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Bending Glass & Sustaining the Art of Neon
20 June 2022 @ 7:00 pmFree
This launch event and panel discussion marks and celebrates the public online release of ‘Bending Glass’ – a Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive Project’ which tells the story of master glass bender and neon sign maker Adrian McNevison of AM Light taking archive footage from the UTV as a starting point.
This multi-faceted project illuminated the former UTV studios at Havelock House, Belfast with artworks made from light and archive footage from the UTV vaults in a special installation for 3 days in February 2022. To coincide with its online publication on the NI Screen’s Digital Film Archive this event will provide further context on how the project unfolded (and its potential next stages) and we will also hear from a panel of speakers connected with the art of neon.
Kevin Killen current practice is the creation of self made neon light sculptures and installations, often site-specific. The works capture moments in time, representing life and peoples’ physical journeys as snapshots of lives. Based in Belfast, he obtained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design University College (now the UCA) in 1999 and specialist training in neon making in Dallas, Texas in 2009. Large-scale Light installations have been created for the Market Place Theatre and Art Centre Murmur 2021 and National Trust’s Argory, Armagh, in May 2018. https://www.kevinkillen.com/
National Trust, is a charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Claire Magill is a Regional Conservator for the National Trust NI and has worked on numerous restoration and conservation projects across the region The National Trust looks after one of the world’s largest and most significant holdings of fine art and heritage objects.
Chirs McNevinson, Director and Neon Apprentice, AM Light
AM Light have been creating exquisite bespoke lighting for over 50 years. Chis is the son of Adrian McNevinson who formed AM Light in 1973 having started an apprenticeship with Neon Signs (Ulster) in 1958. Chris had a career in mechanical engineering before becoming an apprentice in the family business in 2003.
Bending Glass was instigated and organised by artist Johanna Leech in response to the Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive UTV residency programme. The exhibition was in partnership with Flax Art Studios with support from the Department for Communities. The UTV Archive in this exhibition is courtesy of the partnership project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI). Presented alongside the screenings and stills were contemporary neon artworks produced by AM Light for Michael Hanna, Stuart Calvin and Johanna Leech, self-made neons by Kevin Killen, lightboxes by Susan Hughes, a written guide by Paula Blair, and a video interview with McNevison and his son Chris.