Renowned artist passes away

One of Lisburn’s most renowned artists, Graham Catney, has passed away.

Graham, who lived in Lambeg, passed away peacefully on Sunday January 31 and his funeral was held at Kingdom Hall, Belmont Park in Belfast on Wednesday February 3.

Graham, who took up art later in life after working at Customs and Excise, had never held a paintbrush until 2000, when he took up art as a therapy following the death of his beloved wife Valerie.

Following his time in college his graduation show sold out in a matter of hours with work going to The Lyric Theatre, The Belfast City and Mater Hospitals as well as to local personalities.

Graham also won Diageo’s ‘Most Emerging Artist 2005’ award and has exhibited at the Ulster Museum. Most recently Graham teamed up with one of Northern Ireland’s leading doctors to produce the artwork for his debut album, the proceeds from which are being donated to local charity Friends of the Cancer Centre.

Professor O’Sullivan was Graham’s consultant when the artist was diagnosed with prostate cancer just over ten years ago, and Graham was proud to share his talent for such a worthy cause,

In recent years Graham worked tirelessly to promote the arts in Lisburn, as Chairman of the Lisburn Arts Advisory Committee and the Lisburn Historic Quarter Arts Group. He was also instrumental in making ‘Art on the Rails’ a great success in the city.

The Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh, Councillor Thomas Beckett has spoken warmly of the artist. “Graham was a long-time friend of the Island Arts Centre and a prominent and passionate supporter of arts in the area,” said Mr Beckett. “He was one of the first artists to exhibit his works during the formation of the Lisburn Historic Quarter, with his fine paintings displayed at Castle Gardens through the Art on the Rails project. He also exhibited his work in the Island Arts Centre and was a mentor and inspirational force to many emerging artists. Graham had wonderful talent.

“I sat on the Arts Advisory Committee with him and I knew Graham very well. I am extremely sorry to hear of his passing. He will be greatly missed by our staff in the Island Arts Centre who had the deepest respect and admiration for him.”

Graham was the much-loved husband of the late Valerie, loving father of Suzanne and Graham and brother of Lendrick, Irene and Lorraine.