Artist has royal edge as exhibit loved by Kate kicks off
IT's an exhibition that has won the royal seal of approval, with Kate Middleton among its fans.
Irish artist Gemma Billington (58) has gone back to her roots for her new exhibition 'Flowers on the Edge of Reality', which opened at the Cill Rialaig Arts Centre in Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry, yesterday.
The Killorglin-born artist is a close friend and neighbour of the Middleton family and was a guest at the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton two years ago.
Now living in Berkshire with her horse-trainer husband Tim, she struck up a friendship with the family when their children attended the same school.
The exhibition originally opened in Cork Street in London and was attended by members of the Middleton family and the duchess has deemed it her favourite collection so far.
Ms Billington's last exhibition in Dublin four years ago was attended by Kate and her mother Carole, though she has exhibited her work in Killarney since then.
The artist has also revealed that she plans to do a lot more painting in Ireland now that she and husband Tim have bought a house in Glencar, south Kerry.
Yesterday's exhibition was opened by award-winning gardener Diarmuid Gavin and attended by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan, who is also a friend of Ms Billington.