Simon McWilliams

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Red Model, 2014 Oil On Linen ©
The Palmhouse Oil On Canvas 68" X 64"
Tower Scaffolding Oil On Canvas 73.5" X 88.5"
The Arc Oil On Canvas 29" X 35"
Spine Oil On Canvas 84"X 77"
Titanic Quater Building Oil On Canvas 24" X 31"
Restoration Dust Oil On Linen 60"X72" © Simon McWilliams
Smoke and Ladders Oil On Linen 60"X72" © Simon McWilliams
Glasnevin Plant Life Oil On Linen 32"X40" © Simon McWilliams
Glass Canopy Oil On Canvas 24"X30" © Simon McWilliams
Mist in the Glass House Oil On Linen 32"X40" © Simon McWilliams
Glasshouse Vegetation Oil On Canvas 24"X30" © Simon McWilliams
Arc, 2009 Monotype Drawing/Oil On Paper 8" X 10" © courtsey of artist and skotia gallery
Quick Facts
Representing galleries

Born in Belfast, Simon McWilliams trained at the University of Ulster and then at the Royal Academy Schools in London. An award winning artist, his paintings can be found in many of the major collections of Irish Art today.

"He takes his immediate urban surroundings as his subject, through superb draughtsmanship and richly textured layers of paint he produces images that carry the conviction of an observed vision but which are in fact the creation of a parallel and imagined place; emotionally charged abstractions that reveal something his own spiritual relationship with the places that fascinate him." They are also paintings that investigate the meeting of abstract and figurative elements, where colour and surface combine to suggest an elaborate evocation of mood and atmosphere that has led Dr. Brian Kennedy, Keeper of the Ulster Museum to write that McWilliams is a “painter’s painter … His handling of paint is sensuous, tactile almost with a life of it’s own within the medium, in a way that few painters understand nowadays.”

Ranging from heavy impasto to the most delicate scumbles and washes his work, first and foremost, is a celebration of painting. McWilliams' work examines the timeless way in which the structural environment of a city intertwines with human presence, a subject that has resulted in seventeen awards for painting in the past eight years.

Drawing on Belfast's past, present and future, his paintings manage to combine both realist and abstract visions of a changing world where Palm houses come to occupy the same territory as modern office blocks and radio masts.

His works are very much a painter's way of describing one's surroundings; allowing richly textured layers of paint and design to construct, shape and inform every aspect of the picture resulting in a tactile and forthright vision of a time and place. While the primary inspiration is his experience of urban settings, he equally enjoys uniting human elements within these environments, reminding us of our unconscious relationship to the buildings around us.



1995-98 The Royal Academy Schools, London

1989-92 BA (Hons) Fine Art University of Ulster

1988-89 Art & Design, University of Ulster


2014 Naughton Gallery, Belfast

2014 Original Prints, BPW, Belfast

2012 Shoots and Ladders, Skotia Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2010 The New Metropolis, Skotia Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, USA

2006 John Martin Gallery, London "Belfast paintings"

2001 Art Space Gallery, Michael Richardson Contemporary Art, London

2000 Solomon Gallery, Dublin

1995 Cavehill Gallery, Belfast

1993 Cavehill Gallery, Belfast


2012 Veneris XIII Group Drawing Show, Skotia Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2012 Affordable Art Fair, Los Angeles, CA
2012 Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London

2011 Contemporary Art in Northern Ireland, The Arts Council NI, Stormont Castle
2011 Cavehill Gallery, Christmas Show, Belfast
2011 Opening Group Exhibition of Skotia Gallery, Skotia Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2010 Naked Group Show, Skotia Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, USA

2009 179th Royal Hibernian Academy Exhibition, Dublin
2009 The Ava Gallery, The World in Black and White
2009 Ava Gallery, New Year Works
2009 Joan Lukas Rothenberg Gallery, New York

2008 Cavehill Gallery, Christmas Show
2008 Wexford Festival, Johnstone Castle
2008 The Invisible Collection, Ava Gallery
2008 Tripod III Galway
2008 Boyle Arts Festival 2008
2008 Inishlacken: A Place Apart, Galway Arts Centre and touring

2007 Fenton Gallery, December Group Show, Cork
2007 The UTV collection:a Fresh Look, Highlanes Gallery
2007 Platform II, Cavan
2007 Cavehill Gallery Group Show
2007 Double Elephant, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast
2007 Modern & Contemporary Irish Art, Sothebys London
2007 Royal Ulster Academy, Ormeau Baths Gallery,Belfast
2007 Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition Dublin
2007 New Art from Northern Ireland. Katzen Arts center, Washington. USA
2007 Recent Aquisitions, Queens University Collection, Naughton Gallery Belfast
2007 Glasgow Ar Fair
2007 Wexford Opera Festival Exhibition, EPA Headquarters Wexford

