One of the leading portraitists working in Northern Ireland today
Carol Graham has become one of the leading portraitists working in
At this stage in her career she worked very slowly, producing on average one painting in two months, she was awarded an Arts Council bursary for the purchase of photographic equipment in 1976, and in this year she received her first portrait commission of Gloria Hunniford in 1976.
Amongst her portraits are the current President of the
Graham’s exhibitions have included ‘Women of Ulster’ in the Arts Council Gallery, Belfast (1976), the Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin (1978 to 1995), a two-man show with Basil Blackshaw in the Arts Council Gallery, Belfast (1982), and solo exhibitions ‘Into the Darkness’ in The Engine Room, Belfast (1999) and The Guinness Hop Store, Dublin (2000), ‘Imaginings and Other Realities’ in Elaine Somers Gallery, Holywood (2001), and a recent exhibition in the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s.
Until 2001, Graham had for 17 years had a studio in Harmony Hill, Lisburn. Her work is represented in the collections of the
Graham has also painted still-life, animal subjects and a series of works based on a striped skirt, including Light Falls Within in the Ulster Museum Collection.
This painting plays with the idea of ‘framing’ a picture by ‘cutting off’ a scene. As in a photograph, the artist makes the viewer question what lies outside of the frame. To Quote Mike Catto from Art in
In recent years, following a period of reactive depression, Graham has continued to explore the symbolic potential of colour and motifs. Fire and water, signifying alchemy and the unconscious have had particular resonance in her work, and elemental forces are experienced by the artist in recent years through walking on the