Sisters’ winning art inspired by landmarks

Strabane sisters Ella (5) and Niamh (7) Lamont pictured after receiving their joint first prizes in the European Heritage Open Days Children's Art competition held across Northern Ireland, from Environment Minister, Alex Attwood. (0212BM10)
Strabane sisters Ella (5) and Niamh (7) Lamont pictured after receiving their joint first prizes in the European Heritage Open Days Children's Art competition held across Northern Ireland, from Environment Minister, Alex Attwood. (0212BM10)

Two talented young sisters have brought the winners’ prizes in a Northern Ireland wide art competition depicting their favourite buildings, home to the North West.

Ella and Niamh Lamont came joint first in the 5-7 age category in the ‘My Favourite Building’ art competition run by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency for European Heritage Open Days 2011.

The competition called for original artwork inspired by a favourite building during the European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) weekend. It’s believed to be the first time the winners were from the North West and the success was all the sweeter with the Lamont sisters sharing the top prize for their watercolours of two of Derry’s landmark city centre buildings.

Ella, aged 5, painted The Playhouse after being impressed with the Artillery Street theatre when visiting it for a dance summer school. She loved “the big red door and round windows” as well as the dance studio.

Niamh, aged 7, wanted to do a picture of the Derry Walls and chose Bishop’s Gate – she loves walking along the Walls and their height as well as the views.

The girls live in Strabane and attend St Columba’s Primary School in Clady.

The competition award ceremony was held last Saturday in Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey, and was attended by owners of buildings that took part in EHOD across NI and winners of the children’s art and photography competitions.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood presented the girls, who were the youngest in the audience, with their prizes of art supplies, while parents Deirdre Harte and Michael Lamont looked on proudly.

EHOD Manager Alan Turkington said: “The judges of the European Heritage Open Days Children’s Art competition, including Neil Shawcross, one of Northern Ireland’s leading artists, were unanimous in awarding a joint first prize to Niamh and Ella Lamont’s wonderfully vibrant paintings of two of Derry’s local landmarks.”