Exodus, The Art of Terry Bradley - the exhibition, is a FREE event hosted at TITANIC Belfast this summer.
July 1st - September 10th
09:00 - 18:00
Get directions here...
Visit our nearest gallery, just a short walk from TITANIC Belfast.
Bradley Art Gallery
Victoria Square Shopping Centre
1 Victoria Square
Belfast, BT1 4QG
Mon - Sat, 09:30 - 18:00
Sun, 13:00 - 18:00
TTitanic Belfast has partnered with Terry Bradley Art to launch a free exhibition this summer.
Named after his latest piece, Exodus – The Art of Terry Bradley, the exhibition runs from Saturday 1st July until Sunday 10th September, daily from 9am – 6pm in The Andrews Gallery and will showcase Bradley's long tradition of painting the dockers and working men of Belfast, while also incorporating some of the rich maritime history of the city, his iconic female pieces and his work relating to mental health awareness.
Visitors will also have the chance to see the work of aspiring young Northern Irish artists as part of ‘The Bradley Art Prize’. The world-leading visitor attraction has announced it has commissioned the winner to create a unique Titanic related art piece to be displayed within its shipyard themed bar, Hickson’s Point. In addition, guests visiting the exhibition will be able to vote for their favourite piece from the runners-up with ‘The People’s Choice’ winner receiving £250.
There will also be the opportunity to enjoy behind-the-scenes footage of Bradley at work, a look at the tattoo culture inspired by his pieces and hear the life stories of some of those who have been touched by his art.
WIN A FREE
Signed Limited Edition "Exodus" Canvas Print
*One entry per person only.
Duplicate entries will be disregarded.
On display at the 'Exodus' Exhibition, TITANIC Belfast.
‘Alone’ sees a man walking towards us with swirling mists of emotion and turmoil raging around him. The muted colours and limited colour palette adds to the surreal atmosphere and a sense of disembodiment.Shop Now
This is one of Bradley’s best known and best loved paintings. Originally taken from Northern Irish writer C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, Aslan is a well know fictional lion who represents a warrior, fearless and brave. Bradley’s Aslan features the words "I AM, Justice, Honour, Trust and Courage," all words that inspire Terry and that he tries to live by.
The name Aslan is of Arabic origin and its Turkish meaning translates to Lion. Aslan appears both in The Bible and the Quran.
This paining was created around the time of Terry’s mother in laws death in September 2022. Based on photos of Edna when she was young Terry wanted to hold on to the memories he had of both her and his own mother Florence who passed away in 2021 during lockdown. Terry used the painting of this piece as therapy to help with his grief and to create a beautiful, calm and peaceful atmosphere.Shop Now
'Belfast, No Mean City'
This piece started as a painting called ‘Two Pints’ and later had the lettering added to embody ‘Belfast, No Mean City’.
The image is of an ordinary, working class man, relaxed with a cigarette and two pints of Guinness as he finishes a hard day’s work.
The working men’s clubs and bars around Harland & Wolff’s shipyard in East Belfast would be filled with men after their shift. Heavy coats and collarless shirts with a woollen waistcoat were their everyday clothes.
The phrase ‘No Mean City’ is a quotation from the bible where Paul, the apostle, says he is a citizen of ‘No Mean City’ (an obscure or insignificant city) in his case a Roman citizen. In Bradley’s painting he uses the phrase to give weight and significance to his hometown of Belfast, of which he is immensely proud.
A painting to represent the strong ties that the men of Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyard built between each other as they walked and drank together around Belfast’s shipyard and the terraced streets that surrounded it.
The port of Belfast was the major port of Ireland in its day, an important stopping off place for sailors from across the world. The men worked hard and played hard. This piece was commissioned by Titanic Belfast to be reproduced outside their on-site bar and restaurant ‘Hicksons Point’ as a large wall mural and recreated by well known local muralist Friz. On the way out of the exhibition you can see this piece through the large windows or walk across and you can have your photo taken beside it.
The dotted line intro and lower case ‘. . . even angels’ is to show that this title is taken from halfway through a sentence. The meaning is that even angels cry sometimes. No matter how blessed you are or how exalted your position, everyone must endure hardship and pain in life in order to experience the highs as well.
Terry has painted angels in his work before which allows him to explore the closeness of death without going into too dark a place. By painting angels he examines the afterlife and the proximity of death all around us.
The classic look of the Belfast docker. The duncher cap and the donkey jacket were the standard unofficial uniform of the working men of Belfast.Shop Now
The history of the Irish Exodus is legendary and Bradley’s painting of the same name was created to honour the men and women who left Ireland to start a new life in a different country.
