Sunday, 10 August 2008
On The Trail of Art: The Holiday Begins
Well, the excitement has begun and WhyNotSmile has started her days as a tourist in Belfast. Yesterday (Saturday) I did the Laganside Art Trails, and had a splendid time. There has been, as you may have realised, an adjustment to the schedule: the holiday was not supposed to start until Monday, but it has been very wet in Belfast all week, and today was nice, so I thought I'd take advantage of the sunshine while it lasted; furthermore, I had painted the gloss-work on my stairs and landing, so had to get out of the house before the fumes did for me.
Anyway, who knew Belfast had so many cool arty things? If you have an hour to spare and you're in the City Centre, it's well worth checking some of these out. And there are various other bits and bobs that aren't part of the trail, but which were worthy of a photo; I'll give you some of those as well.
So. I now present photos of the Art Trails. I should perhaps explain here that there are 3 art trails: they are a few miles each and are designed to be done on foot, but since I was on my bike, I did all of them at once (Art Trail 2 is probably the most accessible/straightforward if you're on foot). I'll split them over 3 posts, though, for clarity (plus an extra post for the 'other' things that were cool but not part of any of the trails). In total I cycled 13 miles (from my house, round the trails, and back home); it took about 2 hours, which of course included lots of stops to take the photos. On the way I had one near-death experience, saw many Emos, was scuppered by one flooded underpass, and almost ended up in the Belfast Rat Race.
The 'Art' is basically a series of sculptures, engravings, paintings and various other things, placed around the Laganside area of Belfast. Some of them are things everyone who has been to Belfast will have seen (like the Big Fish); others are things I have cycled past and never noticed; some are hidden away and you have to know they're there before you'd see them.
Incidentally, the remainder of the holiday schedule has also changed, due to two factors: firstly, Sean informs me that the Fernhill House museum seems to be closed (so the world's largest collection of Loyal Orders memorabilia must now be elsewhere); secondly, my mum has discovered that she (being over 60) can get into the zoo for free and has therefore decided we should go and see it. So the 'West Belfast' day has now been ditched in favour of a day at the zoo; Clonard Monastery and St Peter's will now be an extension of the 'City Centre' activities, which will now be stretched to a day and a bit. The Candy Factory will fit in there too. So, to summarise, there are to be 3 further WhyNotSmile holiday events: a day (more likely half day) at the zoo; a city centre churches and art galleries day; and a final day of finishing the churches and also the Candy Factory.