The Monthly talks to Gallery 545 owner Francesca Biondi and her upcoming exhibition at the Sea Holly Gallery – Part 2

Part one of this interview is here

Gallery 545 is a website and you also have pop-up exhibitions?

When it came to thinking about setting up something, I thought about what exactly it was I wanted to do. I spent a bit of time thinking about what the best way to do the things I wanted to do. We have the online gallery. It allows artists to exhibit, to show their work, people can purchase directly from the website.

Beyond the online presence we offer opportunities to showcase, to exhibit the artists’ work. Because we have an innovative approach, using new spaces, the artists can manage their costs, keeping costs down and also concentrating those costs over a short period of time. And the non-traditional venues we have access to, the costs are less than renting a gallery space throughout the year.

We also look at promoting artists on social media, especially Instagram which is a great site for art promotion.

Lisa Ballard, Icelandic Sunset Mountains, 2019, oil and spray paint on canvas, 153 x 92 cm

You have a new exhibition coming up?

One of the exceptions in terms of exhibiting local artists is the Sea Holly Gallery in the Cathedral Quarter. They really aim to promote local artists, artists based in Northern Ireland. The gallery is above the Harp Bar, it is a relatively new space. I am working in collaboration with Lindsey Kirk who is one of the owners of the gallery. The show will be running from the 12th to the 26th of September and will be part of Culture Night as well.

The artists will all be artists that Gallery 545 represents, all of whom can be found on the website. Actually, the website is being updated at the moment and the site will be very easy to navigate in order to look at and purchase work from local artists. The new website will be up and running before the exhibition starts.

Craig Donald, Isolde: Interrupting the Stream, 2017, oil on canvas, 30 cm diameter

What do you see for the future?

I want to help emerging and mid-career artists. I want to be in a position where I can support local artists, especially new talented artists, students, emerging talent. I want to promote the talent that exists locally. That means improving the possibilities for making this talent visible.

I think the online presence helps do that, and I think the ecommerce approach should allow the artists to at least have a chance to quicken the pace regarding selling their work.

It takes a lot of time for artists to build up a presence, to build support, to make connections to the kind of people who purchase art. I have spoken to a lot of artists and I think Gallery 545’s approach is an innovative and modern approach and I am hoping that we will improve the situation for local artists through our work.

The details of the exhibition at The Sea Holly Gallery can be found at the link below

This exhibition brings together several emerging and more established artists based in Northern Ireland promoted and supported by Gallery 545, a new online and pop-up gallery. It celebrates the originality and diversity of the talent in this region showcasing an exciting selection of unique art works encompassing paintings, works on paper, objects and textile pieces.

The selection features paintings inspired by local scenes and distant lands. Landscapes of Ireland appear in Rosie McGurran’s captivating views of Connemara, Wendy Ferguson and Charlie Scott’s atmospheric images of Fermanagh and Donegal and Jennifer Trouton’s works looking at the political and historical significance of the land.

Places from around the world can be seen in Dan Ferguson’s singular urban spaces, Lisa Ballard’s suggestive depictions of natural scenery, Ashley Holmes’ fascinating psychological landscapes and Clement McAleer’s vibrant paintings capturing the shifting aspects of nature. They are also a source of inspiration in Anushiya Sundaralingam’s fine art prints evoking natural environments. Other paintings represent human figures or imply their presence, from Donald Craig and Rachel Lawell’s striking portraits of women, to Trina Hobson’s intriguing female characters.

The selection also features abstract pieces. These include paintings by Natalia Black, Ronan Bowes and Latisha Reihill experimenting with the materiality of paint, Karl Hagan and Aimee Melaugh’s explorations of histories and memories, and Alacoque Davey’s geometrical shapes on paper. Other abstract pieces have been created with non-traditional materials and techniques, among them Grace McMurray’s delicate woven patterns, and Kevin Miller’s innovative painted objects.

This exhibition is curated by Francesca Biondi, Art Director at Gallery 545.

Francesca Biondi
Gallery 545
M 07960 130414

artist forms link
New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.