‘Linenopolis’ in Hallows Gallery Summer Collection

Hallows summer

So happy to get the news that another of my boxes has made it into the summer collection at The Hallows Gallery on the Ormeau Road in Belfast. This piece is based on the theme of ‘Linenopolis’ an old name for Belfast when it was the centre of the world’s linen industry. If you are passing the gallery call in and see it and all the other gorgeous works of art. It is a very friendly space and has a lovely relaxed atmosphere, check out their website! www.thehallowsgallery.com



Deaf Awareness Week – Art Session

My talented twin sister Moyra Blayney is forever using her teaching techniques to encourage others to explore their creative side.  Her student range from those from the deaf community, children’s groups, in store demonstrations with Sostrene Grene to 140 Harry Potter Fans at Leakycon Dublin!


Well…that’s another two hour teaching session under my belt!! 🙂  This time we had both deaf and hearing people painting together (with our BSL interpreter!) at a Deaf Awareness Week event.  We had a wonderful couple of hours using the Sostrene Grenes art materials!  We started out by drawing practice, then progressed to techniques of applying the watercolour paint and finally the small group produced some wonderful floral rings! It’s amazing to think that some of these people have never painted before!!  Wow…very impressed!  Well done x


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Hallows Gallery – An Untold Story Exhibition – Preview Evening

Such a lovely evening on 12th April for the preview night at The Hallows Gallery in Belfast for their new exhibition, ‘An Untold Story’.   My box entitled ‘Miss Henderson’ was chosen to be part of it and I was thrilled that Moyra Blayney Art was able to join me to be my official photographer! (In the first photo you can see owner, Maebh who along with her husband Dylan put on an amazing night, thanks to them both!)


My box was placed in the perfect little nook under the amazing curved staircase and it was wonderful to see the reactions of visitors who sat down and peeked into see what it contained.

There are over fifty artworks in the exhibition with a percentage of the profits going to a local charity Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid.  It will run until 12th May and is well worth a visit!

Fun and games

I have been having a ball creating these new little boxes, using some original vintage photographs and focusing on humour rather than meaningful items for commissions has been really refreshing.  I am putting these up for sale on my Facebook page (Denise’s Boxes / Denise McDowell Art) at a very reasonable price so that some of my followers can own ‘a little bit of history in a box’!  Enjoy!

Something a little different!
How cute!


RUA Memories

Lovely to look back on these photographs from the 130th Royal Ulster Academy Exhibition in the Ulster Museum when one of my assemblage boxes was chosen for the second time to be part of it.

Wooden it be lovely (sorry!)

Just looking at the number of gorgeous boxes I have been able to use over the years, of course the contents are always special too but am I the only person to search for one off boxes in vintage fairs, markets and shops?

Clara Bow inspired work!

I watched a fantastic documentary about the silent movie star Clara Bow on BBC iPlayer the other day and then I noticed how many times I use similar types of ladies in my boxes! Just something special about them, don’t you think? They just have ‘IT’!



Belfast Culture Night


Can’t quite believe it is five years since one of my boxes was added to the collection in the Belfast War Memorial Museum.  It was to mark the 70th anniversary of the Belfast Blitz (now 75 years ago).  You can see it in the foreground of this picture and it was to be used to take to school talks to show some items which were relevant to children in WW2 for example a little suitcase with identity tag used by evacuees.  I was very honoured to have this chance to remember those affected by WW2 in my home town.

I revisited the Museum during Belfast’s Heritage night in September and it was lovely to see some Lindy Hop dancing and a singalong to ‘Songs from the Air Raid Shelter’.  An amazing place.  I do have a ‘thing’ about WW2 and my favourite books are by Nella Last who was the lady who wrote the diaries called ‘Housewife, 49’ which Victoria Wood turned into a fantastic tv drama.

New Year Giveaway!!

….ends 8pm GMT on Sunday 3rd January, 2016

NEW YEAR GIVEAWAY! To say thank you for all your support last year I am giving away a box, but this time YOU get to choose the one you’d like! In the picture below there are three assembled boxes. To be in with a chance just comment top, middle or bottom and if you’re the winner you get to own that box! This is open for until 8pm on Sunday 3rd January (GMT) and I will post worldwide! Please like this post and share if you want to but not required.

Ready, steady, Go!