Two arts projects, launched to mark the King’s Coronation in Lisburn & Castlereagh, have been celebrated at a special event.

Earlier this year, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council invited residents to enter a Coronation 'Great Gardens’ Watercolour Competition and at the same time organised the creation of a commemorative felt tapestry which was skilfully put together by artisans and community groups from across the area.

Today (Thursday 25 May), the watercolour competition winners were announced at a ceremony in the ISLAND Arts Centre attended by Mayor Councillor Scott Carson and members of the council as well as talented local artists, residents and community groups.

More than 30 striking artworks were assessed by a judging panel made up of LCCC elected representatives and the local artist, Emma Spence. Lisburn resident Marion Hiddleston took first place in the competition for her colourful depiction of the summer house, located within the walled gardens of Rowallane Gardens. As part of her prize, her painting will be reproduced as a limited edition postcard.

The second and third places were taken respectively by Lawrence Chambers for his detailed depiction of Lady Alice’s Temple in Hillsborough Castle Gardens and Helen Sara McLarnon for her interpretation of the gardens surrounding Hillsborough Castle.

The day also provided an opportunity to showcase the finished commemorative community tapestry which featured in national TV coverage of the Coronation. The work is a large felted and embroidered wall hanging - a handmade piece of art depicting animals and nature that complement the interests of King Charles III.

Created by artist, Grainne Kielty and members of local community groups, the four floral emblems of the UK are carefully handstitched into the felt - clover for Northern Ireland; thistle for Scotland; daffodil for Wales and the Tudor rose for England. Hillsborough Forest Park is visually represented on the tapestry by two white swans and Hillsborough Castle by golden pineapples, symbolising one of the earliest pineries in Ireland, installed by Wills Hill, the First Marquess of Downshire.

Mayor Councillor Scott Carson said: “We were delighted with the response to both these initiatives – the talent and craftsmanship on display is second to none and certainly fit for a king! Thank you to everyone who took part and helped us celebrate the Coronation.  I would encourage everyone to call in and view these wonderful works of art. Both the tapestry and the watercolour competition entries will be on display in the ISLAND Arts Centre until 15 June.”