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Public sculpture unveiled at the Titanic Quarter

By Leona Schreiber and Brian Lovett

The first public artwork for the Titanic Quarter was unveiled as part of the Belfast festival at Queens.

The “contemporary and innovative artwork” is called ‘Kit’ and is a site-specific light sculpture which is 13.5 metres tall and cast in bronze.

The public artwork, which was funded by Titanic Quarter and Arts and Business NI, cost £200,000 to create.

It is beside the Abercorn Residential Complex (ARC), the first phase of residential development at Titanic Quarter.

The artwork depicts recognisable Titanic elements on an outer frame.

The public sculpture is by Essex-based artist Tony Stallard and is his largest public artwork to date.

“It is ambiently lit with blue and white phosphorous lighting that suggests the adjacent marine environment and the searchlights of ships,” explained Mr Stallard.

“It is intended to symbolise Belfast as an industrial pioneer at the time of building the Titanic. It references the industrial heritage of the area and can be seen as a reverie of the past, to create nostalgia of what was once heroic.

“It is designed to act as a contemporary tribute to the shipbuilders. The sculpture is ‘see through’ and transient, almost mythological.”

Through open submission competition, ArtSpark NI on behalf of Titanic Quarter Ltd and Arts & Business NI commissioned the signature public artwork as part of its Integrated Arts Strategy for ARC.

Mike Smith, CEO of Titanic Quarter, has applauded the artwork.

“The Tony Stallard sculpture is magnificent. It will add richness to the well designed public space at Abercorn Basin and significant interest to the well established heritage trail along Queen’s Road,” he said.

“At Titanic Quarter we are building the future from the past and Kit, with its references to the Titanic’s creation and the industrial heritage of the area, is a perfect illustration of that.”

Harland and Wolff was commissioned to build the sculpture. Mr Stallard said the involvement of Harland and Wolff was very significant because of its historic relationship with the titanic.

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