Some of the most celebrated landmarks from Carrickfergus and the surrounding area nestle together in a vibrant new work by an internationally acclaimed artist.
Keith Drury’s ‘Carrickfergus Way’ is a detailed, dreamlike piece, featuring familiar buildings.
Keith, originally from Belfast, created the colourful images using sophisticated computer 3D modelling and continues the theme of celebrating the places where people live and work in Northern Ireland.
It seeks to represent the well-known sights along with some lesser known aspects. So along with the castle, careful observers will also find a miner taking a pick-axe to a rock to extract salt.
Look out too for the knights sculpture, Big Lamp, Marine Gardens, St Nicholas’ Church, waterfront, Town Hall, North Gate, Dobbins Inn, Carrickfergus Football Club, Rinkha, Loughshore Hotel, Knockagh Monument, Blackhead Lighthouse, Gobbins Path, Whitehead House, Glenarm Castle Barbican Gate, Ballygally Castle, Glenoe Waterfall and Ballylumford.
In 2007, Keith was commissioned to paint legendary Brazilian footballer, Pele and in 2016, had his ‘London Way’ artwork presented to HRH Princess Anne.
Keith uses 3D software and a touch-sensitive drawing board to mould pieces of virtual plasticine into buildings, vehicles and other objects.
He explained: “Each individual model is incredibly detailed - you can even virtually go inside the little houses to look through the windows and see the view outside. The first process is sculpting, then colouring, then picture composition.”
Learning to use the sophisticated software took Keith “about 2,000 hours” and each picture started from scratch can take up to three months of long working weeks to finish.
The most unique aspect of Keith’s artworks is how easily they can be customised. He said: “Once I’ve made a picture for the first time it’s very easy to personalise it for a specific customer.”
He is currently involved with a research project in association with Queen’s University, Belfast, to create a virtual reality (VR) programme using his art in 3D form to help children with autism.
“The project will create a game-based activity in a virtual environment to help children on the autistic spectrum learn coping mechanisms,” he says.
His wife, Deborah, a former teacher who now manages the art business, is using the project for a doctorate in education and says it has been designed initially to empower children with autism.
“It is a philanthropic project and aims to use Keith’s art and VR technology to test predictive impairment in autistic children who find it difficult to cope with the unexpected,” Deborah explains.
The limited edition Carrickfergus Way is available for purchase online from www.keithdruryart.com and can be viewed at Keith’s gallery and studio in the Victorian Walled Garden, Crossgar.