A stainless steel raindrop is to be unveiled today as Belfast’s newest piece of public art.
The six-metre tall sculpture, known as Origin overlooks Belfast from the Horseshoe Bend section of Cavehill Country Park and will be visible from across the city.
The art piece is part of a cross-community collaboration between Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich on the Falls Road and the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill Road which has been celebrating the River Farset.
The River Farset has its source in the Belfast Hills and was a vital source of sustenance for the first Belfast settlers and a key attraction for the many foundries and linen mills which flourished here. The river made Belfast an important industrial city which drew many workers to Belfast from the surrounding countryside and further afield. This art piece highlights the centrality of the River Farset to the development of the city socially, economically and physically, while re-connecting communities to this rich heritage.
Cultúrlann Executive Director Aisling Ní Labhraí says the excitement surrounding the project is growing:
“A lot of the work has been behind the scenes up to now with workshops and commissioning processes,” she said. “Now we’re moving up a gear with the launch and the preparations for the spectacle event and art piece, the anticipation is mounting. The investment the Creative Belfast Fund has made in the arts and communities has been a big boost for Belfast.”
Artist Tracey McVerry from Solas Creative said: “The six metre tall raindrop, made from polished stainless steel arcs, appears to hover six metres above the ground on a brushed stainless steel plinth and represents the elegant flow of water.
“Then, nestled inside the raindrop, is a fin of Narima glass, giving an ethereal quality and animating the external structure with elements of spectral colour, movement, texture, reflection and refraction which continuously shifts with the changing light and creates an arc of energy reflected back to the viewer.”
Roisin McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “Public money makes things possible that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. In the hands of artists a remarkable and defining legacy has been created for Belfast city through this piece of public art.
“Origin gives us a suitably powerful and inspiring statement about the scale and the influence that this river has had on generations of people’s lives and livelihoods in Belfast and I hope many, many people come to enjoy it.”
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