Co Down artist asked to create unique celebrity gifts


Meet the artist from Co Down who was commissioned to create unique gifts for the stars of the new Belfast film ahead of its premiere.

Actor Lewis McAskie asked Jenny Baird, a media artist from Bangor, to create something he could offer the cast and crew to mark their experience in making the film.

Speaking to Belfast Live, Jenny said: “I have always been involved in art – coming from artist parents.

“Previously, I was mainly an engraver. Now I focus on creating small, individual works of art – from my home in Bangor. There are never two identical brands – I like individual pieces.

“I love working with vintage pieces – or random things that I just come across. I’ve always loved old boxes and using them to hold miniature art pieces is just perfect.”

Jenny studied English in Queens and did an MA in Renaissance Literature because she “always liked to find the meanings of words” and also won the Royal Ulster Academy Printmakers Award twice and was one of the most young artists to do it.

“Last year, Lewis McAskie asked me to create 13 individual cards for the cast and crew. These were given when the film was wrapped – each card was an original pastel drawing. oil sewn onto the board.

“Judi Dench received one. Lara McDonnell, who plays Cousin Moria in the film, also received a photo. These cards depicted the infamous Belfast Cranes – each drawn in oil pastel in my own style,” she explained.

“A few months later I was asked to make three boxes, each representing the movie ‘Belfast’. They were given to Jamie Dornan, Kenneth Branagh and producer Tamar Thomas. Lewis wanted them to be given in the evening. of the first. “

The boxes were made from vintage tobacco boxes, miniature figurines, Belfast images, and all kinds of little bits and pieces to sum up the spirit of NI and the film.

Jenny continued, “Tamar’s box contained a vintage leash dog (another thing I love – vintage leash pets). The dog was special to her because she took her dog out most of the time.

“Regarding the images, they were suggested to me because they were related to the scenes of the film or the music played.

“I liked the black and white – which was also suitable for the film – because it is mostly shot in black and white.”

Jenny said it was “an honor” to be asked to create something to mark the films’ expected success.

“I’m really excited that some big names own a little bit of my work – pretty cool.

“I’m so glad I played a small role (behind the scenes) in the movie. I can’t wait to see him and hope he gets the Oscar he deserves.”


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