Stephen searching for more models

Artist Stephen Jamison. INNT 39-025-PSB
Artist Stephen Jamison. INNT 39-025-PSB

A NEWTOWNABBEY artist has embarked on a major project that will see him immortalise 40 workers from businesses and organisations across the borough by painting their portraits for display in an exhibition.

Stephen Jamison started his ‘Working Class Hero’ project in July this year, and is currently painting his 13th portrait. He hopes to complete all 40 oil paintings by Easter, with the exhibition due to run at the Flax Gallery, Mossley Mill next June or July.

The 58-year-old retired civil servant from Whitehouse has been a full-time artist since 2008. He is well known for his African-inspired pieces and was one of the lead artists responsible for the ‘Faces of Africa’ exhibition, which ran at Mossley Mill earlier this year.

“The portraits will all be of people who work in the Newtownabbey area; the postman, lollypop lady, the girl in the local chemists, the hairdresser, taxi driver etc. The sort of people we all tend to take for granted but who in their own way contribute to all our lives,” he told the Times.

“I work from photographs so only inconvenience my ‘victims’ for a minute or two whilst I get their name and contact details and a couple of photos. I am currently more than a quarter of the way through the project and so I’m still on the hunt for more models,” Stephen added.

“I just want to warn people that a big old artist may be approaching them to photograph them at work and that they shouldn’t panic, but just give a nice smile.”