Arts Council funds Re-image Creggan’s East Wall
Ten large and many small colourful wall panels, at Eastway Road, Creggan, Derry, will be unveiled (Feb 3rd) as the Mayor of Derry, Cllr Gerard Diver, along with Ann Ward, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and members of the local community celebrate their Re-Imaging Project. The new work depicts the history of the Creggan area, along with new, unusual and exciting ceramic public art.
£48,400, part of the Arts Council’s £3 million Re-imaging Communities Programme (on behalf of the Shared Communities Consortium), was awarded to Creggan Enterprises, in February 2008. They worked with professional Artists Tom Agnew, Kevin Hippsley, photographer Mark Willett and Guildhall Press to deliver the ‘Eastway Wall Art Project’.
Commenting on the Project, 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 and regeneration by building confidence, skills and helping people to live and work together. This project enabled a wide range of groups from the area to become involved in and enjoy the arts, while celebrating local history, developing unusual and exciting pieces of work and creating outstanding public art.
The involvement of professional artists, helped to promote the value and benefits of art, putting it at the heart of the community. The whole project has provided an opportunity for the Re-Imaging Communities Programme to support the vision of local people as they take significant steps to provide a more welcoming environment and give all the participants something to feel proud of.”
The re-imaging ceramics and panels replace a dilapidated 150m wall, overgrown and covered in graffiti. The whole community came together and participated in a number of workshops. These not only generated ideas for the artistic content, but also allowed greater local ownership of the area, creating an open, clean welcoming Gateway to Creggan on this arterial route into the estate.
Local ceramic artist Tom Agnew said of the project. “As a long term resident of Derry it was an honour to be involved with some of the people of Creggan in producing what I hope will give pleasure to both residents and visitors alike. The ceramic murals are an attempt to reflect the strong sense of community identity while at the same time meeting my creative needs. I have learned a great deal from the experience and trust that those I worked with learned something from me. Thanks to everyone I came in contact with, it was great”.
Conal McFeely, Creggan Enterprises, described the benefits of the project saying, “The Eastway Wall Arts Project is an exciting expression of a sense of place and a celebration of the talent and skills of a creative community. Creggan people are resilient and especially attuned to their community. This project is all about community engagement and promoting positive change. Creating a spirit of place through the use of community arts has enabled Creggan Enterprises to capture the social history of the area in a fresh and striking manner.
“We wish to thank Guildhall Press, Tom Agnew and everyone for helping us create this distinctive series of wall murals that represents this special place we call Creggan and we would particularly thank the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for funding under the Re-imaging Communities Programme.”