Julian Friers PPRUA

1956 Born Bangor Co.Down

Attended University of Ulster College of Art

1976 Embarked on career as a wildlife painter

1995 Elected to Royal Ulster Academy of Arts

2009 Elected President of Royal Ulster Academy of Arts

 

It was through his Father, a wood sculptor who had an interest in the natural world, that Julian Friers developed the love of wildlife that was to shape his career in art.  But even before the first forays into the world of birds and mammals there was drawing.  That process was a completely natural one in a household that was so inclined towards the visual arts.  His Father, Ian, was a wood sculptor, an academician in the RUA and a regular exhibitor in Belfast, and his uncle Rowel was very much a part of Ulster life in his commentary through cartoon.  The atmosphere then was shaped by imagery and Julian subsequently found himself at Art College in Belfast in the mid seventies in what he considered a logical next stage in his education.  It proved a difficult time, however, and he left after a single term, intent on learning to paint through his own experience.

He was greatly encouraged to concentrate on bird painting by Tom Cromie, a gallery owner from Bangor, and by the wildlife artist Robert Milliken who exhibited there. Julian undertook his first exhibition at the Tom Cromie Gallery in 1977 when he joined with botanical artist Elizabeth McEwan.  After the success of that show he was offered another the following year – his first solo exhibition.

Shortly after the Bangor shows Julian completed work for the Castle Espie Gallery and so began a close relationship with Paddy and Julie Mackie which has continued to this day.  Work for galleries elsewhere was undertaken – the Tryon in London and the McEwan Gallery in Ballater among them, while further involvements with both art and wildlife conservation organisations were to follow.  Julian has been involved with RSPB, BTO, IWC, WWT and other international conservation groups.  He has exhibited in group shows, alongside the world’s most important wildlife artists, in the natural history museums of London and Bonn as well as projects in the Netherlands and America.

In 1998 he was commissioned to design the first Irish Duck Stamp for the American Duck Stamp Programme.  In 1996 he embarked on a major commission by the International Foundation for the Conservation and Development of Wildlife, a group centred in the middle east.  This involved the painting of thirty two large canvases featuring desert wildlife which would then illustrate a limited edition book.  The project, and book, was entitled ‘Gifts from the Desert’ and in 1999 the original artwork went on tour internationally. Julian’s interest in conservation in the middle east continues with further projects in progress.

Julian was elected President of the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts in 2009, a position he held for three years.

He continues to live and work in Ireland near it's Atlantic north coast.

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2015 Naughton Gallery, Belfast

2015 Higher Bridges Gallery, Enniskillen

2013 London Street Gallery, Derry

2011 Gormley Gallery, Belfast

2010 Castle Espie Gallery

2008 Killarney Art Gallery

2006 Killarney Art Gallery

2002 Burg al Arab, Dubaii

2001 Smithsonian Institute, Washington

2001 Mall Gallery, London

2000 Castle Espie Gallery

1998 Dublin Castle

1998 McEwan Gallery Ballater

1996 McEwan Gallery Ballater

1994 Castle Espie Gallery

1992 Castle Espie Gallery

1990 Ulster Bank HQ Belfast 

1988 Tinchel Gallery Dublin

1987 Castle Espie Gallery

1985 Milliken Gallery, Greyabbey

1982 Grendor Gallery, Holywood  

1979 Tom Cromie Gallery, Bangor 

1977 Tom Cromie Gallery, Bangor

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2012 ‘Duet’ Flowerfield Arts Centre

2012 Royal Ulster Academy at Glebe Gallery, Donegal

2006 Boyle Arts Festival, Co. Roscommon

2005 Birds in Art, Leigh Yawkey Woodson, Wisconsin

2001 Texel, in Schoonheid Verbeeld Netherlands

1995 Society of Wildlife Artists, London

1993 The Artist’s View, Wisconsin

1992 Artists for Nature Foundation, Netherlands

1991 Wildlife Painters, Kunst Museum, Bonn 

1991 Royal Hibernian Academy

1990 – 2015 Royal Ulster Academy

1989-90, 2000,2003-4 LYWAM Wisconsin

1989, 90, 91 Society of Wildlife Artists, London

1988 Natural History Museum, London

 

AWARDS AND COMMISSIONS

2002 Commissioned painting for Dubaii Royal Family

1998 First Irish Duck Stamp

1996 Commissioned painting for Moroccan Royal Family

1996 Commissioned paintings for Saudi Arabian Royal Family

1993 Awarded Silver Medal RUA

1981 Mural in Belfast, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2004 Dear Animals

2002 Gifts from the Desert 

2000 RUA Diploma Collection, by Martin Anglesea

2000 One Hundred Years of Irish Art, by Eamonn Mallie

2000 Texel in schoonheid verbeeld

1992 Schiermonikoog

 

COLLECTIONS

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wisconsin

Library of Congress, Washington

British Library, London

RUA Diploma Collection

Royal collections in Dubai, Morocco and Saudi Arabia

National Self-Portrait Collection