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“New stuff every time”

The Gallery Whitehead
Ranked #7 of 18 things to do in Whitehead
Attraction details
Carrickfergus, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
613 reviews
372 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,267 helpful votes
“New stuff every time”
Reviewed 8 April 2013

I’m cheeky. Cynthia, the artist, is your guide when you visit the gallery, and she let me use a sound recorder when I was asking a lot of odd questions. There were so many things in The Gallery Whitehead that I wanted to know more about!

I’ll start at her cheerful gate. It was made to order by RJ Engineering. It is painted blue except for the decorative spikes and ribboned balls that are gold hammerite. Cynthia loves gold and blue together, and inside was painting scallop shells with the same colour combination.

Outside she has a big easel with a painting on. This picture changes every day. She had the easel built as a reproduction of the 16th century original design. Cynthia painted it blue to match the gate and front door.

The garden is set out as an Edwardian town garden with a circular center and stones divided into four quarters by the original old edging blocks, all contained by a wall. I’m jealous – she’s got no grass to mow! It has giant potted plants and small led solar lights on the trees which come on after dark.

Inside I do love the original fireplace in the “front parlour”. It is black with wyverns and a flower chain design in gold. She thinks it is like something brought back by a world traveler in Victorian times.

There are always new pictures to see. Another new thing is a pair of bespoke tiffany lamps made by a Mr. Johnston of Lisburn. Cynthia says he’s 86 years old. He gets the thick, coloured stained glass from London – the same stuff churches use. He cuts it to his own design, and Cynthia’s ones have pieces of volcanic glass added into a wave design. I even liked the stalks of the lamps – see photo.

Be sure to have a nosey at the breakfast kitchen table where Cynthia works. This day she was painting scallop shells gold and cerulean blue, her favourite combo. The rays of colour made me think of Tutankhamen’s head dress. Each also had a painted stone from Whitehead beach set in it, like the pearl in an oyster shell. There were also lots of tiny easels there with her little paintings on. These were built by William Stewart, who comes to Whitehead to dine at the Old Tea House every Sunday, she says.

Can you tell that I’m a nosey beggar? I just like seeing into the grander old houses of Whitehead; I’m in a 1971 bungalow. The gallery is, of course, a showcase for Cynthia’s brilliantly bold paintings. If you're after something huge and impressive, or tiny and cute - it's here. I’ll upload a shot or two to let you see some...

Free, open 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Well worth a visit!

Visited April 2013
4 Thank Steveodo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“At last an art gallery in Whitehead”
Reviewed 6 February 2013

I cannot believe Whitehead has never had an art gallery until now. A few shops have some pictures, like the flower shop and the Old Tea House on the corner, but this is a new, dedicated art gallery. I had never visited it before.
The pictures inside are by the owner, Cynthia. She herself is your guide, so unlike many places you can ask questions and she knows all about the paintings (in some places i think the answers are off some rehearsed script!)
Her paintings show people in local places, but are very imaginative. They are semi abstract, and she uses bright colours and black outlines. You see astronauts and judges and eagles all on very big canvasses. Many local artists stick to countryside scenes but here you see big mythical different views of the area and its people.
She also paints little sea shells, pebbles and wood blocks with tiny versions of her imaginative figures. They make great pocket sized gifts of local art. Everything is on sale but Cynthia welcomes everyone who just wants to look. The gallery is nice and warm and very well furnished and she has a music system playing to give it a relaxed atmosphere.
Entry is free, Saturday and Sunday 2pm to 5pm, kids are also welcome.

4 Thank wandererIslandmagee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whitehead, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A passion for art.”
Reviewed 23 January 2013

What makes this Art Gallery different, and interesting, is that it is in the Artists own home. It is very much an exploration of an interesting personality. Cynthia has had a life long passion for art and it shows in the details around the rooms. Keep your eyes open, there are some interesting and unusual little touches. The Gallery is on the ground floor of the house and is open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2-5pm. The artists tastes are eclectic, so why not pay her a visit. There is no admission fee. The art gallery is located just 2 doors down from the Old Tea Rooms on Cable Road, both are worth visiting. It will be very interesting to see how this gallery develops in the years ahead.

Visited December 2012
5 Thank SeaviewtoScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whitehead, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
92 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
“Art House”
Reviewed 22 January 2013

This is a house that the owner, an artist, has turned into an art gallery. There are a series of very nicely furnished rooms inside where big paintings adorn the walls. Be sure to notice the pictures hanging in the hallway, also. There's even a phohgraph of the street outside as it looked 100 years ago framed in the hall. The lady, Cynthia, is very welcoming. What she has done to convert her downstairs rooms into showrooms is very impressive. There is even an extra conservatory type room beyond the kitchen with more pictures there. I really liked her choices of chairs and tables also. Entry is free. It operates on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5pm.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank Mavis B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Talented Whitehead Artist”
Reviewed 14 January 2013

I'm not going to say too much as it is the Whaa-factor which appealed to me. Let me just say, I was pleasantly surprised by all that The Gallery had to offer. Normally I feel uncomfortable visiting a private home but you should not be. As I said, I dont want to say too much, but Cynthia has transformed this dwelling which I used to visit as a young brownie (The Brown Owl - Mrs. Luke - lived there), into a most relaxing Art Gallery. And Cynthia's work lives up to Whitehead's reputation as the Art Captial of Co. Antrim. It's well worth popping in, if not only to see the "Whitehead Stones".

Visited December 2012
4 Thank PatriciaInWhitehead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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