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Archive: February 2011


Strike a pose: VOGUE ICONS


22 February 2011

 

Having delivered five exciting and successful exhibitions for both local and international artists in 2010 in Belfast, Carrie Neely has recently announced her first exhibition of 2011, for Dublin based artist, Katarzyna Gajewska.  ‘VOGUE ICONS’ opens on 3rd March 2011, from 7-9pm at the Canvas Galleries, Stranmillis Road, Belfast and runs until 18th March 2011.  
This latest Carrie Neely exhibition celebrates the romance of Vogue Magazine, featuring the portraits of well-known fashion figures including Marlene Dietrich and Twiggy, as well as contemporary pop icons and actresses who have also graced the glossy pages of the magazine.  From a portrait of the iconic Kate Moss, to the ethereal character of Sylvia Plath, the collection unifies famous beauty queens, actresses, pop stars and writers in one “shot”, paying tribute to the way Vogue magazine has blurred the boundaries between fashion and art.  
Of her abstract, yet beautiful depictions of distinguished figures, Katarzyna says, “Creating canvases laden with emotion and personal feelings is my necessity, obsession and addiction, never insatiable appetite. Believing in instinct over reason, I am starting over with every painting. The relation between value of colour and texture is my formula for expressing my vision. The effect of the feeling’s complexity is doubled by the works chaotic texture. Trying to contour human silhouette in bold structure on the surface, I am exploring the physical expression of the theme. The paintings give direct attention to their own physicality and because of that, the human form emanates with psychological structure, driving to insubstantial. Colour and texture are symbols.”
Carrie is passionate about Katarzyna’s work saying, “There is so much talent on the island we live on and it is nice to celebrate and promote this.  People don’t always know about what is going on right on their doorstep, so it is nice to highlight Katarzyna’s work, being a Dublin based artist.  I feel privileged and honoured that I get to showcase such a talented artist’s work in Belfast and if she finds some new fans and even better, if she sells work because of my exhibition, I will be ecstatic!”
Drinks at the exhibition are being supplied by Peroni, and the event is being sponsored by Boom Interactive®, a Belfast-based digital agency which will be initiating an interactive mobile campaign to raise awareness of the artist and to help promote the exhibition of Vogue Iconic works.  The cutting-edge promotion will utilise an award-winning interactive technology never-before demonstrated in Northern Ireland.  The campaign will enable anyone with a camera phone to ‘Become an ICON’ by snapping a portrait picture of themselves or their friends. The photo, sent via MMS or email to an online Interactivity Suite will then be digitally manipulated in real time turning it into an iconic image, which within seconds will be shared across various platforms, including Facebook and a dedicated digital display installed at the Canvas Gallery, the exhibition hosts.
A slide show of the ‘BOOM Icons’ will be on permanent display at the gallery for the duration of the exhibition and on the ‘BOOM Icons’ Facebook page where participants can share their ‘iconic’ photos with their friends.
Alan Boyd of Boom Interactive ® said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for art lovers and the wider public to really engage with the artist and interact with her exhibition. As well as that there is a little bit of legacy as each 'icon' picture made by fans becomes part of the show. At BOOM, we’re working more and more to support up and coming businesses, especially in the creative sector and we share the vision of Carrie Neely’s art consultancy as well as the creativity of her artists”.
To RSVP to the VOGUE ICONS launch evening contact Carrie Neely Contemporary Art carrie@carrieneely.com
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Having delivered five exciting and successful exhibitions for both local and international artists in 2010 in Belfast, Carrie Neely has recently announced her first exhibition of 2011, for Dublin based artist, Katarzyna Gajewska.  ‘VOGUE ICONS’ opens on 3rd March 2011, from 7-9pm at the Canvas Galleries, Stranmillis Road, Belfast and runs until 18th March 2011.  

This latest Carrie Neely exhibition celebrates the romance of Vogue Magazine, featuring the portraits of well-known fashion figures including Marlene Dietrich and Twiggy, as well as contemporary pop icons and actresses who have also graced the glossy pages of the magazine.  From a portrait of the iconic Kate Moss, to the ethereal character of Sylvia Plath, the collection unifies famous beauty queens, actresses, pop stars and writers in one “shot”, paying tribute to the way Vogue magazine has blurred the boundaries between fashion and art.  

