Thursday, November 29, 2007

Local democracy in action – Spirit of Belfast polls heavily for pride of place in Arthur Square

Did you vote in Belfast’s latest election? Vote online? Went along to the Lagan Lookout to cast your ballot in person?

Up against competition from the upside-down wind-chime and a giant spoon, the steel squiggle has won its place in the newly tarmacked Cornmarket Arthur Square.

Spirit of Belfast - artist's impression

Spirit of Belfast won with 46.6% of the vote – a sizeable mandate in these parts – leaving Dancing Tree on 28.8% and Phoenix Rising just behind on 24.6%.

As described back in October:

Spirit of Belfast - four curved stainless steel squiggles, complete with “a ribbon of light provided by very energy-efficient light emitting diodes” whose “intensity, color [sic] and movement will be programmed as called for by events, the time of day ... or special celebrations within the city”. It intends to become “the hearth of our city centre”, drawing people to its interactivity as it weaves together steel and reminds of us of the fabric (linen) of our history.

The artist and sculptor Dan George will now see the £200k fund used to install his creation at one of the major entrances to the new Victoria Square complex. Commenting that the sculpture's materials should reflect Belfast's history, Dan said:

"I wanted the coloured lighting to reflect the texture and lightness of linen, while the metal reflects the strength and beauty of shipbuilding."

Hopefully there will be some money left over to rip up the tarmac and put down proper paving again. Update - Thu 6 Mar - and they got the paving fixed just in time for the opening of Victoria Square ... though it'll be partially ripped up again to install The Squiggle.

Update - September 2009 - It's finally being installed.


Timothy Belmont said...

Call me an old-fashioned reactionary but, having seen photos of what Arthur Square used to look like around 1900, it was orderly, dignified and even had room for a roundabout. Why shouldn't we have a Victorian theme? Belfast is a Victorian city. Everything must be modernized these days; just see that ghastly extension to the Grand Opera House. Claridges & the Ritz will be next! I think our streets would look smarter with a Victorian flavour (set-squares, lamp-posts etc).

Anonymous said...

As with everyting in the city, the spides will wreck it.

ruthEbabes said...

I did vote for this one thinking it was the best of a bad lot.

I'm with the earl... a victorian replacement would have ben far better.

Anonymous said...

No accounting for tastes eh? It looks like it should be in chav central, or The Odyssey as some still refer to it.