Glenn Matthews

Profiling Belfast artist Glenn Matthews

Best known for his contemporary pieces depicting the greats from the world of music, film and sport, Glenn Matthews tells us about his inspiration, journey to art via music and his unequivocal love for Belfast.

Glenn Matthews grew up in the leafy suburbs of Carryduff in south Belfast. From a young age, he had a keen interest in art and music. He studied art at A’level but dropped out to seize an opportunity to become a drummer in hard rock and metal band, Preacher John.

Preacher John gigged extensively in the late 80s, early 90s and had a bit of a cult following having signed to the Good Vibrations label under the infamous Terry Hooley who released The Undertones ‘Teenage Kicks’ on the same label. They went on to play the famous Marquee Club in London several times but sadly, the music momentum started to fizzle out.

When the music career stopped paying the bills, Glenn joined the rate race with a 9-5 design job in the FMCG sector. From here, he moved to Spain, opening up his own bar and dipping his toes into the music once industry again as a drummer in a blues band.

Returning to Ireland in 2011 to pursue his life-long passion for art, Glenn settled in Dublin and opened his studio and gallery in Ardgillian Castle.

His “precision impressionism” style in painting contemporary pop and retro icons from the world of music, sport and movies has earned him a loyal fanbase. He counts Steve Garrigan (Kodaline) and Rory Gallagher’s family amongst his celebrity list of collectors.

Glenn cites Andy Warhol as the inspiration behind his style, however, it is fellow Belfast artist Terry Bradley who Glenn honours for his work, incredible story and journey over the last thirty years.

Similarly to Bradley, Glenn’s work has also found its way around the planet, adorning the walls of contemporary homes and establishments in Ireland, Spain, England, France, Japan, Australia and the USA.


Now, with two album covers under his belt, Glenn is particularly proud of his work on Rory Gallagher’s The French Connection album, released on vinyl in 2018.

It’s the smell of bread on the Ormeau Road.

Giants dominating the skyline.

The ghost Titanic and pints in The Crown.

Friday nights at Ravenhill.

The Christmas Market at the City Hall.

My Grandad’s shadow cheering at the Oval.

Dad’s initials carved on a brick by the front door.

All these things make this MY city.

Making it my home.

Glenn Matthews

To view more of Glenn’s work, visit