Perched just a couple of hundred yards from The Gobbins Cliffs, Audrey Kyle offers a unique art workshop, helping people learn the skills of painting as well as connecting with nature.
Folklore and the landscape of the Islandmagee peninsula, shaped by the sea, offers a stunning backdrop to learn art away from the daily hustle and bustle of modern life.
Audrey Kyle Art operates on a simple premise – learning a new skill in a tranquil setting.
It is a concept Audrey developed after re-discovering her affinity for painting.
“I had been working in the corporate world in HR, but eight years ago I took a change in direction and haven’t looked back,” she explained. “I began painting, started to get commissions and my new career started from there”
Audrey opened the Gobbins Studios to showcase her own work, but has since opened the studios for classes.
This Saturday August 1 from 12pm – 4pm, Audrey will be hosting an open studio where she will be displaying some brand new pieces that incorporate organic materials.
“What is offered is quite different to what other art classes offer,” she said. “As well as learning the skills of watercolours it is very much aimed at creating a relaxing, mindful experience.”
It also helps that the studio is part of a working farm with a livery stable and a flock of 50 Suffolk ewes.
“Where we are situated means we have a stunning landscape and an active farm,” Audrey said.
“There are so many aspects that can be drawn upon. And, as it changes through the seasons it offers many different inspirations.
“For example, in the summertime we do watercolour workshops and experience days where the people that visit can go for a walk through the meadow and through the woodland, we collect wild grasses and wildflowers and then they come back to the studio and paint them.”
Most classes last for three hours and can accommodate up to six people. However, there are also special summer sessions.
“In summer I host experience days, which last for five hours including lunch, and woodland and cliff top walk along with the watercolour practice.
“This enables the folklore to be incorporated to build experiences of the folklore of Ireland and really embrace the spirit of this remarkable area.”
Art Fans are welcome to join Audrey Saturday August 1 at The Gobbins Studio from 12 pm- 4 pm to view some of the artist’s latest work.
You can find out more and book classes at audreykyleart.com or contact Audrey directly on 07712464966
NI Food and Drink Pavilion Back at Balmoral Show with Delicious Flavours
Delicious and original food and drink from a range of local artisan companies from across the country will be showcased at this year’s Balmoral Show in the colourful Northern Ireland Food Pavilion organised by leading promotional body Food NI, and supported by the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme, and Tourism NI.
Visit Balmoral Park from 22nd – 25th September where there will be hundreds of innovative products on Show. The NI Food and Drink Pavilion will host the biggest celebration of the outstanding tastes and rich flavours from local companies, including many which have won top awards for originality and quality in prestigious national and international food challenges.
These high-profile food accolades include the UK Great Taste Awards, the Blas na hEireann Irish National Food Awards, the UK Food and Drink Quality Awards and the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards where the smaller food and drink producers have ‘punched above their weight’ in such challenges for many decades. A host of excellent local companies including Milgro, Glastry Farm Ice Cream, Erin Grove, Ballylisk of Armagh, Kennedy Bacon, Natural Umber, Ke Nako Biltong and Irish Black Butter will be sampling and selling their products.
An exciting new addition to the Pavilion this September is the NI Food and Drink Experience Kitchen, supported by Tourism NI. Situated right in the heart of the Food Pavilion, the Experience Kitchen will provide a platform to showcase dozens of talented producers and foodie experiences from across Northern Ireland. Visit www.nigoodfood.com to download the Experience Kitchen Timetable in the run up to the Show.
The Food NI Food Pavilion is one of the most popular attractions at the Balmoral Show and it provides opportunities for visitors to meet producers and learn how they hand craft the food and drink to ensure consistent quality and memorable flavours.
Virtually every sector in this vibrant industry, Northern Ireland’s largest single manufacturer and the only industry represented in every community, especially rural areas, will be featured in the pavilion. It’s an industry which generates over £5 billion annually to the local economy and contributes particularly to the wellbeing of rural communities.
Food and drink products from local companies are now exported to over 60 global markets such as the Republic of Ireland, other parts of the EU, as well as the US, Middle East and Asia.
Food NI’s Chief Executive Michele Shirlow, commented, “It’s marvellous to be setting up the Food Pavilion again for thousands of people to see and sample the best of local food and drink. It’s always been one of the most popular presentations at a show which draws visitors from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and further afield.
“Food writers and journalists we’ve worked with from outside Northern Ireland have always been impressed by the overall showcase and talented producers.
“We’ve certainly missed the show since it was paused over the last two years by the awful pandemic. During the Show, we have taken steps to ensure visitor safety by implementing systems which promote social distancing and hand sanitation throughout the pavilion. We have also involved increasing space between stands and reduced company numbers this year. Visitor and participating company safety is a priority for us. We would urge visitors to comply with Government guidance and to make yourself familiar with the mitigations implemented by the Balmoral Show to ensure the event is as safe as possible for all who attend.
“I am sure that our changes won’t impact the enjoyment of visitors to the pavilion. They’ll have an unprecedented opportunity to experience the very best of our outstanding and award- winning food and drink.”
The Balmoral Show in partnership with Ulster Bank, Northern Ireland’s largest agri-food event will take place from Wednesday 22nd September to Saturday 25th September at Balmoral Park, Lisburn. Tickets are available to purchase online at www.balmoralshow.co.uk. Please note this year tickets are day specific only and must be purchased prior to the Show. Conditions of entry can also be found online.
Ministers hold Progress Meeting on All-island Rail Review
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon and the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D. held their first progress meeting with the consultants ARUP who are taking forward the all-island Strategic Rail Review.
This All-Island Strategic Rail Review, will consider how the rail network on the island of Ireland can improve sustainable connectivity between major cities and towns, enhance regional accessibility including to the North West and support balanced regional development across our island. In addition, the Review will consider the feasibility of higher speeds on the network and whether there is a potential to increase use of the network for freight. ARUP were appointed in July to carry out the review.
Minister Mallon said: “The appointment of ARUP was an important step forward in delivering our All Island Strategic Rail Review and I welcome the opportunity to meet them today, along with Minister Ryan to hear the progress that has been made and importantly to personally convey a shared North South ambition for this important work which will allow us to consider and improve our rail network across this island for everyone.
“I am pleased with the detailed work already carried out by ARUP and share with Minister Ryan the determination and dedication to make progress on this key project as quickly as possible. I have huge ambitions for our rail network on our island and it was encouraging to hear the shared vision at today’s meeting. There are real opportunities for communities across Ireland and significant benefits that a better connected island could bring not just to people but also for our environment. With the Climate Crisis and the immediate challenges facing our natural environment, Minister Ryan and I have once again recommitted to working together to deliver clean and green transport on the island of Ireland. This transformative project is key to our joint effort.”