Two exciting, colourful murals at Dun Breffni House, Romell Road, will be unveiled (January 23rd) as the Mayor of Limavady, Cllr Brenda Chivers, along with Ann Ward, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and members of the local community celebrate their Re-Imaging Project. The new work depicts a time-line for Limavady, past and future, and a ‘fantasy woodland’ complete with a chocolate river and cake mountains!
£7,710, part of the Arts Council’s £3 million Re-imaging Communities Programme (on behalf of the Shared Communities Consortium), was awarded to the Roe Valley Community Education Forum, at Dun Breffni House, for the ‘Past and Present’ re-imaging project in November 2007.
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 many young people of the area to become involved in and enjoy the arts on a cross community basis, while celebrating local history and enjoying the ancient art of storytelling.
Katherine Kirk’s involvement, as a professional artist, helped to promote 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 steps to provide a more welcoming environment and give all the participants something to feel proud of.”
The re-imaging murals, beside Dun Breffni House, replace territorial markings and graffiti. Local children 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 an interface area that had experienced much vandalism and anti-social behaviour. The younger children designed a ‘Fantasy Woodland’, while the older ones identified key events in Limavady’s history and finished their work with a reflection of the ‘Gem of the Roe’, ‘Danny Boy’ and their view of an ideal Limavady of the future.
Katherine Kirk, the artist working on the project, explained how the work came about, saying “This was an opportunity for young people from the local communities to meet each other, get involved in their community and in artwork. The result is two very different, but equally impressive pieces that not only improve the area, but also gave those involved new skills, confidence and artistic awareness. While we were working there, I was impressed by the number of local people who were keen to come into the area, sit outside Dun Brieffni house and enjoy the artwork and the new space, it was great!”
Diane Rathfield, Manager of the Roe Valley Community Education Forum described the benefits of the project saying ”We are situated in an interface area where there was a lot of vandalism and other antisocial behaviour, but this project really helped us to reclaim the space and make it more appealing for everyone. The young people worked together, with Catherine and produced some excellent artwork. This has increased their confidence and given them an increased pride in this area, as a shared space for everyone.