On a scenic clifftop high above the famous Gobbins path on Islandmagee, sits the quirky art studio of Audrey Kyle which is the latest artisan business to join the growing network of Économusée workshops. Audrey Kyle Art was launched as the ninth Économusée artisan workshop in the Mid and East Antrim and Causeway Coast and Glens area on Friday 21st June 2019.
The spectacular landscape surrounding this artisan studio is steeped in folklore of witches and massacres. The workshop which offers classes in watercolour painting joins the elite network of food and craft artisans who open their doors to visitors and tourists to share the story of their journey and acquired knowledge, skill and passion.
Guest speakers at the launch included Dr David Hume MBE, local tour guide, historian and author and Graham Thompson, Chief Executive of Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust and lead partner of the Économusée Artisan At Work project in N. Ireland.
Graham commented: “Audrey’s workshop brings yet another diverse and unique authenticity to this growing network of Économusée businesses. We are delighted to welcome Audrey Kyle Art to the Économusée network in Northern Ireland. With views across the sea to Scotland and an idyllic small working farm set on an iconic peninsula, I can’t think of anywhere more picturesque to develop another Économusée workshop”.
Audrey Kyle began painting in 2009 under the guidance of Paul Holmes, a well-known local landscape artist, shortly after the birth of her second child. She enjoys expressing herself through the use of vibrant colour and works in a loose style, letting the paint make its mark. Audrey was accepted as a full member of the Art Society of Ulster in 2014.
Carole O’Kane, Corporate Services Manager said “By visiting each of the nine Économusée artisan workshops, tourists and visitors will gain an enhanced experience; learn about the history of the craft and the business; the enthusiasm of the artist along with the added opportunity of meeting the artisans face to face and discovering the beauty and authenticity of the products made and sold onsite. We are thankful to our funders; Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and Tourism NI to enable us to increase the Économusée network in the area”.
Tiérna Mullan Project Officer with Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust added: “These unique visitor attractions add to the overall experiential tourism of the Causeway Coastal Route. We now have four artisan workshops in the Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and five in the Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council.”
Audrey said: ‘I would like to express my thanks to everyone present for attending this special launch and all those that helped me reach this important milestone in my career.
As part of my commitment to the Économusée network I will offer visitors pre-booked watercolour painting classes; tours of the workshop where they will see the storyboards which tell the history of the area and my personal journey.”
Économusée Artisans at Work is a concept that was developed in Québec and involves partners from Canada, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Haiti, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Within Northern Ireland the other eight ÉCONOMUSÉE workshops are; Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil in Limavady, Scullion Hurls in Loughgiel, Steenson’s Jewellers in Glenarm, Hillstown Brewery in Ahoghill, Hot Milk Forge in Martinstown and Ursa Minor Bakehouse, Broughgammon Farm and North Coast Smokehouse in Ballycastle. Each workshop is situated on or close by the famous Causeway Coastal Route making it an ideal craft trail for visitors.