Breathtaking new sculpture for Bessbrook

Posted by
info@newrytimes.com
Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
Community
“Know ye the fame of the bright little river, Which floweth through Bessbrook from moorland and lea, Between blue waving flax-flowers and rushes which quiver, He runs his short course from the lake to the sea.” bessbrook9 This is the opening verse of “The Ballad of Camlough River”, by James N Richardson, which was used as inspiration when designing the sculpture for the mill pond. Last week saw the launch of Bessbrook s Flax Flower sculpture by artist Alan Burke. This opening verse sets the scene of the origins of Camlough river. The river that flows from Camlough lake, born of fire and ice, to be harnessed at Bessbrook pond to power the mill in Bessbrook, which in turn drove the local economy, forging communities and a social scene that survives to this day. Key to this all is the flax plant. Without it, the river may have ran its course to the sea largely unmentioned. The production, processing and eventual weaving of the fibre from this plant is why the river rose to fame. The geography of the area, the quality of the water and the ability to grow flax locally, conspired to grow the linen industry in the locality of Bessbrook. The artwork also has a woven pattern fabricated into its structure representative of the linen industry which used the flax as its raw material. This was also used to form the basis of a community project with local schools that highlights the woven and intertwined nature of different communities within the area. Reminding each other of the common ground of a shared history and heritage. 8At the launch Chairperson Councillor Naomi Bailie said, “It’s said that Art has the ability to reach across boundaries, inspiring, teaching and bringing people together, this project has shown that is true with people from all ages and backgrounds coming together for these two pieces of art in Bessbrook and Camlough. “We know that art makes a positive difference to communities and I am very happy to be here today to launch the latest, and hopefully not the last, public art for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.” The public art is part of The Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership, a Heritage Lottery Fund programme to conserve and enhance some of the region’s most treasured landscapes. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council are managing the £1.4 million programme. Rosemary Mulholland, Chairperson of the Bessbrook Heritage Group said, “With the demise of linen production in the mid 1900s, fields of blue-flowered flax no longer appear in our countryside. Most people have never seen the one plant which was essential to the creation of villages like Bessbrook. She added, “This amazing sculpture will be a constant reminder and celebration of the flax which was grown throughout the Bessbrook and Camlough areas, spun and woven here in the Mill and exported all over the world.” Attendees at the launch were given a special preview of short films by local company Slack Press about the two pieces of public art. They are available at www.ringofgullion.org This project was part-financed by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme managed by the SEUPB; the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; and the International Fund for Ireland’

Would you like to advertise your business on Newry Times and reach thousands of people every day? Contact the Newry Times office on 028 4062 6520 or email Paul: editor@newrytimes.com

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

-->

This website does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on 16/01/2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact Newry Times by emailing editor@newrytimes.com

Log in