Netflix flower star divides North Down community over art installations
Residents of Ards and North Down are intrigued by the art installations that have appeared in five towns, with mixed opinions.
Described as “living sculptures,” the council says they aim to give residents “an opportunity to consider and celebrate our local history and culture.”
Paid by a £ 10,000 council donation and a grant from the Department of Communities, the sculptures by Dublin-based artist Eoghan Riordan from the Netflix series ‘The Big Flower Fight’ will be in place for a few weeks and withdrawn before summer.
The pieces depicting a goose, a mermaid, a golfer, a spitfire and waves, were positioned in prominent parts of Bangor, Comber, Newtownards and Holywood, but it was Donaghadee’s art that caused the uproar.
Local reactions to art in cities have been mixed, but in Donaghadee, where rusty metal containers have been dubbed “ Dee’s Digger Buckets, ” it’s hard to detect a positive reaction.
Among the hundreds of responses online to the art, local woman Anna Thompson echoed the majority of the sentiments and said: “These are horrible, it looks like the council brought some old rusty skips and left them behind. on the grass. Why not order stone or concrete statues of our wonderful marine life?
“Similar to what we had before with Wood Brent’s Geese on The Commons, something that’s an attractive and permanent feature.
“The people of Donaghadee love animals and are very passionate about the local wildlife. Every coastal town has waves and these really don’t look like waves, if anything looks like mountains or ice bankers … or old backhoe buckets.
And Lee Boyle, said, “The one in Donaghadee that I was going to report for illegal dumping of flies. Absolutely brutal. No more wasted money.
Michelle Johnston said, “I normally think sculptures are a waste of money, but I love these.”
Brent’s living goose-shaped grass and plant sculpture stands in Comber Square.
A council spokesperson said they were partially funded by the Communities Department and agreed with the downtown recovery groups.
And added, “The thought-provoking sculptures were created and installed by landscape designer Eoghan Riordan of Sequoia Design, who was featured in the Netflix series, ‘The Big Flower Fight’.
“Living sculptures are created with living and growing herbs, vines, plants or trees. These unique horticultural creations will grow and mature over the next few weeks and are individually themed to represent a key aspect of each city’s history, culture or folklore.
But Donaghadee’s Elizabeth Ritchie is furious about her city’s delivery, and she said local businesses and local artists should have been given priority over work.
Ms Ritchie said: “The financial contribution from Ards and the North Down Borough Council to our five wonderful ‘flower sculptures’ is £ 10,000. The rest of the sum was covered by a grant from the Ministry of Communities, received by our council.
“I am still waiting for the amount of the grant, but I was told that it came from a fund linked to Covid. We could have thought of better ways to spend it. Not only that, but it would have been nice if local businesses got the job. I understand the designer is from Dublin with his employees.
“My last update on ‘jumps’, or should I say sorry ‘waves’, is that a few little blue flowers have appeared and are already dying. It is not money well spent. “
Patricia Neill said: “How much this nonsense has cost and who is responsible for this total waste of money that could have been used to dredge the ponds in Ward Park. This advice really needs to get into the real world. you and set your priorities. right. “
Here are the pieces and the artist’s intentions:
Bangor Mermaid : Captivating maritime tales and nautical legends are often linked to the seaside town of Bangor. This sculpture is inspired by the story of Saint Muirgen, which dates back to the 6th century. Legend has it that monks sent to Rome to deliver a message from Saint Comgall caught a mermaid named Lebanon in a fishing net at sea. She promised that if they released her, she would come back to them in a year. When she returned, Saint Comgall baptized her and she became known as Saint Muirgen.
Comber Brent Goose : Chosen for Comber to mark the wonderful wildlife spectacle that takes place each year on the shores of Strangford Lough. Each fall, three-quarters of the world’s population of Light-bellied Brent Geese travel from the Canadian High Arctic to Strangford Lough. Attracted here by the nutritious eelgrass which grows in abundance on the rich mudflats at the north end of the lake, they make the shores their winter home.
Waves of Donaghadee : The town’s rich maritime history is evident throughout the town, so the wave sculpture symbolizes the town’s close connection to the sea. As Scotland’s closest port, the town was the main port of the province until the middle of the 19th century and much of the city’s development was the result of ships and navigation.
Holywood Golfer : The city’s rich golfing history dates back over 125 years and this sculpture is designed to celebrate the sporting heritage and the beautiful local golf courses that can be enjoyed in the city. The Royal Belfast became Ireland’s first golf club when it was established in 1881 and the Holywood Golf Club was formed in 1904. In recent years the city has become well known as the home of the world superstar of Ireland. golf, Rory McIlroy who took his first steps at Holywood Golf Club.
Newtownards Spitfire: The design was chosen to celebrate Newtownards long aviation history. Newtownards Airfield was established in 1934 and played a pivotal role during World War II. The Ulster Flying Club, which is based on the site, was founded in 1961 and has evolved into the largest flight school in Northern Ireland.
The living artistic sculptures will remain in place until mid-June.