VIDEO: Stormont showcase for artist son of Poppy Day blast victim

  • Artist Ian Quinton, who died last year, was schizophrenic
  • Murder of his mother Alberta “did not help” his mental health
  • Mindwise charity helped Ian with art therapy
  • Unionist and nationalist MLAs view his artwork

An exhibtion at Stormont has showcased paintings by an artist whose mother was murdered in the Enniskillen bomb.

The display of work by Fermanagh man Ian Quinton, who died last year, was organised by his sister Aileen.

Aileen Quinton, centre, stands beside a picture of her brother Ian, an artist who died last year, at an exhibition of his work at the Long Gallery in Stormont attended by friends, family, politicians and people who work at the mental health charity Mindwise. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Aileen Quinton, centre, stands beside a picture of her brother Ian, an artist who died last year, at an exhibition of his work at the Long Gallery in Stormont attended by friends, family, politicians and people who work at the mental health charity Mindwise. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Their mother Alberta was killed aged 72 in the IRA Poppy Day blast in 1987.

Ian had schizophrenia, and Monday’s event at the Long Gallery in Parliament Buildings was jointly arranged with Mindwise, the mental health charity whose Belfast resource centre he attended.

Politicians who attended included DUP Finance Minister Arlene Foster MLA and SDLP deputy leader Fearghal McKinney MLA.

The exhibition, which will stay on display until Friday, showcased dozens of paintings but only a fraction of Ian’s work.

‘Display illustrates the important role that creativity plays in mental health recovery’

Mindwise charity

The charity said that the display “illustrates the important role that creativity and the arts play in mental health recovery”.

Ian worked as an artist commercially in London before returning to Belfast where he sold his work in Smithfield and St Georges market.

Aileen said: “Mindwise are very into art therapy. This is an illustration of talent that can lurk behind mental illness.”

She said that “the effects of losing mummy in the bomb were not positive in terms of mental health either”.

One of the paintings by 'Ian Quinton, of 'Benbulbin in Co Sligo, at the exhibition. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

One of the paintings by 'Ian Quinton, of 'Benbulbin in Co Sligo, at the exhibition. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Ian was aged 60 when he died. Weeks later another brother, Christopher Quinton, also died suddenly aged 61.

MindWise Trustee, Trevor Hinds said: “It is a commonly held belief that people with mental health issues or illness cannot live a normal or fulfilling life; that they cannot recover.

“MindWise want to challenge this. We believe that recovery from mental health means finding the support to live well in the presence of mental illness. Ian found that support in our Belfast Resource centre and his passion for art allowed him to live a fulfilling life.”

Aileen Quinton with Fearghal McKinney (deputy leader SDLP)' at the exhibition. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Aileen Quinton with Fearghal McKinney (deputy leader SDLP)' at the exhibition. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Aileen greets DUP 'Finance Minister Arlene Foster, a friend from Fermanagh. 'Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Aileen greets DUP 'Finance Minister Arlene Foster, a friend from Fermanagh. 'Picture by Brian Little/Presseye