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?

Gallery 545 showcases art works by artists based in Northern Ireland both at and at pop-up exhibitions, having an online presence but also shows at existing arts and other venues allows the gallery to connect artists with a wide and varied audience of people interested in art.

Thanks to the website and pop-up shows the gallery can work with many artists, reach a high numbers of art lovers and collectors, both locally and internationally, and maximise the artists’ visibility while keeping the costs down. I think this innovative way of operating a gallery has advantages for the gallery itself, the artists, and for all those who wish to discover, follow and buy art works by artists from here.

The gallery also showcases artists on social media, especially Instagram, which is a great platform for promoting their work.

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

You have a new exhibition coming up?

Gallery 545 Pop-up: Contemporary Art of Northern Ireland is at the Sea Holly Gallery a new space in the Cathedral Quarter, Belfast. I am delighted to work in collaboration with Lindsey Kirk, one of the owners of the Sea Holly, as we both share the same vision and commitment to showcase and promote artists based in Northern Ireland.

This exhibition will be running from the 12th to the 26th of September and will be part of Culture Night and Day with a tour scheduled on Saturday 21 at 2.00pm.

The featured artists will be those that Gallery 545 represents, all of whom can be found on the website at This is a brand-new site with many features that makes it easy to navigate it in order to look at and purchase art works.

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

What do you see for the future?

I want to be in a position where I can support artists based across Northern Ireland -established, emerging and new artists, recent graduates who have already distinguished themselves for their artistic merits.

I want to promote the talent that exists locally. That means improving the possibilities for making this talent visible. I believe the online presence helps do that as the ecommerce approach should allow the artists to at least have a chance to quicken the pace regarding achieving recognition and 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 many artists and I think that Gallery 545’s approach is innovative and modern and I am hoping that the gallery will improve the situation for local artists through its work.

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

Gallery 545 Pop-up: Contemporary Art of Northern Ireland

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 (Art Consultant) –

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.