Belfast Telegraph

Pitch perfect: Design based on Northern Ireland crest to form part of Paris Euro 2016 artwork

By Amanda Ferguson

A graphic designer from Belfast has been chosen by the British Council and British Embassy to contribute to a collective artwork stretching along the River Seine during the Euros.

From June 8 to July 10, Andy Henry's football pitch-inspired work will represent the Northern Ireland team at The European Fresco alongside 23 other artists' contributions.

His 13m x 6.5m piece is based on the Northern Ireland football crest and the colours of the Green and White Army.

The project sees 24 artists from each of the participating countries create an image based on the colour of their country's flag and main symbols, aiming to reflect their country's identity - and as part of it, the finished artwork must only use the shapes and lines linked to the geometry of the football pitch.

Andy said: "Initially I wanted to do a piece based on George Best, arguably the greatest player of all time. For me, he represents not only Northern Irish football, but our own cultural identity.

"Unfortunately, this didn't match up to the design concept, and my finished piece really tested my design skills and creativity."

Andy is travelling to Paris on Monday for The European Fresco inauguration ceremony. While there, he will also conduct a design workshop and attend the Queen's 90th Birthday party at the French Embassy.

He said: "Unfortunately I won't be going to any of the football, but I'm really excited to be part of this project.

"From a design perspective, representing the Northern Ireland design industry at an international level is a great honour. It's an ideal way for me to help put the Northern Irish team on the map and raise our profile in European football.

"I look forward to seeing the designs installed on the ground and gauging other people's reactions."

The Northern Ireland design will showcase on June 8 from the Eiffel Tower along the banks of the River Seine.

Belfast Telegraph