Simon McWilliams (b.1970)

Palm House, Raining

Oil on canvas

110cm x 149cm

From the collection of the Northern Ireland Civil Service

Simon McWilliams was born in 1970 and graduated from the University of Ulster before studying painting at the Royal Academy Schools in London. He has received a number of prestigious awards during his career including the Guinness Award at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and an award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, along with Gold and Silver Medals from the Royal Ulster Academy.

His practice blends his proficiency as a draughtsman with his ability as a painter to produce artworks that blur and abstract the realities of a place. Through the use of vibrant colour, he brings to life urban architecture in a way that is instantly recognisable. This can be seen in Palm House, raining which depicts the cast iron glasshouse in Belfast’s Botanic Gardens, a frequent subject of the artist’s work. In it, he utilises painterly playfulness to create an image that is part fact and part fantasy.