2006 Fenton Gallery, Cork,
2006 The Discerning Eye, The Mall, London
2006 Wexford Festival Exhibition hosted by Joan Lambert, Johnstown Castle, Wexford
2006 Sothebys Post War and Contemporary Irish Art, RHA Dublin & Sothebys, Bond Street, London
2006 "Reflections" Joint Government Exhibition, Touring
2006 Solomon Gallery
2006 "Collectors Collections" Ormeau Baths Gallery Belfast
2006 Boyle Arts Festival, Roscommon

2005 Royal Ulster Academy, Ulster Museum
2005 Solomon Gallery, Dublin
2005 Royal Hibernian Academy 175th Annual Show, Dublin Invited Artist

2004 Fenton Gallery, Cork
2004 Invited Artist Royal Hibernian Academy
2004 The Hunting Art Prizes 2004 Royal College of Art, London

2003 Lexmark European Art Prize Finalists exhibition
2003 The Hunting Art Prizes, Royal College of Art, London

2002, 2001, 2000, Royal Ulster Academy Exhibition, Ulster Museum Belfast

2002, 2000 Royal Hibernian Academy Exhibition, Dublin

2001 Solomon Gallery, Dublin

1999 Klinginmuseum, "Light in Art", Solingen, Germany
1999 Art Space Gallery, "Four young Painters", London
1999 Royal Hibernian Academy, 169th Exhibition, Invited Artist, Dublin
1999 The Hunting Art Prizes, Royal College of Art, London
1999 Long & Ryle Gallery. London
1999 The Royal Overseas League, London

1998 Royal Academy Schools, London
1998 Cadogan Contemporary Gallery, London

1997 Sackler Galleries, Premiums exhibition Royal Academy of Arts, London
1997 National Print Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
1997,96 Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy London


2009 FringeMK Annual Painting Prize Finalist

2007 Celeste Art Prize Shortlisted Artist

2006 Discerning Eye London, Regional Prize
2006 Elected Royal Ulster Academician

2005 Mills Selig Award

2002 Major Individual award, (Arts Council of NI)

2001 (2000,99,94,93) Arts Council of NI Visual Arts Bursaries

1999 Silver Medal, Royal Ulster Academy
1999 Abbey Stained Glass Studio Award, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
1999 Hunting Art Prizes, Gallery Award, London

1998 Arts Council of Ireland, Equipment Grant.
1998 Elizabeth Fitzpatrick Bursary, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
1998 Nicholas & Andre Tooth Travel Award, London
1998 Gilchrist Fisher Award, London

1997 British Institute award for Painting, London
1997 John Compton award Royal Academy, London

1996 The Guinness Award, Royal Academy Summer Show, London
1996 "Belfast '91" Award

1994 Northern Ireland Arts Club Award

1992 Belfast Young Contemporaries, prize-winner, One Oxford Street Gallery
1992 Thomas Dammann Junior Travel Award, Arts Council of Northern Ireland


2009 University of New Hampshire Museum of Art, Durham, New Hampshire
2009 Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

2008 Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, Massachusetts
2008 Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri

2007 Martha Street Studios, Winnipeg, Canada
2007 Graphic Print Studio, Dublin
2007 Droigheda Arts Centre, Drogheda
2007 Glasgow art Fair
2007 Rediscover Ireland, Washington, USA

2006 Gordon Gallery, Derry
2006 Clotworthy Arts Centre, Antrim

2005 Impact Printmaking conference,Berlin/Poznan

1997 National Print Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London


Simon McWilliams "Belfast Paintings", John Martin Gallery , London


ESB Ireland, Coolkeeragh Power Station

Bank of Ireland Limited edition Prints



The Ulster Museum, Belfast

Queens University Belfast

University of Ulster Permanent Collection

Boyle Civic Collection

Northern Ireland Civil Service/ Government Art Collection

Office of Public Works, Ireland

Department of Finance, Northern Ireland

Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Allied Irish Banks (Dublin)

Bank of Ireland

Permanent TSB (Dublin)

Guinness PLC (London),

Centrum Kunstlicht in de Kunst (Eindhoven),

Construction Emplotyers Federation NI

National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland, Limerick

Ulster Television PLC, Belfast

The Haverty Trust, Ireland

UNISON for Northern Ireland

The Mater Hospital

Brian O Halloran & Associates Architects

McCann Fitzgerald Solicitors, Dublin

Brian O Donnell & Partners, Dublin

Parker Green International

The Bar Library, Belfast

ESB, Ireland

Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland