Artwork parachutes in to celebrate EastSide's Famous Faces
A new piece of artwork, celebrating the creative talents of well-known people connected to East Belfast as well as some of EastSide’s iconic places, has been unveiled on the gable wall of the EastSide Visitor Centre at the junction of the Newtownards Road and Connswater Street today, 22nd March 2017 by EastSide Partnership. The Luminaries and Legends artwork, created by local artist Dee Craig, stretches across the EastSide Visitor Centre on hand painted parachute cloth.
Luminaries and Legends artwork features well-known faces and places connected to EastSide including; Sir Van Morrison, C.S. Lewis, George Best, Gary Moore, David Holmes, Danny Blanchflower, Harland & Wolff, Holywood Arches, Marie Jones, Lucy Caldwell, James Ellis, Sam McCready, Eric Bell, Strand Arts Centre, St Mark’s, Dundela and the artist himself, Dee Craig.
Artist Dee Craig has created a unique piece of artwork which celebrates the vibrant culture, people and places of East Belfast. In collaboration with Canadian artist Irish Nowa, he worked from digital imagery which was applied and hand painted onto parachute cloth. It was then treated and adhered to the side of the EastSide Visitor Centre. This technique gives the artwork a lifespan of 25 years unlike artwork painted directly to a wall which deteriorates after a few years. Dee was trained in using parachute cloth in Philadelphia and is the first and only artist in the UK & Europe to use this technique. As part of the project a number of paint sessions with local people were held at which they painted sections of the final artwork. The project was made possible with funding from the Urban Villages Initiative under the Northern Ireland Executive’s Together Building a United Community Strategy. The Department for Communities assisted with the delivery of the project.
Linsey Farrell, Director of The Urban Villages Initiative, commented:
“We are delighted to have supported this piece of artwork in EastSide Urban Village which is helping to create an attractive, thriving place for residents and visitors, a key objective of the Urban Villages Initiative. With the artwork featuring so many iconic people and places from East Belfast, having it displayed in such a prominent location on the gable wall of the EastSide Visitor Centre means that even more people will get to see it, and enjoy it.”
“EastSide is one of five Urban Villages in which we are committed to improving the physical environment, fostering positive community identities and continuing to build community capacity and this project is just one of many ongoing in the EastSide area that is working towards achieving that goal.”
Andrew Hassard, Chair of EastSide Partnership, added:
“On behalf of EastSide Partnership we are delighted to unveil this very special and unique piece of artwork, created by artist Dee Craig and designed by Irish Nowa, at the EastSide Visitor Centre today. Luminaries and Legends Artwork is a celebration of the vibrant and creative people and places connected to East Belfast. Its location on the side of the EastSide Visitor Centre is the perfect way to welcome visitors to east Belfast and showcases some of the inspirational people from this part of the City. We are very grateful to the Urban Villages Initiative and the Northern Ireland Executive for their support in making this project happen.”
Luminaries and Legends Artwork Artist Dee Craig commented:
“I hope the artwork I have created is viewed as a celebration of the iconic people and places connected to East Belfast and inspires all who see it. Working with the talented and inspiring Irish Nowa has introduced another connection to a solid network of international partnerships already in place to move forward with the huge plans for Belfast Mural Arts future projects.
Public mural art is very powerful form of communication and leaves a collectively expressive, lasting visual legacy but equally as important as the product is the process behind it, it’s not just a case of painting an image onto a wall, this type of project creates a platform for community involvement, education and ownership, giving participants the opportunity to explore, learn about & celebrate aspects of their culture, history and identity in a creative process”.