Joseph McWilliams (1938-2015) RIP

Joseph McWilliams was born in Belfast in 1938. Educated at

st malachy's

St Malachy’s College, he then enrolled at the Belfast College of Art and Design

He  taught at the Ulster College and the Open University.

McWilliams is a representational painter who  explores collage and mixed media in his richly textured surfaces.

community door

‘Community Door’ is  a firebomb-damaged door from a local community centre, modified by the artist’s work. His arts journalism regularly defends ‘traditional’ visual arts practices.

And here’s his wife Catherine,  who was born in Belfast in 1940, and is an artist in her own right

You can click on these galleries to see more of Joe’s paintings

There’s a whole sections on parades, many on them focused on an area Joe knew well in Belfast. Here’s one. Note what the bandsmen are doing


Joe’s last painting was  was “one of the largest works painted by him of this subject matter”.

Its 7 ft size may be related to the size of the insult to Catholics in NI.

It is entitled “Christian Flautists Outside St Patrick’s

christian flautists

This episode  is what inspired it

The Orange Order

2 orangemen

said the painting was a “deliberate demonisation of its cultural heritage”.

DUP and TUV are also said to be somewhat annoyed.

Always are ready to hold Catholics in contempt,

they object when their behaviour is immortalized in  paintings which will pass from one collector to another and from one exhibition to the next.

Work away with your objections to free speech, Orangemen



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