The project targeted a dreary and uninspiring pedestrian entrance to residents homes in Dundarave Estate, something that had been an issue and objective for the local community group, the Bushmills Residents & Environmental Forum. They say a picture paints a thousand words so the slide show of the below and after should convey the need that existed for improvement.
Meetings took place between the Bushmills Residents & Environmental Forum and stakeholders; Housing Executive, National Trust, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council, Bushmills Trust and National Trust. All agreed to contribute and play a part in addressing the issue.
BEFORE & AFTER
The security fence was removed, environmental planting and a new access path created to the rear of the 'Alphabet Angel', the walls and building were painted. The path theme of the sculpture (another community project from 2004) was continued in new paving to the side and from of the Visitor Information Centre. An artist developed the theme and produce artworks and inspirational quotations for the wall of the Visitor Information Centre (formerly the community library), two public benches provided new rest points for residents. Twenty four young people participated in a series of art workshops supported by volunteers. A general make over of the area in front of the Visitor Information Centre took place and the work of the young people produced on large art panels.
Why Octavia Hill?
1. Two organsations involved in the project recognise her as their inspiration and co-founder:- The Housing Executive and the National Trust, she also links through her early provision of playgrounds, community halls and libraries to local authorities who today hold that responsibility. 2. Her legacy still touches the lives of millions of people on a daily basis. 3. In the 'Year of the Women' she is an inspiring and much overlooked female of that period. 4. The pedestrian entrance creates and open space leads to social housing, something Octavia Hill believed in and pioneered. 5. In our fragile society today, her example of genuine community involvement is something we need more of.
ANIMATED VIDEO OF ARTWORK