Six Colours of Black: Exhibition by Sam McCready

Mar 01 2018 - Mar 31 2018
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ArtisAnn Gallery 70 Bloomfield Avenue, Belfast,

The ArtisAnn Gallery in Belfast is delighted to be hosting a solo exhibition by one of Belfast's ...

The ArtisAnn Gallery in Belfast is delighted to be hosting a solo exhibition by one of Belfast's most famous sons: the actor, director and artist Sam McCready.

The title of this special exhibition, 'Six Colours of Black', refers to a Chinese tradition that in black and white painting, through the use of ink, water and brush, the painter can create five shades or colours of black but not six. Six is unattainable but the Chinese painter spends a lifetime trying to achieve it.
About the artistSam McCready is best known as an actor, director and playwright. He trained, however, in painting at Stranmillis College and the Belfast College of Art, under such master teachers as Romeo Toogood and Kenneth Webb. He has had a number of solo shows in the US and his work is in private collections in Europe, the Far East and the US. In recent years, he has had the opportunity to visit Hong Kong and to study with Chinese Masters. His connection with these eminent painters has had a profound influence on his work.

Sam McCready's recent paintings are influenced by a style of traditional Chinese painting that dates from the 5th Century AD. Known as shan shui, the style depicts natural landscapes using brush and ink. The style refutes colour, light and shadow; there is an absence of brush strokes and the personal style of the painter must not intrude. When Chinese painters work in the shan shui style, they make no attempt to represent an image of what they have seen but what they have thought about nature, as it is a medium not for the viewer's eye but for the mind. Thus the style has strong associations with Taoist imagery and motifs.

In his black and white work, McCready has also employed a process known as Shui Zi Fa, or water stain technique, in which the image is painted in Chinese ink on a porous surface, which allows it to bleed through or stain the paper beneath it. This process ensures the absence of personal brush strokes and creates a sense of other-worldliness consistent with the shan shui tradition.
Other informationThe exhibition runs at the ArtisAnn Gallery in Belfast from Thursday 1 March to Saturday 31 March 2018 during Gallery opening hours. Admission to the exhibition is free.

There is a special preview on Wednesday 28 February from 6.30pm to 8.30pm

All art is available to buy, and may be collected or delivered after the exhibition ends.