Meet our new President Dr Denise Ferran who’s taken over from Colin Davidson after an epic 3 years driving the Academy forward!
Born in 1942, Denise Ferran grew up in Enniskillen and trained as an art teacher before becoming Head of Art at St. Dominic’s High School, Belfast and then Head of Education at the Ulster Museum.
She has a BA (Hons) in the History of European Art, a Diploma in Advanced Studies in Education from Queen’s University, Belfast, a PhD in Art History from Trinity College, Dublin and an Hon. MFA from the University of Ulster.
Ferran contributes essays to various journals, including Irish Arts Review, Atlas Donegal and to catalogues on Irish art. Her publications include; William John Leech: An Irish Painter Abroad, National Gallery of Ireland and Merrill Holberton, London, 1996, “W.J.Leech” National Gallery of Ireland and Country House Press, Dublin, 1992; “Hone to Nano Reid” the collection of Drogheda Borough Council, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, 2006; “FEMcWilliam at Banbridge” 2008 and “F.E.McWilliam” published by the Henry Moore Foundation and Lund Humphries, 2012.
Awards include the RUA Silver medal, RUA Watercolour Prize, Thomas Dammann Junior Memorial Trust Travel Award, a Fulbright research fellow at Boston College in 2002 and a Fulbright Scholar at University of Minnesota in 2006. Artist Residencies include Cill Rialaig, Co. Kerry and Lucca, Italy.
Ferran exhibits regularly at galleries in Ireland and in the USA and her paintings are included in many public collections including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, National Self Portrait Collection, Limerick, Haverty Trust, Fermanagh County Museum, UTV, Department of the Environment (NI), Ulster Bank, First Trust Bank, Bank of Ireland, Northern Bank and the US Embassy, Dublin. Her paintings explore seascape and landscape which she paints under the ever–changing skies from her studio window overlooking Trawbreaga Bay on the Inishowen Peninsula. A stream running through the garden creates a pond filled with water–lilies and an never ending display of reflections of light and colour. Her canvases embrace the dramatic Donegal skies reflected on wet sands, on deserted beaches and ebbing tides in estuaries and in hidden bays, evoking memories yet respecting the topography of familiar places.