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Cynthia Neill

As a child, Cynthia loved to draw, but was persuaded that this was a waste of time if she did nothing “useful” with it. Consequently she followed the route of architectural training at Edinburgh University. A memorable part of these years was time spent measuring and drawing historic buildings in London. This included a projected aerial view of Covent Garden Market and Central London. (“Survey of London” Vol 37 & 38). After an unexceptional architectural career, she took time out to be with her young children, and one evening a fortnight was welcomed into Tom Kerr’s watercolour group in Holywood. It was here she learned about mixing colour, and painting landscapes, taking part in regular group shows.

 She eventually had a solo exhibition in the Higgin Gallery, and was elected a member of the Ulster Watercolour Society. Restless to develop further, she attended an art college preparation course at Bangor Tech, completed a diploma in Foundation Studies in 1994, and an Hons, Degree in Combined Studies in Art & Design in 1998 at University of Ulster. As a 2nd year student she started looking at buildings again, using screenprinting as a way of combining the detail of a line drawing with the looseness of painterly washes. This was also making a personal statement on the built environment; “it doesn’t exist in isolation, as if transplanted directly from an architectural drawing, or computer generated projection. It is always part of a wider context - totally dependant on the light, colour and weather conditions at any given time of day or season of the year.” This outlook is carried back into the wider landscape and seascape themes. Other subject matter is inspired by personal events and experiences. e.g. marguerites have travelled round Ireland as they have been divided and grown in gardens of family members, and are now in her own garden. She has worked on a number of commissions for the Hastings Hotel Group and corporate bodies in Ireland, and is currently a key holder member and trustee of the Board of Seacourt Print Workshop, Bangor.

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