Of her abstract, yet beautiful depictions of distinguished figures, Katarzyna says, “Creating canvases laden with emotion and personal feelings is my necessity, obsession and addiction, never insatiable appetite. Believing in instinct over reason, I am starting over with every painting. The relation between value of colour and texture is my formula for expressing my vision. The effect of the feeling’s complexity is doubled by the works chaotic texture. Trying to contour human silhouette in bold structure on the surface, I am exploring the physical expression of the theme. The paintings give direct attention to their own physicality and because of that, the human form emanates with psychological structure, driving to insubstantial. Colour and texture are symbols.”

Carrie is passionate about Katarzyna’s work saying, “There is so much talent on the island we live on and it is nice to celebrate and promote this.  People don’t always know about what is going on right on their doorstep, so it is nice to highlight Katarzyna’s work, being a Dublin based artist.  I feel privileged and honoured that I get to showcase such a talented artist’s work in Belfast and if she finds some new fans and even better, if she sells work because of my exhibition, I will be ecstatic!”

Drinks at the exhibition are being supplied by Peroni, and the event is being sponsored by Boom Interactive®, a Belfast-based digital agency which will be initiating an interactive mobile campaign to raise awareness of the artist and to help promote the exhibition of Vogue Iconic works.  The cutting-edge promotion will utilise an award-winning interactive technology never-before demonstrated in Northern Ireland.  The campaign will enable anyone with a camera phone to ‘Become an ICON’ by snapping a portrait picture of themselves or their friends. The photo, sent via MMS or email to an online Interactivity Suite will then be digitally manipulated in real time turning it into an iconic image, which within seconds will be shared across various platforms, including Facebook and a dedicated digital display installed at the Canvas Gallery, the exhibition hosts.

A slide show of the ‘BOOM Icons’ will be on permanent display at the gallery for the duration of the exhibition and on the ‘BOOM Icons’ Facebook page where participants can share their ‘iconic’ photos with their friends.

Alan Boyd of Boom Interactive ® said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for art lovers and the wider public to really engage with the artist and interact with her exhibition. As well as that there is a little bit of legacy as each 'icon' picture made by fans becomes part of the show. At BOOM, we’re working more and more to support up and coming businesses, especially in the creative sector and we share the vision of Carrie Neely’s art consultancy as well as the creativity of her artists”.

To RSVP to the VOGUE ICONS launch evening contact Carrie Neely Contemporary Art carrie@carrieneely.com 

 

BLUSH-ING BRIDE WIN FOR HELEN
Blush Bridal announces its Face of Blush 2011


14 February 2011

Luxury bridal boutique Blush, situated on the stylish Lisburn Road, has unveiled the winner in the search to find the face for its 2011 advertising campaign. Lucky bride-to-be Helen McAleer, from Belfast, fought off fierce competition from all around Ireland to be crowned the Face of Blush 2011.

Helen, who marries fiancé Michael Kelly in May, is the deserved winner of up to £5000 worth of wedding wonders including her beautiful David Fielden bridal gown, a mother of the bride outfit, and a fabulous photo shoot for the Blush 2011 advertising campaign with top photographer Khara Pringle.

The Blush judging panel included Khara Pringle, Director of Belfast FASHIONWEEK Cathy Martin, celebrity make up artist Paddy McGurgan and Katrina Doran, editor of sugahfix.com.  It was a difficult task for the judges to narrow the applicants down to eleven finalists and then, after meeting the brides-to-be, to choose just one girl as the winner. 

Judge and style queen, Cathy Martin said “This is the third year of the competition and each year we are so overwhelmed with the time and effort put into each entry, however this year all the stops were pulled out.  Entries came in the form of a DVD film, a personalised record and lots of other quirky and thoughtful ideas. Helen’s entry immediately stood out – it was presented in a lovely tin box wrapped in a pretty pink ribbon. Once opened, the simple tin continued beautiful pink rose buds and ten polaroids, each a representative of how she would feel on her big day. And later at interview, she came across as a very genuine and graceful young lady.”

Aileen Wilson, who founded Blush in 2005, said: “I am delighted for Helen! She is the perfect choice for our advertising campaign, she is a natural beauty with luscious blonde hair and a warm friendly smile, but most importantly her beauty shines inside and out, expressing every essence of what Blush Bride should represent.”

Helen was overjoyed when she was informed that she had been selected as the Face of Blush 2011 exclaiming, “Having met all the other great finalists on the judging day, I realised just how tough this competition was and never in a million years thought I would be lucky enough to win! Not only will I have the wedding of my dreams but this win is just the perfect icing on the cake. I am so thankful and honoured to have been chosen as a winner and to be representing Blush.”

Helen’s advertising campaign will be appearing across the country soon.

