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  • Email: info@usdt.co.uk
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Upper Springfield Development Trust Arts Programme is launching an interactive maze of temporary public art at the old Andersonstown Barrack site on Thursday 12th December at 4.00pm. Come along and experience this spectacular array of fun and interactive artwork.


This project was funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and through Department for Social Development’s Belfast Regeneration Office.


Artists Charlotte Bosanquet, Deborah Malcomson and Brenda Murphy worked along with Whiterock Westrock Residents Association’s Youth Group, Matt Talbott Youth Club and Newhill Youth and Community Juniors on this exciting public art project based on the theme of the environment and unplanned urban exploration.


This has resulted in this one day temporary public art showcase that incorporates a labyrinyth maze for people to navigate their way through. There will also be a mobile cinema hut with a slide show of images taken by the young people on their public art walks. Creative signage in various shapes and forms will pinpoint and highlight the barracks site, placing it on the map, so to speak. You can even come along and have a go at the dowsing rods and have a look through the periscopes.


Another outcome of the project is a public art billboard on the Whiterock Road outside O’ Donnells GAA. The billboard is a piece of artwork itself, and is of an image taken by a local young person on the public art walks. What is exciting about this billboard is that in the run up to Christmas, this will actually be the only billboard that is not advertising anything. There are no words or logos. It is meant as a piece of artwork that people just stumble across when they walk past it everyday.


The Labyrinth project has also resulted in a limited edition publication that takes the form of an Upper Springfield unconventional Travel Brochure. This alternative and quirky twist and take on a travel brochure is a compilation of unplanned urban exploration and incorporates old maps and alternative routes. It charts how people get from A to B and the processes they use to get there, including ancient and historical methods such as water divining. The local young people added their own favourite place names to the maps, place names that only people in the area would know, such as Shepherd’s Path, the Windy Gap and the Giant’s Foot. This book is an important legacy of the Labyrinth project.


Joan Dempster, Arts Officer with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland commented, “This unique project brings people together under the common purpose of creating artwork, that is by the community, for the community and relevant to its people. It is an ambitious project and I want to congratulate all the people involved including the very talented artists who have shared their skills and empowered the participants in what is a brilliant example of community and participatory arts.”


The workshops incorporated walking trails through the City Cemetery and looking at old maps of the city, looking at what lies beneath the ground such as waterways. These walks encouraged the young people to creatively explore their environment by taking different routes, walking looking through a periscope, walking looking for water, walking in the graveyard, walking with a camera, walking with history, walking into the future.


Deirdre Mackel from Upper Springfield Development Trust said, “The young people were totally engaged in this project and really benefitted from this creative approach of exploring their environment in alternative ways. They created a temporary public art showcase for the benefit of the whole community; they jointly produced a lasting piece of artwork in the form of a limited edition “Alternative Upper Springfield Unconventional Travel Brochure” and they produced a one off original public art billboard for the Whiterock Road, outside O’Donnells. They have excelled themselves and should be very proud of their achievements.”



RSVP: Deirdre Mackel Arts Programme Manager    Tel: 028 90236677

email: deirdre.mackel@usdt.co.uk