This piece also represents the mass exodus of the ship builders from Harland and Wolff after one of their shifts. The hard-working men of the shipyard, which at its peak had a workforce of 35,000.
Bradley chose to name his exhibition 'Exodus' in memory of all those who hail from Ireland, past, present and future.
The painting of ‘Fireside’ was completed at the start of 2023 and shows a docker, deep in thought peering into the glow of a dying fire.
The sitter is reflective and contemplative, sitting quietly in his vest after a hard day and hard life. Again, it is a semi autographical piece with Bradley reflecting on his own losses over the past few years with both his mother and mother in law passing away in this time.
The original painting now has an added pint of Guinness in the lover left hand corner and hangs in the newly opened White’s Store in Belfast’s High Street. Whites is the first dedicated Guinness bar in Belfast and well worth a visit to enjoy a pint of the black stuff!
'Forget Me Not'
This painting is an extremely important piece to Terry. Both of his parents suffered with Alzheimer’s disease, with his father in particular being in a home for many years.
The 'Forget Me Not' flower is the official symbol of the Alzheimer’s society and Terry has included the flower in this painting. This painting is also important to many of Bradley’s collectors who choose Forget Me Not in recognition of someone they have lost in their lives.
This painting is named after Bradley’s father, Frank Bradley, who although he never worked in the Shipyard had been a working man all his life.
Frank was artistic like his son and was a talented car pinstriper, hand painting straight lines on cars freehand for Belfast’s leading car dealership, Charles Hurst. Terry remembers the thin paint brushes his father used with long thick bristles and the way he would stand back, look at the length of the car and then step forward and paint the straight continuous line in one stroke with perfect precision.
Bradley was brought up on the volatile streets of North Belfast and he also remembers the long nights his father stood at the bedroom window, cigarette in mouth as he watched the dark streets outside the house, knowing that trouble could erupt at any moment.
A painting of great peace and calm ‘Grace’ reflects a calm period of Terry’s life. He had created a series of paintings when he had a selection of canvases of various sizes that he painted grey in preparation.
Often Bradley’s moods can be charted through his work, still, simple paintings are a reflection of contentment and pause, busy detailed pieces reflect his inner turmoil and anxious state.
‘Grace’ is soft, peaceful and soothing. The model reflects light while still remaining vulnerable and non-threatening. This is in sharp contrast to many of his other paintings of women who often stare defiantly at the viewer. ‘Grace’ has remained one of Bradleys most popular paintings.
Also from this series is ‘Belle’ and ‘Faith’.
'Holding Back the Tears'
This painting is included in the section about mental health as Terry wanted to show an emotional character holding back the tears against a bright and colourful background. The painting expresses how often people seem upbeat and positive from a distance while in reality they are struggling to hold themselves together.Shop Now
This black and white study of a sailor features the many tattoos that the men collected on their travels as they went from port to port. The broken nose and nicked ear indicates that he has had a fight and he is watching the viewer suspiciously. His tattoo indicates the message of Hope, an often used reference in Bradley’s paintings and drawings.Shop Now
'I Am The Law'
Bradley has an ongoing theme of painting Batman and often refers to his studio in the country as the Bat Cave. This batman is older, scarred, with a nick out of his ear and hooded eyes. The tattoos on his face include drama masks and words that are important to him, Trust and Honour while also Pain. So many men relate to this piece and Terry believes that its in a boy’s nature to be drawn to the masked avenger and be the hero.Shop Now
This painting shows Bradley’s need to move on. He often talks of new starts and every day being a new beginning.
The dark birds indicating dark times in life are at the bottom of the painting, rising into the white birds of hope & light. Just visible is one tear stained eye and a redness to her nose indicating she has been crying but is turning her back on a painful past and letting go of emotions so she is free to move on.
Overall ‘Letting Go’ has a hopeful, bright aura about it. The model is only half turned, not quite looking over her shoulder with a blue sky surrounding her signalling a brighter future.
The painting of ‘Lost’ embodies Terry’s overwhelming sense of being lost and unsure in the world around him.
Many of Bradley’s paintings are painted to explore the painter’s own thoughts and feelings. He often hides behind a female character as he finds this less exposing and invasive and allows him to explore and paint his emotions without it being immediately obvious to the viewer that it is such a personal reflection of his own emotional state.
Visitors to the Bradley Gallery are often drawn to a particular piece that perfectly reflects how they are feeling at the time. ‘Lost’ is one of those paintings that can immediately speak to the viewer and those drawn to it recognise the feeling portrayed and identify with it extremely strongly, often being moved to tears when they see a piece that so perfectly sums up how they are feeling.
