Wilson House

Ross Wilson

Wilson house is named after Glengormley born artist Ross Wilson.  Ross was born in 1958 and is a former pupil of Glengormley High School.

Ross was always passionate about painting and stated that he wanted to be ‘an artist or a cowboy’.


He credits a teacher at Glengormley High – the late Sheila Doris – with opening the door to the art world for him.

Mrs Doris changed my life.  She helped me to focus and gave me courage and she got me to University

Ross went on to study Fine Art at the University of Ulster, gaining a First Class Honours degree.  He then moved to complete a Masters degree at the prestigious Chelsea School of Art in London.  The tutors tried to persuade him to stay in London but he couldn’t wait to come home.  Ross has also been a visiting speaker at Harvard University and the University of Oxford.



In 1997 his first public sculpture commission in bronze (The Ulster Brewer) was placed at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.  Wilson was commissioned for the centenary C.S.Lewis Sculpture in 1998 in East Belfast, this cemented his reputation as a major Irish artist.  His many portrait commissions include Noble Laureates; Derek Walcott and Seamus Heaney and, the playwright, Arthur Miller.  The National Portrait gallery is home to fourteen of his works. Their website acknowledges them as ‘a master of Sgraffitto’ – a style of art which involves etching into a canvas already covered with pigment.


Ross was inspired by another Glengormley born artist ‘Basil Blackshaw’ who gave Ross real encouragement and became his ‘hero’.


Despite his roaring success, connections with celebrities and even royalty. Ross is just at home, in the company of people from ‘The Village’ area of Belfast when they unveiled one of his artworks celebrating the life of St Patrick.  Ross has also helped fashion tributes in Northern Ireland to everyone from young people from the Twinbrook estate to King William of Orange on a gable wall which had been the preserve of paramilitaries.  Ross is a very humble man who has a strong connection to his roots.


House Colours and Logo

Our House colour is purple and all Wilson pupils wear a tie with a purple stripe. The house logo is shown below:



Traits

Ross Wilson is one of Northern Irelands leading artists and considered to be one of the most collectible artists of his generation.  This has been achieved through true creativity and talent, coupled with strong determination and focus.  Despite his success Ross is the epitome of humility.  He has a true heart to help others and has exercised this in the work and projects which he has done.  Ross has a genuine willingness to connect with young people who share a passion for the arts which exemplifies the good nature of his heart and generosity of his spirit to many.


As members of Wilson House we are;

Ross Wilson returns to GHS

Ross Wilson attended Glengormley High School during the 1970s. He went on to study Fine Art at the University of Ulster and at the Chelsea College of Art and Design.  He and has often been a visiting speaker at Harvard University and the University of Oxford.


In 1997 his first public sculpture commission in bronze (The Ulster Brewer) was placed at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.  He was commissioned for the centenary C. S. Lewis Sculpture in 1998, placed in east Belfast.  His many portrait commissions have included Nobel Laureates Derek Walcott and Seamus Heaney, and the playwright Arthur Miller.  His work is displayed across the world among several public and private collections.





On Monday 18th June Ross spent the day with a range of our GCSE and A Level students telling them about his life, work and advising them on their own Art. To have Ross return to the place where he states his ‘journey started’, was an absolute privilege for both the students and staff who spent the day with him.


Ross attributes the success he has had to Sheila Doris his Art teacher who recognised the talent that he had and inspired him to follow his dream.

Mrs Doris changed my life, I still remember the moment where she had a 4 minute conversation with me in a corridor and I could see exactly what I needed to do, it changed my life

The students were inspired by this unassuming man who took a genuine interest in helping them progress and follow their journey, in the same way that Mrs Doris helped him.





Ross is the epitome of modesty, humility and honesty.  He is as comfortable in the company of royalty, the President of the United States and several noble peace prize winners as he is amongst high school students. His passion for creativity is infectious.  His message to our students was

follow your dreams, don’t let anything stand in your way, if I can do it so can you!

In September we launch a new House System.  The houses will be named after people from the province that the students should aspire to.  They have not only been selected for their success in their fields but also for their character.  It is no surprise therefore that one of the houses will be named ‘Wilson’. Welcome home Ross!