New artwork says `Failte go Lavinia`
18 May 2012
A new artwork is to be unveiled at the entrance to one of the largest social housing developments to have been built in Belfast for many years.
Built on the site of the former North of Ireland rugby and cricket ground on the lower Ormeau Road, Lavinia currently provides 166 high quality homes for families and single people and , work is underway on the construction of the final phase of the scheme which will provide a further twelve new homes. The public art piece, made up of metal decorative railings incorporating the legend `Failte go Lavinia` – or `Welcome to Lavinia` in Irish – marks the entrance to the development.
The art project was jointly delivered by Belfast City Council, Clanmil Housing Association, which owns and manages the Lavinia housing scheme, and the Lavinia Residents` Association in partnership with LORAG
Belfast artist Clare Lawlor worked with both local residents and young people from the area to develop a shortlist of designs for the finished piece, with the final design then being voted for by the residents.
Local resident, Delores Rea, who has lived at Lavinia for the past four years, was among those who played an active role in developing the artwork, along with many of her neighbours. She said:
“We`ve been working on this project with Belfast City Council and Clanmil for nearly three years and it`s going to be very exciting to see the final sculpture unveiled. We`d like to thank both the council and Clanmil for their contribution to the project, which we think has really captured the great sense of pride that we feel at Lavinia for our area. We hope that this fantastic piece of art will help inspire everyone who lives here to share that sense of pride and to take good care of their homes.”
The artwork will be officially unveiled on Friday May 25 by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Ruth Patterson, who said:
“This is a wonderful project, which the council has been delighted to support. It is a tangible demonstration of the pride which the residents feel for their area and provides a real welcome to Lavinia. I congratulate everyone involved.”
Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing Association, added:
“I am delighted to welcome Alderman Patterson to Lavinia and would like to thank Belfast City Council for the funding it has provided towards this beautiful artwork through their `Creative Legacies` scheme.
“Lavinia is Clanmil`s flagship development and we work closely with our residents and the local community to ensure that it is a good place to live. We invested in this sculpture not just to enhance the entrance to the scheme but also because it makes a real statement about the people who live here, about their pride in their heritage and in the area where they now live. The artist has really captured this strong sense of community in her work.”
The art work was part-funded by Belfast City Council through the `Creative Legacies` programme, which aims to contribute to the development of Belfast as a shared cultural space. £300,000 was invested in 15 projects across the city, including new pieces of public art in north, south, east and west Belfast and the Shankill. It was funded by the European Union`s European Regional Development Fund through the PEACE III Programme. The second phase of `Creative Legacies` will be launched in summer 2012.
Born in Belfast, Clare Lawlor is an artist and sculptor, and also trained as a youth worker. She has worked as artist in residence, community artist and arts co-ordinator in various locations both in England and Northern Ireland, including the MAC, Cathedral Quarter. She set up Aardvark Studios, a successful art and design partnership in the South of England: the company relocated to Belfast a number of years ago.
Clanmil Housing is one of Northern Ireland`s leading housing associations, with a stock of some 3,000 homes for rent.
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