'Never Give Up'
This piece is the starting point of many of Terry’s paintings and the Never Give Up motto is something he tries to live by every day. The boxer in this piece has been through many a fight, he’s been beaten down and he’s been through the wars. His eye has been cut and his nose has been broken. His chest tattoos are Honour and Hope, very important words to Terry. His hand tattoo says Pain, referring to both the physical and mental pain that we all go through. The motto of Never Give Up is something that Terry has carried on into the free wristbands that are available from our Belfast and Bangor galleries.Shop Now
The message behind this piece is based on the raw emotion.
The subject is suffering and in pain with no words to express their feelings. The tattoos of 'truth', 'hope' and 'love' are words of positivity and encouragement, each held by the subject and artist. The birds are symbols of motion and flight, rising out of the dark into the light.
A partial self-portrait ‘Old Timer’ is a mix of playfulness and self-observation. Bradley’s love of motorbikes has led him to regularly take part in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, an annual and global event that sees motorbike enthusiasts dress up and ride in convoy through major cities around the world all on the same day.
The character of ‘Old Timer’ is partly based on Bradleys Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride persona and partly on other characters that he paints, the other most notable being a fisherman.
A study of a young, confident sailor of the world. His clay pipe, striped jumper and sailors hat all project a timeless interpretation of this seafarer, arriving in Belfast for a pint of Guinness on his journeys.Shop Now
This character is one that Terry returns to again and again.
He often posts this image on his social media to signal that he is struggling with his own demons or feels particularly low. The solitary figure, walking alone in the cold against a dark sky with a full moon represents his long nights of struggle. Nights when he has to face himself and his mind alone.
'The Honourable Man'
This painting is part observation and part portrait. An older man, bearing a few scars and grey hairs with slightly blood shot eyes, he represents a hard life well lived.
His ‘Honour’ tattoo is his statement to the world and his pint of Guinness harks back to his Belfast roots and proud Irish heritage.
'Those Left Behind'
A painting that shows the contrast between the bright colourful surface we present to the world and the despair we can feel inside. This painting deals mainly with the fall out from grief and the loss which can overwhelm you at times. The harsh, red LOVE tattoo is raw and messy where everything else about the sitter is precise, perfect and beautifully put together. The other tattoos reinforce the theme with another LOVE tattoo on her hand and a red heart tattoo on both her hand and on her throat, our most vulnerable spot. Her head in her hand sums up the sudden moment in time when you are least expecting the pain to hit you while the dark birds rising into white ones give a glimmer of hope for the future.Shop Now
'Titanic, The Men Who Built Her'
A homage to the men who worked on the Titanic, this painting started as ‘Honour & Hope’ a fitting reminder of what great expectations went into the building and launching of the Titanic, at the time the largest ship ever built and the pride of the White Star Line and Harland & Wolff.
The docker himself is young, strong and undaunted. He looks directly at the viewer, a reminder of the pride and skill that went into the building of the Titanic.
This painting shows again Bradley’s admiration and belief in the strength of women within a relationship. The woman’s stare is strong and confident, her arms are around her partner, protecting him and holding him safe.
She is also declaring her love for him through her tattoo so she is fully committed to him and their love.
A striking powerful portrait which captures the viewer.
It places the men of Belfast’s shipyard in the present day with the bright sky blue background. We often associate the shipyard workers with black and white images of the past. It’s easy to forget that at the time they were at the cutting edge of ship building, producing the most advanced and luxurious ships of their time, the Titanic, and her sister ship, the Olympic to name a few.
The men lived by a strong moral code that their word was everything as they risked their lives everyday, depending on each other for their safety and livelihood. Trust between the men was extremely important and was the cornerstone to their way of life
A classic painting of Bradley’s Belfast Dockers.
‘Union’ was painted for this father who was a driving force in the Unions during his working life.
Frank Bradley attended meetings and represented colleagues at enquiries, feeling it was important to stand with and for his friends and work mates. His union association caused Frank many sleepless nights as he suffered himself with a certain shyness and found it difficult to raise himself above his fellow workers.
He still felt however, that the Union was an important cause and that he wanted to stand up and be heard despite his natural reticence.
(This image is of the original painting, on display at TITANIC Belfast is a heavily embellished version).
One of Bradley’s most powerful recent works, this painting lays bare the raw emotion of life and those who suffer with their mental health. We all go through painful experiences, but some people are more damaged by these than others.
Bradley has added to the original with this heavily hand embellished version to express more clearly the emotional pain he wants to convey. He is using this painting to show to the world how his rawness, despair and emotion are all right at the surface for him and for many others.