‘Gallery of windows’ at Austins

Derry-born artist Keith Ayton with one of the paintings from his new body of work entitled 'Homecoming' which is currently on display in the windows of Austins of the Diamond.

Derry-born artist Keith Ayton with one of the paintings from his new body of work entitled 'Homecoming' which is currently on display in the windows of Austins of the Diamond.

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Working in collaboration with Austins’ Department Store as part of Derry’s City of Culture celebrations, Derry-born artist Keith Ayton has just completed an exciting new body of work entitled “Homecoming”.

A stunning range of landscapes is currently on display in a unique gallery space - the historic Edwardian windows of the world’s oldest independent department store.

Keith says: “With this series of large paintings, I’m exploring my relationship with the places and spaces of my youth - Derry City and the bordering counties of Derry/Donegal. Beginning last August, I revisited many of these areas. They’ve remained in my sub-conscious from childhood.

“Some are obscure and hidden places, often in the Sperrins or the Malin peninsula. Many are easily recognisable such as the Grianan of Aileach, Kinnegoe Bay and Five Fingers Strand.

“I’m hugely excited at the platform which Austins have so generously provided. This store, and those magnificent Edwardian-style windows, are as iconic to Derry city as the Guildhall. One window would have been splendid but a virtual gallery in so many of them will provide a spectacular showcase.”

Older even than Harrods or Macys, of New York, this is the first such event in Austins’ 180-year history.

Declan Hasson, from Austins, says: ““We believe that our ‘Gallery of Windows’ initiative will make a worthy contribution to the overall success and profile of the city’s culture celebrations.”

The exhibition at Austins runs until May 18.