Member’s News

February 22, 2016

It has been a busy month for a number of our Academy members:

An exhibition of work by Margaret Arthur RUA entitled ‘Encaustic Monoprints’ opened at the Engine Room Clarence Street Gallery on Thursday 4th February. This exhibition continues until 27th February. Margaret’s work incorporates mono–printing and etching techniques with Japanese and Chinese paper layered on top (using a process called chine collé). She has also combined beeswax with her prints to essentially produce encaustic paintings. The use of encaustic goes back to Greek and Roman times and gives a luminous and permanent quality to the painted or printed surface.


Margaret Arthur RUA


After nearly seven months at the Ulster Museum Belfast, Silent Testimony by Colin Davidson PPRUA, travelled to the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. Featuring large–scale portraits, the exhibition reflects on the personal experiences of eighteen individuals, each of whom has suffered loss through the Troubles in Northern Ireland. This exhibition continues until the 6th March. For further details visit:


Colin Davidson PPRUA


An article by Jennifer Trouton RUA is featured in the January–February issue of The Visual Artist’s News Sheet. In this article Jennifer discusses the process behind her work ‘The Ties that Bind’, which was shown at the Academy’s 134th Annual Exhibition at the Ulster Museum (16th October 2015 – 3rd January 2016). Click HERE to read the full article.

Jennifer Trouton RUA 

‘Dwelling Place’, an exhibition by Chris Wilson ARUA is currently on show at the Oriel Gallery in Clotworthy House (Antrim Castle Gardens, Randallstown Road, Antrim) and continues until 5th March. The Oriel Gallery is open 7 days a week – 9 – 5pm, with late opening on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 9pm. The works on exhibition explore the topography of maps, showing the relationship between man’s influence on the landscape and the natural forms of the environment.

The Academy deeply regrets the passing of Harry Reid HRUA

February 01, 2016

Harry Reid (1935 – 1916) was born in Belfast and was a chartered surveyor by profession and worked for the Valuation and Land Agency. His interest in painting was inspired by his life in Bangor West, where he has lived for most of his adult life, surrounded by the beautiful seascapes and landscape of Co. Down.

His early work was mainly in watercolour exemplified in his ‘Self–Portrait’ 1995 for The National Self–Portrait Collection of Ireland. His exploration in art practice continued and he developed his skills in oil and later acrylic. Ever experimenting, he became interested in printmaking and honed his skill in the Seacroft Print Workshop in Bangor, exemplified in his monoprint, the abstract work ‘The Random Edge’ 1997 which he submitted to the Royal Ulster Academy’s diploma collection, after his election as Academician Supplemental in 1994. Two years later, he was elected Honorary Academician.

He had been exhibiting annually with the RUA before he held his first successful one–man exhibition in the Tower House, Bangor, in 1985. In the intervening years, he exhibited at the Arts Club Gallery, Dublin and the Ulster Arts Club and Malone House Gallery, Belfast. In March 1999 he showed monoprints, etchings, relief work and mixed media paintings at the Baytree Gallery, Holywood, Co. Down. He also exhibited in the Bell Gallery, Belfast.

His works are in collections in the USA, Canada, Ireland, England, Belgium, Switzerland and Australia. More specifically his works are in the University of Limerick, the Collection of the Department of the Environment (NI), the Ulster Television Collection and Paintings in Hospitals (Ireland) collection. He served as Chairman of the latter. He had many interests, in music, in the local choirs, in the scout movement and in the sport of badminton.

He is remembered most, by his fellow artists, for his steadfast devotion to the Royal Ulster Academy (RUA), serving as both registrar and secretary for eight years. It was in this role that I first became acquainted with Harry Reid when I worked in the Ulster Museum as the Visual Arts Education officer. I was able to give him valuable support in providing art classes, artist workshops, lectures and outreach programmes which focused on the works included in the RUA’s Annual Exhibition, which then, as now, hung in the galleries of the Ulster Museum. We became friends with a common goal, the Royal Ulster Academy.

I was honoured that Harry Reid made the effort to come in from Bangor, accompanied by his devoted wife Vera, to the Royal Ulster Academy’s AGM on 13th June to vote in my election as the incoming President of the Academy. I spoke to him a few times by telephone after that and saw him again when he delivered his two landscape paintings for this year’s exhibition, ‘Bogland Below Nephin, Beg, Mayo’ and ‘Mountains and Trees – Lough Conn’, the latter chosen as a large scale reproduction in the exhibition catalogue. Both of his paintings sold, a lasting statement to a member who had given so much and who still contributed, at age 80 years, to this, his last RUA exhibition. Hopefully, this continued success, gave him final satisfaction and joy. He will always be remembered as a gentleman, kind to all, inclusive and encouraging to other artists, including his next door neighbour, an RUA member, the young sculptor, Brendan Jamison.

The Royal Ulster Academy owes a debt of gratitude to Harry Reid for his unstinting support and work throughout the years, ensuring the sustainability of the Academy, without which, it would be poorer.

It is fitting that he passed away on Sunday 3rd January, the very last day of this year’s RUA annual exhibition at the Ulster Museum. He is survived by his wife, Vera, of 54 years and by his two daughters, Lesley and Zoe.

Harry Reid 2015 

Dr Denise Ferran
President, Royal Ulster Academy
January 2016

Colin Davidson

Colin Davidson is a contemporary artist, living and working near Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Since graduating with a first class honours degree from the Art and Design Faculty at the University of Ulster in 1991, Colin Davidson has exhibited extensively in London, New York, Milan and across Ireland. He has been shown regularly at the Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, where he has twice won awards, and has been an Academician of the Royal Ulster Academy since 2006, having won the R.U.A. Gold Medal three times and the Silver Medal twice.

Colin Davidson’s work is in public and corporate collections across Ireland, including the Arts Council for Northern Ireland, the BBC, the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland, Limerick, the Office of Public Works Collection, Ireland, the Law Society of Ireland and Queen’s University, Belfast. A selection of portraits of writers and actors from Colin’s latest body of work is presently on display in the newly-reopened Lyric Theatre, Belfast.

Artist Works

Sir Kenneth Branagh

Graphite, crayon and pastel on paper

122 x 112

Sir Kenneth Branagh

Graphite, crayon and pastel on paper

122 x 112