an artist’s life painting is the journey, which only ends when you put down your paintbrushes for the last time.”