Castle Ward to host coastal art exhibition by world renowned local artist

Ballintoy towards White Park Bay by Hector McDonnell.
Ballintoy towards White Park Bay by Hector McDonnell.

To celebrate 50 years of the National Trust’s Neptune Coastline campaign and the on-going protection of our beautiful coastline, Castle Ward will host a coastal art exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist Hector McDonnell.

Hector is the son of the late Lord Antrim, who was involved in the foundation of Enterprise Neptune as chairman of the National Trust.

The exhibition will run from 19 to 29 July from 11am-5pm, in the Castle Ward Theatre, where Hector will exhibit paintings of National Trust owned coastlines throughout Northern Ireland.

Jacqueline Baird, Castle Ward visitor services manager said: “We’re delighted to welcome Hector to Castle Ward and to host his captivating exhibition of the coastline of Northern Ireland.

“Hector was born in Belfast and educated at Eton and Oxford, he studied painting in Munich and Vienna, and exhibits his work around the world. His father’s legacy was an inspiration for his collection of fine pieces of coastal artwork and this will be a unique opportunity to see the work of a world renowned artist from Northern Ireland.”

Included in the exhibition are internationally renowned coastal sites, such as Carrick-a-Rede, Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site, Strangford Lough (Northern Ireland’s first Marine Conservation Zone) and Murlough National Nature Reserve. As well as some of Northern Ireland’s hidden gems such as White Park Bay and Murlough Beach.

Commenting on his exhibition Hector McDonnell said: “It is a great pleasure and honour to produce this exhibition in commemoration of the fifty years of Enterprise Neptune. It was the National Trust project which my father cared about deeply, and was very proud to have been involved in its inception. I have always loved our coastline and I hope that these paintings reflect some of its limitless magic.”

Neptune is the National Trust’s long term project to acquire and protect beautiful coastline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Today the charity owns and cares for 775 miles of coastline, including 22% (over 100 miles) of the coastline of Northern Ireland providing habitats for wildlife and access to beaches, dunes and coastal paths with walking trails to suit every taste and ability.