Arts Minister Gregory Campbell today announced ‘Mute Meadow’ as the winner of the Foyle Public Art Project in Londonderry.
In January 2008 the North West Cultural Challenge Fund awarded £800,000 to the Foyle Public Art Project to host a competition to find an artist to develop an iconic piece of contemporary public artwork at Ebrington to mark the regeneration of the City.
Speaking at the announcement Minister Campbell said: “The winning design, ‘Mute Meadow’, by Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier is truly inspirational. It is a City’s architecture and public art that makes it unique and helps it to stand out from other international cities. This piece of art work will certainly do that and it will be visible from the old walled city across the river and in turn, the site of the work itself offers prime views over the river to the walled city opposite.
Congratulations to the artists on their originality and thanks to the other five artists who submitted their creative proposals for this project.
Back in 2005 my Department contributed a £1million investment to the North West Cultural Challenge Fund as part of the IIex regeneration package to assist with the continued development of the arts and cultural sector of the North West. Public art is playing an increasingly important role in urban regeneration, generating local pride as well as providing new landmarks for tourists to visit. A successful piece of public art such as ‘Mute Meadow’ has the ability to redefine the image or perception of a city to the outside world.
Mute Meadow’ will place arts and culture at the centre of Londonderry’s regeneration and present the city with an opportunity to demonstrate that it is worth coming to see and worth investing in.”
Professor Declan McGonagle, Director of the National College of Art and Design Dublin said: "The Foyle Public Art project represents an exciting response by artists to the rich historical environment of the City of Derry. The selected proposal touches on the issues of identity, history and the riverscape on which the city stands. It connects Derry to the range of European cities which have rich heritages and have also developed public art projects as a way of negotiating the future. This project is part of a process of regeneration and re-thinking the city's identity through arts initiatives and is a major contribution to this total process.”
Speaking at the launch, Arts Council Chairman, Rosemary Kelly, said: “This new public art commission will complement the city’s growing network of excellent arts facilities and provide a real boost to Derry’s growing status as a major creative and cultural destination. The arts are renowned across the world for their ability to kick-start wider regeneration, so a project of this scale, unmatched in Northern Ireland, offers tremendous promise of future social, cultural and economic growth in the area.”
Bill Kirk, Chief Executive of Ilex urban regeneration company said: "I'm absolutely delighted with Mute Meadow. By day it will respond to its superb position in relation to natural light and by night it will make an equally dramatic statement on the riverfront. Its flexibility is such that it has a fascinating sound element which is intimate and will draw people to it. The sound element will be provided in association with the Verbal Arts Centre which is collaborating with artist Phaophanit and Oboussier and the local community.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
On 3 December 2005, a £4million Challenge Fund for the arts and cultural sector in the North West was announced as part of the Ilex regeneration Plan for City Council area in Londonderry. The Fund consisted of £3million Integrated Development fund (IDF) money, provided by the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, and £1million arts capital from the Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure.
Foyle Public Art Project winning artists Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier from London are Turner Prize Nominees (1993), they have worked collaboratively for over 20 years. The span of their work includes film, exhibitions, publications and they have created a number of large-scale groundbreaking works in the public realm.
Ebrington was chosen as the proposed site and will allow ‘Mute Meadow’ to be a work of significant and imposing scale. It maximises its visual impact and ensures that the work is integrated into the heart of the city. Vitally, the meadow of light is highly visible from the old walled city across the river and, in turn, the site of the work offers prime views over the river to the walled city opposite.
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