Ballymena man’s art donation to Giant’s Causeway

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A generous Ballymena man has donated a valuable piece of art to the Giant’s Causeway in memory of his late parents.

The donation to the National Trust is an interactive piece by internationally renowned artist Maurice Orr.

Our picture shows Anne and Stephen Butcher, Max Bryant - National Trust, Maurice Orr – Artist, and Esther Dobbin - National Trust

The painting is a huge recreation of the Causeway stones using tactile materials, including fish skin, which can be touched by visitors. In particular the painting aims to engage with blind and visually impaired people and help to emphasise even stronger connections to landscape and nature.

Stephen Butcher from Ballymena made the donation after he was inspired by the painting when he saw it as part of Maurice Orr’s exhibition ‘The Screaming Silence of the Wind’ at the Braid in Ballymena and felt it was a fitting tribute to his late parents Maurice and Lily.

As he handed over the impressive piece of art to the Causeway team, Stephen said; “From the first moment I saw it my wife and I felt this painting belonged at the Giant’s Causeway and as my parents were life-long members of the National Trust, who in their latter years developed a great affection for Northern Ireland, to commemorate them in this way just felt highly appropriate.”

Max Bryant, manager for the National Trust on the north coast said; “This is an incredibly generous donation and as a conservation charity we are very pleased to accept it.

“We look forward to giving it pride of place in the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre where hundreds of thousands of visitors can enjoy it every year.

“We are particularly keen that children and people with disabilities will be able to interact with this amazing piece of art. It is also a great way to showcase some of the amazing local talent we have in Northern Ireland.”

Artist Maurice Orr has a studio in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. He uses oils and a palette knife to create works that could be interpreted as bringing nature to life.

His paintings, which convey an atmospheric quality, encourage the viewer to look and explore the spirit of the landscape.