A sculpture depicting a young female millworker has been unveiled in Kells as part of the Arts Council’s £3.8 million Re-Imaging Communities Programme. Created by Glenravel artist Eamonn Higgins, the artwork reflects the area’s strong industrial heritage.
Some £15,000, of the Arts Council’s £3.8 million Re-imaging Communities Programme on behalf of the Shared Communities Consortium, was awarded to the Kells and Connor Improvement Association in June 2007. Sculptor Eamonn Higgins worked with members of the local community to develop the idea for the piece. The artwork, which was created using recycled materials, will be accompanied by a plaque and an image of the mill taken in the 1900s. Painted curb stores, graffiti and flags have also been removed from the area as part of the scheme.
Commenting on the project, Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Chair of the Shared Communities Consortium, said: “The arts make an important contribution to building a positive future for Northern Ireland by helping to create the conditions for a healthy civic society to flourish.
“The Arts Council’s Re-imaging Communities programme has taken a sustained approach to community regeneration, helping to unlock the creative potential of local people at a neighbourhood level.
“Here in Kells, we can clearly see the benefits of this arts-led approach, where local residents and groups, working with a professional artist, have developed the confidence to transform their area into a much more welcoming environment for locals, visitors and, significantly, for future business investment.”
Maura Ellis, Chairman of the Kells and Connor Improvement Association, welcomed the completion of the new art work: “Through the Arts Council’s reimaging project we have been able to transform what was previously quite a run down area into an attractive and welcoming place that the whole community can enjoy. The sculpture, created by artist Eamonn Higgins, is representative of the area’s strong industrial heritage and provides a wonderful new focal point for the community and visitors to the area.”
The sculpture will officially be unveiled at Granville Manor, Liminary Road Kells on Thursday 25th June 2009 at 7pm. As part of the event local historian Dr Eull Dunlop will be storytelling at Kells and Connor Primary School, with a focus on the area’s industrial links. Local people are invited to bring along any materials which they feel may be relevant to the project. Refreshments will also be provided.
Arts Council of Northern Ireland press release 26th June 2009
Days Hotel Belfast - located in a lovely area of Belfast where the Union Jack flies from every lamppost and the kerbstones are painted blue white and red.
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