Artist Colin Davidson appointed new University of Ulster Chancellor

Ulster University has appointed globally renowned artist, Dr Colin Davidson as the new University Chancellor.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 12:13 pm
Artist Colin Davidson

Colin, who succeeds Coleraine actor James Nesbitt in the position, graduated in 1991 from Ulster University with a first-class honours degree and has since become one of the world’s pre-eminent contemporary artists.

He has structured his practice in themes, and since 2010 his focus has been on painting grand scale portraits, which have won widespread recognition and many international awards.

As well as numerous commissions, Colin’s portrait sitters have included Brad Pitt, Ed Sheeran, Liam Neeson, Brian Friel, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Christy Moore, John Hume, Dame Mary Peters, Gary Lightbody, Edna O’Brien, Glen Hansard, Mark Knopfler and Seamus Heaney.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In 2016 Colin he was invited to paint an official portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II and in 2019 his official portrait of President Bill Clinton was unveiled by the Past President in New York. He was also commissioned by TIME Magazine to paint the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel,

Chancellor Colin Davidson said he was “delighted and honoured” to accept the position, which combines ceremonial and ambassadorial duties, including the conferring of degrees at graduation ceremonies.

“It’s almost 30 years to the day since I graduated from Ulster and, whilst I have never lost touch, I am delighted and honoured now to return to this esteemed University as Chancellor. I have always had immense pride in my links with Ulster University and have enjoyed seeing its reach and influence grow globally.

“Northern Ireland itself has so much to offer the coming generations here at home and in the rest of the world - we punch above our weight in so many ways. Ulster University has a pivotal role in realising the full potential of this place and I look forward to playing my part as an ambassador for the students, staff and alumni of Ulster University.”

Vice chancellor, Professor Paul Bartholomew welcomed Colin to the University; “This is a very fitting appointment; Colin’s life, work and ethos resonates so strongly with Ulster and he is already an incredibly inspirational figure for many of our students as well as an ambassador for Northern Ireland across the globe.”

Chair of Ulster University Council Jenny Pyper added: “Colin embodies the creative and contemporary spirit of Ulster University and we are incredibly fortunate to have someone of such character and commitment to help us to guide and inspire the next generation.”