Sunday, 10 August 2008

Art Trail 1

(Please note that the blog has been temporarily widened, to allow the photos to fit. Apologies also for the large blank spaces. I will fix this asap.)

Art Trail 1 takes in Clarendon Dock and the Cathedral Quarter. Clarendon Dock has been redeveloped recently, and is used for things like the Maritime Festival and various other city events; it's also a business park and of course there are still docks there. The Cathedral Quarter was redeveloped a few years ago, and is probably one of the 'artier' ends of town; lots of nice pubs down little alleyways, and also wide open space in Writers' Square in front of the cathedral itself.

One of the pieces on this trail is indoors and I couldn't see it, but I'll have a look when I'm back in the area to visit St Anne's Cathedral.

So, here we go:

Voyage of St. Brendan

We kick things off with this giant mosaic on Garmoyle Street, which is based on the discovery of America by St Brendan (you remember). It was originally designed for display in Holland; the story of how it ended up on the wall of a pub in Belfast did not present itself.

The Flying Angel

Next we have one of my favourites, The Flying Angel. The ship-shaped building to which it is attached is the Belfast Mission To Seafarers building; the angel is flying over the sea, calming the waves, and sports a fetching engraving of Revelation 14v6 on her side.


Looking like a giant pair of compasses, this sculpture towers over pretty much everything in Clarendon Dock; 'dividers' have some navigational purpose, hence the connection with the docks.

Wheels of progress

Right, to be honest, I'm not sure I found what I was looking for here. The picture on my downloaded map was totally different to this, but I couldn't find anything that resembled it. Instead I found these, so I'm guessing that they have replaced the original, or something. Since they are attached to the concrete supports of the M3, I didn't like to poke about too much.

The Calling

Easily the winner in the 'most awkward to photograph' category, these are two statues of people standing on chairs, perched at the top of two very extensive poles. The piece is based on the theme of communication.

Penny For Your Thoughts

There are lots of these little 'stacks of coins'; they each have a different picture on top, depicting something (food, animals...) which would at one time have been bartered over on the streets of Belfast.

Belfast Wheel and Cotton Court

I'm not entirely clear on how much of this is the actual artwork, and how much is just general decor, but anyway it's pretty cool. Nothing to do with Belfast's Big Wheel; 'Belfast Wheel' is a network of artists.

Mapping History

Kind of a shame that someone plonked a couple of bins in front of this, because it's really stunning; the middle bit is a map of the area, including notable landmarks, and the blue bit is made up of over 1000 tiles personalised by visitors and businesses in the Cathedral Quarter. The photo below shows some of the tiles; apparently there's a marriage proposal somewhere in there, but the smell of the bins got to me before I found it.

Performance Space

Now this I liked a lot. Basically, it's in an archway; the art is made up of lights which provide a spotlight in which anyone who passes by can perform.

Fishing For Letters

This was another hard to photograph one, because it surrounds a nice flat area that's perfect for skateboarding; I was taking my life in my hands by snapping it for you. The jumble of letters reflects the literary theme of Writers' Square.


This is a mosaic of a boat; it was behind railings so I couldn't get terribly close, but it looked pleasant.

One step, two step, three step, four

This is the one that's inside, so I don't have a photo yet, I'm afraid. According to my art trail guide, though, the point is that 'art can tell you what it wants to say, or it can lead you up a blind alley'.

So, lots of funky artwork was on display; if you're in the city centre and haven't popped into the Cathedral area lately, it's worth doing so, especially on a sunny day when you can bask in Writers' Square.

1 comment:

andrewg said...

Hehe, I used to drive past those things on the M3 every day on my way in to work. Never worked out what the other ones were, but the little men with their arms stretched out are semaphoring "Hello Sailor" :-)