Sea Holly Gallery, Above The Orpheus, Above The Harp Bar

Sea Holly Gallery has gone into hibernation while we do battle with Covid-19. In such uncertain times there is no way of knowing when the Commercial Court family will reopen – but we will and rest assured that this will not be until we can keep all our friends, supporters and staff safe. We will do our very best to bring you the exciting shows you were looking forward to in some shape or form, and thank you and the artists for your patience and understanding.

In the meantime, take a look at what Francesca Biondi has done with Gallery 545. Her collection of carefully selected artistic ‘treasures’ by artists based in Northern Ireland was due to be on show in the gallery in May 2020. Refusing to be defeated Francesca has made this exhibition happen instead online, 3rd May – 31st May.




Best-laid plans

Here you can expect to see work from well-established artists, as well as exhibitions by new and emerging artists. It’s somewhere very special. It’s calm. It’s peaceful. It’s full of light. It’s beautiful. It invites you to reminisce about the past, live in the present and dream about the future.

Here, then, lies a space for consideration and reflection; inspired by a building that meant so much to so many. It is the final piece in the plans set in motion by Willie, Joanne and their late business partner Bruce Kirk. Bruce was a gentleman, who meant so much to so many. He and the Orpheus are more than legendary – they created a legacy.

It’s with great pride that our name is in memory of a wonderfully talented County Down photographer named Jill Todd, who’s sparkling career was cruelly and tragically cut short at just 23 when she lost her life to cancer. The Sea Holly, a little plant found growing in sand dunes and resembles a thistle, was the subject of one of Jill’s early projects.

Jill’s parents, Barrie and Patricia Todd, along with her friends and colleagues, established the Jill Todd Trust to promote early careers in photography and support research into cancer. Barrie’s architecture and design business was for many years part of the Catherdral Quarter community, like us they stuck it out during the Dark, troubled days and lived to tell the tale. Barrie is the architect and designer who brought Willie, Joanne and Bruce’s visions of the gallery to life.


Gallery 545: Contemporary Art of Northern Ireland #2

3rd - 31st May 2020

Following a hugely successful exhibition in 2019 Francesca Biondi returns to Sea Holly with her incredible collection of artistic treasures from the length and breadth of the country. Gallery 545 showcases the very best in contemporary art by artists based in Northern Ireland – from the emerging artist to the well known and established artists.




At The End of The Rainbow Lies Belfast

November 2020

“At the End of the Rainbow Lies Belfast”,  is a photographic portrait series by Jessica Weber. Depicting some people from the complex and extremely creative LGBTQIA+ Scene of Belfast, Northern Ireland.



Shauna Fox - Belfast Baps, exhibition featured image

Shauna Fox - 'Belfast Baps'

Aug 11th 2019 - Aug 31st 2019

Recent painting, installations, sculptures and other artworks by Shauna Fox.

Open to the public from 11th – 31st of August.


Art and Proud exhibition main image

Various Artists - 'Art & Proud'

July 25th 2019 - Aug 4th 2019

“Darling your soul’s like the flowers on the earth. Grow through what you go through, radiate from the inside out. You are more than just aesthetics, you are you and you are beautiful from within.”

– Danni Simpson


Neil Shawcross - Writers of Belfast Exhibition, featured image

Neil Shawcross - 'Writers of Belfast'

May 9th 2019 – June 30th 2019

“Neil Shawcross is an artist of tremendous integrity. Having gifted this collection to the People of Belfast it seems entirely fitting that this collection will be on display in the Sea Holly, a gallery purpose-built and designed to bring art to the very heart of the city”

– Lindsey Kirk, Gallery Owner


Julian Friers, portrait of artist Soak

Julian Friers - 'Resonance'

March 21st 2019 - April 28th 2019

Each of the 21 life-sized paintings is a portrait of a person defined by music. They are all, very specifically, associated with Ireland – mostly from here, in some cases moved here, but all contributing to our vast heritage of music. They form an interesting diversity – from the instantly recognizable to less familiar champions and catalysts, all have a story to tell.


Gallery 545 Pop-Up: Contemporary Art of Northern Ireland

12th - 26th September 2019

Gallery 545 Pop-up celebrates and showcases twenty artists based in Northern Ireland; this exciting exhibition  features suggestive landscape paintings inspired by beautiful local scenes and fascinating distant lands, vibrant abstract paintings, striking portraits, unique fine art prints, delicate textile pieces and innovative painted objects.


Ulster Watercolour Society 43rd Annual Exhibition 2019

2nd - 16th October 2019

Promoting and celebrating the very best in watercolour painting that the province has to offer.


'This Island' by Sharon Millar

1st - 23rd December 2019

‘This Island’ is a spellbinding collection of Sharon’s paintings that beautifully showcases her distinctive painting style. Through colour, texture, swirling strokes, darkness and light you will be transported to the drama and moodiness of Ireland’s coastline, including the occasional mermaid sighting.


Metamorphosis - The In Between

1st - 28th November 2019

A series of contemporary works by Pawlaszek reflecting on his life in Northern Ireland. It represents a trip to the “other”, invisible imagination worlds, chasing the limits of perception yet still connecting with and adapting to reality. Pawlaszek’s work stunningly reconnects with the humanity and individualism in life so often stripped by the modern world.


Martin Gale, RHA

February 5th - February 19th 2020

Sea Holly is delighted to be working with Caroline and Robin Mullan of Mullan Gallery to bring you what promises to be a very special exhibition by Martin Gale, RHA.

“Gale is a faithful reporter of the Irish landscape” – Aidan Dunne

The exhibition opens on February 5th and will run until February 19th 2020.

Opening hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 11.30am – 7pm
Thursday: 11.30pm – 9pm
Saturday: 11.30pm – 6pm
Sunday: 1.30pm – 4pm


A Broken Sky Revisited by Jack Pakenham

Opening Wednesday March 4th

A Broken Sky Revisited

These works are an intensely personal reflection on the experience of living in Northern Ireland over the last twenty years and are Jack Pakenham’s way of ‘making sense’ of working as an artist in this complex and disturbed society. They are as relevant in 2020 as in 1996.

“Nothing is as it appears to be;
Nothing is ‘only itself’
People must come to see the paintings with their own memories and allow the poetry to speak.”

Jack Pakenham, February 1996.





Find out about what’s going on
 at The Sea Holly by email

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Find out what’s going on
 at The Sea Holly Gallery by email

Give us your email address and we’ll make sure your plans for the week are sorted, every week. No rubbish advertising and no giving your details out to every Tom, Dick or Harry. Promise.

How to find us

  • Sea Holly Gallery
  • Above the Harp Bar, 35 Hill Street, Belfast BT1 2NB

T: 07754510618

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