Barry Britton Rossnowlagh

The multi-faceted Barry Britton is both an artist and surfer who lives in Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal in the North West of Ireland. Drawing inspiration from Celtic art, nature, archaeology and legends he specialises in pen and inks of traditional music, surf and landscapes, all in his own inimitable Celtic style.

Although he is most famously known for his art and surfing he is also an adept architecht, interior designer and etcher of glass. He is something of a legend amongst surfers and traditional music fans due to his renowned Intercounty surf and Ballyshannon Folk Festival posters.

Both events are Donegal institutions and Barry has designed art for both since their inception – Intercounty surf since 1968 and the Folk Festival since 1978.

Barry’s designs have proved a hit both locally and internationally and his work almost proved to the detriment of the Ballyshannon Folk Festival. The festival committee admitted one of their biggest problems was that the posters designed by Barry and used to advertise the festival were usually taken down by people who wanted to keep the art work for themselves.

His work has reached as far and wide as Hawaii having being commissioned for many high profile surfing competitions over there including the prestigious Pipeline Masters.

There are many distinctive elements to be found in his art such as the banners across the top of the posters, the four yahoos icon, Celtic ornamentation and a variety of Irish instruments. His art at times reflects the close knit Donegal community with visual in jokes to be found in some of his works. Most famously, perhaps, was his depiction of Ballyshannon underwater on the 1987 Folk Festival poster after severe heavy rainfall the previous year.

The full range of his work can be found at the Britton and Daughter’s gallery, Rossnowlagh. Found on the scenic beachfront in Rossnowlagh you can see a large selection of his work along with works by his daughter Easkey. It’s advisable to ring ahead as the hours of the shop tend to be flexible.

Finn McCool’s Surf Shop in Rossnowlagh and the Surf Company in Bundoran both have Barry’s work available for purchase while his famous music festival posters can be seen via www.ballyshannonfolkfestival.com and at the festival itself where Barry puts an exhibition on each year.

Some of his work can be found for sale at www.barrybritton.bigcartel.com . To see more of his work or to commission work from the man himself contact him by phone at +353(0)719852220 or by email at barry@barrybritton.com

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