Brides-to-be who are interested in becoming the Face of Blush 2012 should contact the boutique for further details on 02890661101.

Stepping Up to The Plate:
Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy Players Become Wagamama Chefs!


08 February 2011

Last month, members of the Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy were taught how to cook up a healthy storm, as they joined experienced chefs from Wagamama and learned how to cook, Asian fusion style, in the kitchens of the busy Wagamama restaurant in Victoria Square.

Young players, including Michael Allen, Ali Birch, John Burns, Chris Cochrane, Conor Gaston, Michael Heaney and Kyle McCall went from aspiring pros on the rugby pitch to pros in the kitchen after the interactive cooking demonstration and nutrition session.

The players, who laughed a lot and seemed to have fun during the demonstration, picked up life-skills that will help them look after their own nutritional needs, while also learning techniques and recipes to impress friends and family with their new-found talents. Family and fans waited with baited breath in the restaurant for the results – but this time, it was to taste the players’ cooking skills instead of watching their kicking skills.

Christine Chung, Operations Director of Wagamama, who worked with the Ulster Branch to create the cooking schools said: “The Wagamama ethos is to combine fresh and nutritious food with helpful, friendly service, and value for money. This fits right in with the healthy lifestyle that rugby players maintain in order to play professional rugby.”

Ulster Rugby’s Nutritionist Sharon Madigan worked with the Wagamama group trainer Juan Carlos Manteca  in creating the course content, and those who attended learnt about meal planning, healthy cooking methods and techniques and basic Asian ingredients like ginger, garlic, chilli, coriander, lemongrass, miso paste and teriyaki marinade.

Juan Carlos said: “At Wagamama, our chefs pride themselves in teaching both the young and more experienced players the basics of cooking and assisting them in making really exciting dishes. It's such a crucial part of any young athlete’s performance that they can look after their nutrition needs and cook for themselves.”

“I would encourage any athlete out there to learn the basic skills of cooking. That's truly taking control of your own performance," added Sharon Madigan. 

 “We knew that their competitive nature would make it an interesting task. They all did a great job” commented Christine Chung.

Wagamama has paired up in the past with teams from across Irish Rugby and looks forward to hosting more sessions in the future. Whether the Wagamama chefs picked up any rugby tips from the Ulster boys remains a secret!

Katie is a Scorcher! Belfast Babe wins FHM Holiday Honey Competition


06 February 2011

Beautiful Belfast belle, Katie Larmour, has beaten almost fourteen thousand other hopefuls to become FHM's 2011 Holiday Honey.  The March issue of the popular lads magazine, which comes out today, has just announced the good news that thousands of their readers voted to crown Katie, 27, with the coveted title.


The win comes as a very welcome shock to Katie who did not even enter herself into the competition.  While most girls send in a photo themselves, or are nominated by their boyfriend, Katie has her sister to thank for the entry. And it was only when she was shortlisted for the Top 100, that Katieís sister broke the exciting news.
Katie said: 'Jane sent in a pretty ordinary photograph of me over a year ago and to think it has now led to all this is really fantastic. I'm ever so grateful to her now but at the time I couldnít really justify why sheíd entered me as Iím not a typical beach babe who lounges in the sun reading, sleeping and drinking.  I'm an art history graduate so I adore discovering other cultures and customs, and when I go on holiday itís usually more about the museums than the margaritas to be honest. But for now I am loving the new title and the shoot in this month's FHM and I will be thinking about an appropriate gift or even a trip away as a thank you for Jane!'


A budding TV presenter, with shows on UTV and RTE under her belt, Katie is delighted with the win and hopes it will help propel her fledgling TV career. 'I am absolutely ecstatic to have won the competition. I feel especially happy because it was the FHM readers who voted for me and I feel overwhelmed and extremely lucky with the amount of support I received throughout ñ especially with people from Ireland. The £10,000 prize is an absolute dream for me and even just doing two professional shoots with international photographers for FHM was such a fun and interesting learning experience. I have to say I hope there are more days like that to come!'


