A STUNNING mural designed and created by a local artist has breathed new life into a Ballycarry landmark.
Iain Baldwin, who runs custom paint and airbrush company Liquid Colour Design, based in the village, has been responsible for many incredible and diverse pieces of artwork for his clients, ranging from bedroom murals to fully custom painted cars.
But his latest work – a huge piece of graffiti art on the gable wall of Millars Bar on Main Street – is something that can be enjoyed by the entire community.
Iain told the Times: “The owner of Millars approached me and asked me to come up with a design for a mural to brighten up the outside of the pub.
“I came up with a few different designs and he ended up going for the image of a woman playing the fiddle. My inspiration for this image came from the popular fiddle events that take place at Millars on Wednesday nights.”
The mural, which was finished on Saturday, took four days to complete and was done entirely with spray cans. And Iain, who lives in Ballycarry with his wife Naomi and daughter Erin, is delighted with the outcome.
“I have always been passionate about graffiti art and have been doing it since I was a small boy growing up in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. I often found myself painting or spraying art work on shop fronts, advertising many different business and being paid small sums of money which would allow me to purchase more paint, until as every kid knows, you have to get a real job.
“I spent many years travelling around the world seeing great art and custom paint from all aspects of life such as surf shops in Indonesia and Australia, tribal art and so on. I knew then that this is what I wanted to do for a living.”
This is not first example of Iain’s graffiti-style art in Ballycarry - he previously created an eye-catching image of a taxi on the outside wall of a local taxi firm.
He added: “Graffiti art is a great way to promote your business. The artwork stands out, stops people in their tracks and creates a talking point for residents and visitors alike.”
Owner of Millars Bar, Tony Gawley said the idea for the mural came about over “a chat and a pint” in the pub a few months ago.
He added: “It was simply intended to raise a smile, brighten the streetscape and attract any local musicians to Millars as a venue for a bit of craic and a great pint.
“Iain has established himself as a very talented local artist, as Liquid Colour Design and has undertaken commissions for some world class sporting personalities in golf and motorcycle racing,” he added.
Larne Deputy Mayor Mark McKinty said the new mural has created “quite a buzz” around the village.
He added: “Iain is very much a community man who has dedicated a lot of time to the local community and to charity work. This mural is representative of that, as many people in Ballycarry and the surrounding district have taken a keen interest in its development. It really is a unique contribution to the local community.
“I am pleased to lend my full support to Iain as his business expands into the local, national and international market. Small businesses such as this are the future of our economy, with a focus on high-level skills, export potential and the enthusiasm to persevere and expand.”
Meanwhile, another of Iain’s ambitious pieces of art is to go up for auction next week in a bid to raise money for a good cause.
As reported in the Larne Times earlier this year, kind-hearted Iain combined his love of golf, art and motorbikes to commemorate the prestigious Irish Open taking place at Royal Portrush Golf Course.
He painstakingly airbrushed portraits of Northern Irish golfing greats Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke, onto a custom-made Honda Fury motorbike, which was donated to him by Honda Belfast after being shipped over from the United States.
And the bike was then transported up to the north coast, where it was signed by the trio of major tournament winners and will now be auctioned off in the name of charity.
The auction will take place online at www.charitybuzz.com and will begin on Monday, November 5. All proceeds will be donated to Clic Sargent and the Darren Clarke Foundation.