take 10

The 68-year-old is president of the Ul­ster So­ci­ety of Women Artists (USWA), which is cel­e­brat­ing its 60th an­niver­sary with a spe­cial art ex­hi­bi­tion in Cres­cent Arts Cen­tre, start­ing on Novem­ber 22. Kay lives in Car­ry­duff with hus­band Mau­rice

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - UPDATE - Kay Cullen The Ul­ster So­ci­ety of Women Artists (USWA) 60th An­niver­sary ex­hi­bi­tion runs from Novem­ber 22-28. For more in­for­ma­tion about the USWA go to www.uswa.co.uk

1. What is your ear­li­est mem­ory? I must have been just about three years old and I have a vivid and won­der­ful mem­ory of my daddy lift­ing me out of my cot, wrap­ping me in a blan­ket and tak­ing me out to see the North­ern Lights. It was the most beau­ti­ful thing I had ever seen with all the stars twin­kling in the sky. It was truly mag­i­cal and mem­o­rable. I can vividly re­call the colours of greens and blues streak­ing across the sky like a water­colour paint­ing. We lived in the coun­try near Kil­coo so of course there was no light pol­lu­tion then and the North­ern Lights could be seen clearly. 2. Who is the most im­por­tant per­son in your life? It would be im­pos­si­ble for me to pick just one per­son. I am blessed to have a very close and sup­port­ive fam­ily that in­cludes my hus­band, our four chil­dren Grainne, Fiona, Barry and Peter, and grand­chil­dren, and a wide cir­cle of fan­tas­tic friends. My hus­band, Mau­rice, has been a won­der­ful sup­porter of me as a hu­man be­ing and as an artist. In fact, early in our re­la­tion­ship, I knew he was a keeper when he bought me a beau­ti­ful bunch of pink and white tulips. To save the mo­ment of ro­mance, I made a sketch and paint­ing of the flow­ers. Mau­rice then took the pic­ture to his brother who framed it. 3. Shock us — tell us some­thing sur­pris­ing about your­self I’m WB Yeats’ big­gest fan! My daddy used to read us a lot of po­etry when we young. He loved po­etry and songs and was al­ways whistling when he was at his work as a painter and dec­o­ra­tor. From then, some­thing must have stuck in my brain, as I have al­ways loved Yeats’ work. 4. What is your great­est fear? I am such a vis­ual per­son that my big­gest fear would be to lose my sight. Na­ture brings such joy into my life and I would feel bereft if I couldn’t see and then record it in my art in all its glory. I love to live in the light, so I would hate to be con­fined to the dark through sight loss. 5. What makes you most happy? Play­ing with my grand­chil­dren makes me happy. Be­fore I re­tired, I was an early years teacher so I just love kids. I like to spend time with them when they are first ex­pe­ri­enc­ing and try­ing to make sense of the world. It is such a mag­i­cal time that you only get one chance to en­joy. 6. And your big­gest re­gret? Like Edith Piaf, I re­gret noth­ing! I have learned to just keep on the move. 7. How do you chill out? I go line danc­ing with my girl­friends. I’ve been do­ing that at a lo­cal venue once a week for over 16 years and I love it. I’m a very ac­tive per­son so just sit­ting about does not help me to chill out. 8. What’s the most im­por­tant les­son you have learned in your life? I be­lieve we have all been put on this earth to sup­port one another. If you do that, be sin­cere and be good to peo­ple around you, you will be happy. 9. The book, the song and the film that means the most to you and why? I am cur­rently re-read­ing Draw­ing From Life by Gla­dys McCabe. My favourite song is Otis Red­ding’s (Sit­tin’ On) The Dock of The Bay. It is such a vis­ual song. My favourite movie is Philom­ena, made in 2013. I ad­mire Judi Dench as a great ac­tress and as some of it was filmed near Castlewellan, I recog­nised lots of the land­scapes fea­tured in the movie as scenes from my child­hood. 10. If you could change one thing about your­self what would it be and why? My friend Marie says: ‘You can’t im­prove on per­fec­tion!’ Take from that what you will.

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