Katie is currently working on TV projects and modelling in both Belfast and Dublin. Sheíll be hosting the Chinese New Year celebrations this weekend in Belfast as well as the Northern Ireland Style Awards on 10 February and some of the shows at Belfast FASHIONWEEK in March.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year in NI with the Chinese State Circus


04 February 2011

Let the chinese New Year celebrations continue with the arrival of Mulan, a live action spectacular by the Chinese State Circus which will be at Derry’s Millennium Forum on 8-10 February and Belfast’s Waterfront Hall from 11-13 February 2011. The visit comes just after the celebration of the Chinese New Year and is part of a remarkable twenty-one date theatre tour across Ireland. Audiences will be wowed by a breath-taking fusion of precision acrobatics, Shaolin martial arts, dazzling circus skills, physical theatre and drama, and some colourful characters from the Peking Opera, all choreographed to an original music score as the performers interpret the story of Mulan, a strong-minded country girl who joins the Emperor’s all-male army in place of her father who was too old to fight. Through her warrior skills she is promoted to the rank of General and yet throughout her epic exploits defeating all her enemies no one is aware that she is a woman.

The title role of Mulan is performed by martial arts expert, Liu Ye whose 15 years of Kung Fu training is showcased in a dramatic fight sequence in which she encounters a giant warrior. Liu Ye started learning martial arts when she was only six years old and has won three championship titles.

The Artistic Director of The Chinese State Circus, Phillip Gandey, commented that this was one of the most challenging productions so far as he spent many weeks travelling throughout China – in search of not only the best acrobats but also auditioning Peking Opera artistes, actors and Wushu performers for the acting roles. “This is circus as you have never seen it! Thirty world class artists perform in the best tradition of the Chinese State Circus and a unique opportunity to see the Shaolin Wushu Warriors in action in Ireland.”

Mulan is a production that will entertain the whole family - from gravity-defying gymnastics to the seemingly impossible body manipulations of the hand-balancer; from the leaping, rolling somersaulting repertoire of the hoop divers to the lavish tradition of the Lion Dance, the undisputed masters of physical theatre will have the audience on the edge of their seats.
For more information or to book tickets contact the Millenium Forum, Derry tel: 028 71264455 and The Waterfront, Belfast tel: 028 90334455

DISCOVERED!� LOST SOCIETY IS BELFAST'S NEWEST AND MOST FASHIONABLE FIND


01 February 2011

 

Having recently opened on Belfast’s bustling Botanic Avenue, Lost Society is set to offer a new level of individuality to the city’s culinary and cocktail culture.  
Focusing on the finest food, all ingredients will be locally sourced and produced with dishes that are both on trend and in season.  Head chef Karl Johansson started his classical training in the Michelin starred Peat Inn in St Andrews, where he stayed for five years.  His extensive experience spans over 2 decades and also includes the Rogano Exchange, the Gleneagles Hotel and head chef positions with the Ulster Exchange and Botanic Inns Group. 
To add to the experience of the new bar/restaurant, the indulgent cocktail menu boasts ten signature cocktails that complement the atmosphere and ambiance of the venue and the theme of the food perfectly.  The mixologist, Jack McGarry, trained in the multi-awarding winning, 5 star Merchant Hotel award winning, gaining the highest standard of cocktail training in Northern Ireland.  The cocktail list provides extensive choice, dating from the early 1900’s with each drink containing no more than four specifically chosen ingredients, giving a real ‘back to basics’ feel.  McGarry has personally trained all the staff, so each drink will be made to the highest standard.  For those who prefer a rich red or ripe rose, the impressive wine list is curated by local wine merchant Febvre, with an emphasis on quality over quantity and the heritage and flavour of the wine.  
Lost Society manager Damian Cole is excited about the opening saying, “Lost Society is something really unusual for Belfast, as it gives people a choice of gastro pub, bistro style food and fine dining all under one roof.  The décor is unusual and quirky, the cocktail list is one of the most impressive in the city and the atmosphere is so laid back and relaxed, it’s hard to find anything not to like!  Botanic is the perfect location as it is a really buzzing and creative area.  We hope both students and professionals can enjoy the food and drink on offer as the whole team have thought long and hard about offering something for all tastes and budgets in the area.”
Inside, Lost Society has three floors, with a different feel on each level.  Downstairs is styled as a restolounge, with a comfortable, relaxed vibe and a laid back and affordable menu which is served until 10pm Sunday – Thursday and until 2.30am on Friday and Saturday. The décor is a mismatched arrangement of funky furniture and opulent, luxurious fabrics and fixtures, and some popular picks off the menu include the hand torn, grilled chicken sandwich with pickled cucumber and garam masala mayo; Lost Society seafood chowder and steamed local mussels.   On the mid-level, a fine dining theme reigns with set tables, cream linen and a regal but relaxed feel.  Open from Wednesday to Saturday for dinner, this classic floor has an impressive array of daily specials and live jazz for the perfect evening entertainment.  The gourmet menu includes grilled Irish Angus steak, shredded confit of duck and hot and tangy Irish salmon hot pot.  The top floor acts as a function suite, and with its neutral décor, it’s the perfect spot for tailor made, boutique weddings.  The space holds 55 seated or 150 standing and its city centre location makes it both accessible and convenient.  
The high calibre of cuisine has been affirmed by local gastronome Michele Shirlow, from NI Good Food, “There is always a buzz among Northern Irish foodies when a new restaurant opens and Lost Society has proven to be no exception.  With deliciously different menus on each level, the focus is definitely on choice for the diner.  Each dish is a lovely fusion of local produce which is fresh, flavoursome and filling.  Lost Society is a unique offering of bar/restaurant which will no doubt be enthusiastically welcomed to the Botanic area.”   
To book contact Lost Society on 028 9023 9443 or visit 67-69, Botanic Avenue, Belfast, County Antrim BT7 1JL or www.lostsocietybelfast.com 
Ends

