Saturday, 20 September 2008

Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition

This is the fairly unassuming brick and sandstone facade of the Titanic Drawing Offices in Belfast, the venue for this year’s Royal Ulster Academy annual exhibition.

In contrast with the exterior, the actual drawing rooms, with their high barrel ceilings, ornate plasterwork and enormous roof lights and windows, designed to maximise natural light, are visually stunning – and an excellent exhibition space.

Lynn’s painting has been hung in the second of the two drawing offices (the pic is actually a detail).

The photograph of the drawing offices in use is from 1912 (A Year To Remember, for Titanic buffs), and the detail of the plasterwork (inside the second drawing office) shows the extent to which the building has decayed since it was last used in 1989. Built in the early 1900’s, it was Harland & Wolff’s headquarters for many years, and Titanic’s designer Thomas Andrews (one of those lost when Titanic sunk), had his office here. The building is now owned by Titanic Quarter Ltd, and will be the centrepiece of the 185 acre Titanic Quarter regeneration scheme in Belfast’s docklands.
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