Showing posts with label Public Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Public Art. Show all posts

Monday, 27 October 2014

Building a Temple at Burning Man festival!

Friday 15th August was a very exciting day for me. I found out that I was being kept on in PLACE after working on a summer project with them. As if I wasn’t already excited enough, I was asked to work on a project with Artichoke in Derry next year with an Artist who builds wooden Temple structures at Burning Man. To research and prepare for this I was asked to be part of the Derry team to help with the Temple build at Burning Man festival in the Nevada Desert in America!  

"Love" art installation by Laura Kimpton

As a former San Francisco resident, artist, creative person, festival reveller and random experience junkie, Burning Man has always been high on my bucket list of inspirational experiences.  Burning Man is a difficult concept to explain if you haven’t been but I’ll try. It’s a festival in the desert where a temporary city, Black Rock City is created for a week. In Black Rock City art and architectural structures are built on the desert, referred to as “the playa” and burnt by the end of the week to emphasise the temporal nature of the festival; immediacy being one of their guiding principles. Burning Man has 10 key principles, which set the tone and atmosphere of the festival, which I think is one of the reasons why it is so unique. Money doesn’t exist in Black Rock City (with the exception of coffee and ice for sale), there is no marketing, brands, band line-ups.  Instead this non-monetary environment is balanced out by a gifting culture (another principle) You no more as have to think of something you need or would like and someone will offer it to you. This ranged from food, a lend of a bike, a hug, a compliment, time, an amazing indian head massage hairwash, an air mattress, weird and wonderful entertainment, as well as countless Burning Man trinkets and mementos. As they say in Black Rock City, “The Playa provides…” which I found to be very true!

Art car & mutant vehicle line up

Myself and the three other Derry crew felt like we had won a golden ticket by being asked to take part.  We made our journey from Derry to Belfast, San Francisco via Newark and hopped on the Burner Express to the Nevada desert!

We arrived with an early pass, first timers at Burning Man were separated from the crowd, made to make dust angels and roll about in the sand and ring a bell shouting “I’m not a virgin anymore!” signifying our initiation into the wonderful mysterious experience that is Burning Man festival.

Temple of Grace at sunset

We were warmly welcomed by David Best to the Temple team of 100 people made up of architects, designers, artists, builders and general volunteers who worked on the Temple for 3 weeks. We helped the last 3 days. Everyone was fascinated by the Derry project and many of them were really keen to be a part of the chosen team going to Derry for the build. We tried to explain the context of Derry, the bonfire culture, divided communities and discussed the potential of a project like this in Derry.

Temple decor team making mosaic tiles for the floor

What struck me about the Temple team was how much of a community family atmosphere had grown between them. Many of them were coping with big losses in their lives and found the Temple project a way to work through these. It was amazing to see such a diverse group of people, of all ages and abilities, full of absolute characters work together in a non hierarchical fashion and tirelessly build a Temple that would be burnt down after a week! 

Temple of Grace team 2014 & David Best, photo by David Washer

The Temple was incredibly intricate and beautiful, made from thousands of wood cut panels which then people were invited to write on and leave their messages. It was such an emotional atmosphere in the Temple, people mourned lost loved ones, singing, praying crying, writing messages This was a stark contrast to the booming techno music and exhibitionism on the main playa. 

The altar and messages left at the Temple

The Temple burn night was the last night of the festival. As Temple crew we have front seats on the sand and thousands gathered to watch the Temple burn down along with their messages to loved ones, regrets, secrets and confessions. The atmosphere was respectful, reflective and still. We sat mesmerized by the beauty of the Temple burning, watching the flames slowly envelop the structure, the colours of the flames inverting like the negative of a photograph, the heat on our faces, the wind dance swirls of dust and ash and eventually the structure spinning and collapsing.

Burning Man and working on the Temple was an amazing, inspirational, intense and emotional experience. I’m so excited about the Temple coming to Derry, if it can even create of fraction of the positivity, emotional release and community atmosphere that comes from working together on a project like this I think it will be very powerful! 

The Man burning

If you want to help #Temple2015 come to Derry, spread the word and donate to their Kickstarter campaign:

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Public Art Commission for Ballymena

Public Art Commission - Tender to commission the appointment of an artist to design, produce and install an artwork in the public realm.

Dunclug Partnership seeks expressions of interest from experienced and suitably qualified artists or design teams in developing a new public artwork. The total budget available for the artwork is up to £45,000 (inclusive of VAT).

The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 23rd May 2014.

Late submissions will not be accepted.

Dunclug Partnership
c/o Rosalind Lowry
The Braid Arts Centre
1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena
POST Code: BT43 5EJ

For more information see document here: Dunclug Partnership Re-Imaging Stage 2 finalDunclug Partnership Re-Imaging Stage 2 final (Word doc, via Community Arts Partnership)

Friday, 26 July 2013

Broadway to Belfast. A View on Creating New Public Space in the City

Saul Golden, PLACE Board Member & Lecturer in Architecture, University of Ulster

On a recent visit to New York I noted how the City continues to change and improve it’s public spaces with parks that include street markets, children’s play areas, changing art installations and more pedestrian friendly additions to the public realm - in a city where personal and service vehicles are also an integral part of daily life. These make more family, city-worker and tourist friendly places while helping accommodate different levels of economy - from the local street vendors to sidewalk café and local shops, as well as larger chains.

Public art installations and local street vendors. Credit: Saul Golden.

One example of the city’s more flexible approach to creating new public space is a ‘simple’ extension of the sidewalk (footpath) along lower Broadway at 18th Street near Union Square, which ‘gives back’ an area of a busy street for people to use rather than vehicles. 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

PLACE Urban Design Summer School Day One | Public Art

The PLACE Urban Design Summer School is a week long event for 14 - 20 years olds to explore architecture, design, public art, sketching, photography, urban history and more! The week offers the 27 young people registered a chance to learn about the built environment through exciting workshops, fascinating tours and more!

The Summer School is a part of 'out of PLACE' in Ireland's tallest building, The Obel. With support from Karl Group and McConnell Property PLACE are occupying the ground floor with fantastic views over-looking the River Lagan until September. Out of PLACE will also host the 'Secret Laboratories' exhibition and the 'RSUA President's Medal: The Shortlist' exhibition.

Let's see what everyone got up to on day one with a particular focus on Public Art...

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Photoblog: CowParade at the Balmoral Show, 18th May

Photos from the CowParade, the biggest public art show in the world - which appeared at the Balmoral Show on Friday 18th May, and mooves on to location across NI from June-September. All photos courtesy of David Bunting, Images-NI.

Photo by David Bunting, Images-NI.

Photo by David Bunting, Images-NI.

Photo by David Bunting, Images-NI.

Photo by David Bunting, Images-NI.

More cows after the jump.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Strabane Public Art/Architectural Commission

Info below from Donegal County Council and Strabane District Council on a commission for a new Public Art/Architectural commission...

Strabane Library; image courtesy Donegal County Council

Major Iconic Public Art  / Architectural Commission
Donegal County Council and Strabane District Council 
Urban and Village Renewal Project

The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) has awarded Grant Aid of €995,000 under Priority 2, Theme 1: Public Sector Collaboration to the Urban & Village Renewal Project to be delivered over 40 months, starting on 1st September 2010 and completing on 31st December 2013.

Project Partners Involved:
The Project Promoter is the North West Region Cross Border Group (the “NWRCBG”).
The Lead Implementing Council is Donegal County Council.

The Partner Council is Strabane District Council.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

SWITCH Project in Bangor starts this weekend

North Down Borough Council and the Switch project have teamed up to bring 8 international artists into an outdoor gallery of empty shop units. Click the flyer above to enlarge.

13th-21st November. Tours Sat 13th and Thurs 18th, departing 6pm from the Marine Court Hotel.

Read more:

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The debate goes on...

Above: Rendering of the Magic Jug in situ; via Belfast Streets Ahead

On this morning's Good Morning Ulster, the debate on the Magic Jug continued...

You can listen to the piece on the BBC iPlayer here - it starts at around 1 hr 52 mins.

Some of the main arguments are outlined below...

"It's not going to resonate with people, because it's not designed by someone who understands the people of Belfast. What makes great art? Why should it go here? There was no debate." (Will Chamberlain)

"We need a bit more transparency in how public money is spent. We don't want to be just given public art and told why it's good for us." (Daniel Jewesbury)

"Everything like that brightens the place up and makes it nice."
"It's like dressing a room."
"I think the worst people to ask are the experts in the field of architecture and art."
"I think the public are the ones who should decide because they're the ones who are going to be paying for it." (Public on Fountain Street)

"The whole concept of the city means discussion, and it means that it has to be held in a very open forum. We can't have people behind closed doors making decisions that don't engage with the people. It goes right back to the ancient idea of a city, and it has a lot to say about how you then put art in a city as well." (Mark Hackett)

"The response that we got around the city centre was extremely positive. I think what you are hearing is a small bunch of "experts" who are getting into a debate about the merits of what is art, which is not reflective of the debate you hear on the streets and which your reporter picked up. And that's a debate which very much welcomes this investment. From a town centre manager's perspective, a lot of my colleagues in other cities would be delighted that a government department was making this sort of investment. I think some existential debate about what is art is not particularly helpful... Not only are we doing this dressing exercise and giving ourselves something that looks very attractive, actually it has a physical purpose of connecting areas, drawing lines of sight and helping people move around the city." (Andrew Irvine, BCCM)

- Read the report of the meeting held at PLACE on Monday 26th May
- Belfast's Magic Jug? - Slugger O'Toole
- Smash or hug the jug? - Slugger O'Toole

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Magic Jug on Fountain Street

Above: Artist's rendering of the Magic Jug

New public art for Fountain Street has been announced in the form of a 5.5m tall polished granite jug.

BBC News: Jug 'links ancient and modern Ireland'

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

New public art commission at Belfast Harbour

Above: Site of the new public art commission at Belfast Harbour. Image via

The Belfast Harbour Public Art Commission is offering a £100,000 budget for a new public artwork at the Dargan Entrance to Belfast Harbour estate.

Submission deadline: 11th January 2010

More info:

Monday, 11 May 2009

Channel 4's Big Art in Belfast

Waterworks, Belfast (image source)

Channel 4's Big Art project aims to get the public involved in commissioning, creation and decision-making in public art. The series started on Sunday last (May 10th), and continues on the next three Sundays through May.

One of the sites chosen for a major new artwork was the Waterworks park in North Belfast. The site was nominated by Katrina Newell of New Lodge Arts, who has been working on the project with local community worker Claire Kelly.

"North Belfast has seen the worst effects of sectarian attacks and violence. You can either sit back and let that happen or you can try to take a step towards getting children to work together." - Katrina Newell

Channel 4: Big Art Project
Channel 4: Big Art Project - Latest news for the North Belfast site
Belfast Telegraph: Waterworks art gets C4 showing

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Public art design contest for Fountain Street

News from our very own Fountain Street, where DSD are commissioning "an outstanding artist to design and arrange the production, delivery and installation of a major piece of public art to be located in Fountain Street, as part of the Belfast Streets Ahead project. The commission is to create a permanent contemporary landmark as an integrated part of the refurbishment of the Fountain Street area."

The budget is £100,000 with the possibility of an additional £50,000 being allocated.

The deadline for responses is 20 April 2009 - those interested in applying can find more information here.