Having recently opened on Belfast’s bustling Botanic Avenue, Lost Society is set to offer a new level of individuality to the city’s culinary and cocktail culture.  

Focusing on the finest food, all ingredients will be locally sourced and produced with dishes that are both on trend and in season.  Head chef Karl Johansson started his classical training in the Michelin starred Peat Inn in St Andrews, where he stayed for five years.  His extensive experience spans over 2 decades and also includes the Rogano Exchange, the Gleneagles Hotel and head chef positions with the Ulster Exchange and Botanic Inns Group. 

To add to the experience of the new bar/restaurant, the indulgent cocktail menu boasts ten signature cocktails that complement the atmosphere and ambiance of the venue and the theme of the food perfectly.  The mixologist, Jack McGarry, trained in the multi-awarding winning, 5 star Merchant Hotel award winning, gaining the highest standard of cocktail training in Northern Ireland.  The cocktail list provides extensive choice, dating from the early 1900’s with each drink containing no more than four specifically chosen ingredients, giving a real ‘back to basics’ feel.  McGarry has personally trained all the staff, so each drink will be made to the highest standard.  For those who prefer a rich red or ripe rose, the impressive wine list is curated by local wine merchant Febvre, with an emphasis on quality over quantity and the heritage and flavour of the wine.  

Lost Society manager Damian Cole is excited about the opening saying, “Lost Society is something really unusual for Belfast, as it gives people a choice of gastro pub, bistro style food and fine dining all under one roof.  The décor is unusual and quirky, the cocktail list is one of the most impressive in the city and the atmosphere is so laid back and relaxed, it’s hard to find anything not to like!  Botanic is the perfect location as it is a really buzzing and creative area.  We hope both students and professionals can enjoy the food and drink on offer as the whole team have thought long and hard about offering something for all tastes and budgets in the area.”

Inside, Lost Society has three floors, with a different feel on each level.  Downstairs is styled as a restolounge, with a comfortable, relaxed vibe and a laid back and affordable menu which is served until 10pm Sunday – Thursday and until 2.30am on Friday and Saturday. The décor is a mismatched arrangement of funky furniture and opulent, luxurious fabrics and fixtures, and some popular picks off the menu include the hand torn, grilled chicken sandwich with pickled cucumber and garam masala mayo; Lost Society seafood chowder and steamed local mussels.   On the mid-level, a fine dining theme reigns with set tables, cream linen and a regal but relaxed feel.  Open from Wednesday to Saturday for dinner, this classic floor has an impressive array of daily specials and live jazz for the perfect evening entertainment.  The gourmet menu includes grilled Irish Angus steak, shredded confit of duck and hot and tangy Irish salmon hot pot.  The top floor acts as a function suite, and with its neutral décor, it’s the perfect spot for tailor made, boutique weddings.  The space holds 55 seated or 150 standing and its city centre location makes it both accessible and convenient.  

The high calibre of cuisine has been affirmed by local gastronome Michele Shirlow, from NI Good Food, “There is always a buzz among Northern Irish foodies when a new restaurant opens and Lost Society has proven to be no exception.  With deliciously different menus on each level, the focus is definitely on choice for the diner.  Each dish is a lovely fusion of local produce which is fresh, flavoursome and filling.  Lost Society is a unique offering of bar/restaurant which will no doubt be enthusiastically welcomed to the Botanic area.”   

To book contact Lost Society on 028 9023 9443 or visit 67-69, Botanic Avenue, Belfast, County Antrim BT7 1JL or www.lostsocietybelfast.com 

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