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Arts Council Supports Re-imaging In The Markets

Tuesday 19th August 2008 at 11am 0 Comments

Sport themed photographic mural, The Markets, Belfast Image: Sport themed photographic mural, The Markets, Belfast

Three new photographic murals were unveiled at Stanfield Street, upper and lower and in Eliza Street (10 August) by the Markets Development Association’s Re-imaging Communities Project. The colourful murals reflect local views of sport, industrial heritage and social life in the area. The launch marks the end of an exhibition of 60 photographs, which illustrate the progress of the Re-imaging Communities Project, currently on show in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast (from 27 July).

The murals were developed in consultation with local senior citizens, residents and youth groups, along with members of the local Chinese community, who wanted to see the removal of graffiti, and old murals replaced with the new images and photos. £14,381, part of the Arts Council’s £3 million Re-imaging Communities Programme (on behalf of the Shared Communities Consortium), was awarded to the Markets Development Association for the project called ‘A celebration of Life in the Markets’.

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, and Chair of the Shared Communities Consortium, said, “Art has a key role to play in promoting community cohesion. Re-imaging is not always an easy process given the particular issues facing some communities. This project enabled the whole community to become involved and enjoy the arts, meeting each other socially, taking part in the consultation and by contributing personal photos to each of the themes”.

Describing the Re-imaging Ray Henshaw, the artist working on the murals said, “This project took advantage of the community knowledge and commitment and enabled different groups to get involved in the arts. The three mural groupings were made up of Tir Na Nog, the local young drama group, working on sport and culture, with a contribution from the local Chinese residents, and two residents groups, one dealing with social history and characters from the area, and the second looking at industrial history. We were delighted by the amount of photographs contributed by the community, starting from the 1870s! These form the core of a newly established archive, which will eventually be posted on the internet so locals and émigrés can access their cultural history.”

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