Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Northern Ireland

Browse Archive

Artist of the Month December 2018 – Dougal McKenzie

Monday 3rd December 2018 at 11am

Return of the Native (A Source of Light) by Dougal McKenzie Image: Return of the Native (A Source of Light) by Dougal McKenzie

Dougal McKenzie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and studied painting and drawing at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, before moving to Belfast in 1990 to undertake an M.A. Fine Art Course at the University of Ulster. Dougal continues to live and work in Belfast to this day.

Dougal was a Co-Director at Catalyst Arts in Belfast from 1994 to 1996, and a Lecturer in Painting at Limerick School of Arts and Design from 1996 to 2004. He now works as a Lecturer at Belfast School of Art and is Joint Course Director of the B.A. Hons Fine Art Degree Course. Dougal is currently a member of Queen Street Studios.

‘A Return of the Native (A Source of Light)’ by Dougal McKenzie is included in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland collection. The painting reflects the Artist’s ongoing interest in history, and how the ‘narrative time’ of history is perceived through the experience of a painted surface. The painting was from a set of three large scale works that re-presented imagery associated with the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. In the painting, the background is the old entrance to Bellevue Zoo in Belfast, whilst the figure on horseback is taken from a 1970’s slide image of a Russian circus horse act. The painting notionally depicts the return of an exiled Communard to Belleville in Paris, but is titled after the Thomas Hardy Novel.

Visit for further information about Dougal’s work.

More objects from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s collection can be viewed online at