Artist to the stars Colin Davidson is giving a free talk in Derry

The acclaimed painter known for his portraits of famous figures will share insight into his career as part of an ongoing series at the Tower Museum

His work has been making the headlines from London to New York, featuring a medley of stars which would make any casting director green with envy. Now Northern Ireland artist Colin Davidson is coming to Derry's Tower Museum to give a special talk on his work as part of the Your City Your Art programme.

On Thursday, January 25 Davidson will give a personal insight into his career, which includes his work on a stunning range of larger than life portraits of celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Ed Sheeran and Kenneth Brannagh, as well as iconic Irish figures such as John Hume, Seamus Heaney and Brian Friel.

The talk is the latest in the series which aims to bring people closer to art via the artists themselves, and make it more accessible as a form of communication open to all. Your City, Your Art is delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council and National Museums NI as part of the Creative Community Connections project, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.

Curator at the Tower Museum Roisin Doherty, said she was delighted that such a well-known contemporary talent will be featuring in the programme.

'Colin Davidson’s work has gained international acclaim and his distinctive style has made him the artist of choice for a wide variety of public figures from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Brad Pitt. Colin’s focus on celebrity, and his endeavours to reveal more about the person behind the persona certainly make art more accessible, which is what we are hoping to do, and opens it up to new audiences.'

Project engagement officer Anna Liesching, Curator of Art at National Museums NI, said: 'The aim of Your City Your Art is to open up publicly owned collections and let people find out more about the local artists whose pieces are held by galleries all over the world.'

Colin Davidson is a contemporary artist, living and working near Belfast. Since graduating from Ulster University he has structured his practice in themes, and since 2010 his focus has been on painting grand scale portraits, which have won widespread recognition and many international awards.

In December 2015 he was commissioned by Time magazine to paint the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for the cover for its 'Person of the Year’ issue. Speaking to Culture NI at the time, Davidson explained: 'I felt I wanted to focus on her compassion and humanitarian values and I admired the fact that she did not shirk the responsibility and took her decision based on her own conviction, with no consideration of the political fall-out.' More recently he was invited to paint an official portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which was unveiled in November 2016.

Colin Davidson time

His emotive Silent Testimony exhibition completed in 2015 captures the experiences of people who suffered loss during the Troubles. The paintings explore the impact on ordinary people whose lives were changed by events during the conflict.

The Your City, Your Art event will take place in the Tower Museum on Thursday, January 25 at 10.30am. Places are free and no previous art experience is required to enjoy these talks.

Future talks in the series will be given by Colin McGookin on Thursday, February 22 at 10.30am and Carol Graham on Thursday, March 29 from the same time.