There was cause for reflection and celebration in the Markets area of south Belfast over the weekend as new photographic murals depicting the area’s social, industrial and sporting heritage were unveiled.
Developed as part of the Arts Council’s Re-imaging Communities Programme, the three murals were put together in consultation with local senior citizens, residents and youth groups, along with members of the local Chinese community.
The murals were officially unveiled with the help of Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Tom Hartley, and Markets-born snooker star Joe Swail.
Speaking at the unveiling, Mayor Hartley said the murals reflected the “proud history” of the area.
“These murals are part of the continuing regeneration of the Markets, one of the oldest communities in Belfast,” said Mayor Hartley.
“The idea for the murals came about as a means of replacing unwanted graffiti in the area with something that reflected the history of the Markets,” said Gerard Davison, mural project co-ordinator and member of the Markets Development Association.
“It’s all part of the regeneration of this area and it creates a nice open space for local people.”
Roisín McDonough, chief executive
of the Arts Council, said art played “a key role to play in promoting community cohesion”.
“Re-imaging is not always an easy process given the particular issues facing some communities,” said Ms McDonough.
“This project enabled the whole community to become involved and enjoy the arts, meeting each other socially, taking part in the consultation and by contributing personal photos to each of the themes covered by the murals.”