Artwork in memory of Thomas Devlin

Penny and Jim Devlin beneath new artwork The Permanent Present at the MAC, Belfast
Penny and Jim Devlin beneath new artwork The Permanent Present at the MAC, Belfast

THOMAS Devlin was murdered on August 10, 2005, just 200 yards from his north Belfast home.

The 15-year-old had been on his way home after buying sweets with his friends when he was fatally stabbed in an unprovoked attack.

Nigel Brown and Gary Taylor were found guilty of Thomas’s murder and are now serving life sentences.

The Thomas Devlin Fund, set up by Thomas’s parents, aims to promote awareness of the effects and impact of gratuitous violence against young people in Northern Ireland.

The fund has now linked up with artist Mark Garry to create a piece of artwork entitled The Permanent Present, now on display in the MAC.

“The piece is a spectrum or sequence of colours made up of 400 lines of wire that travel through the building’s central atrium space,” says Mark.

“It activates the space in a particular way.

“I wanted to make something neutral, something that was a mixture of spectacle and empathy.”

The Mullingar-born artist describes his work in this medium as “hopeful”.

“For me it’s not about making a point so much as opening up an imaginative space, opening up possibilities.”

Thomas Devlin’s parents, Penny and Jim, said: “Young people use music and the arts to express themselves and it is our belief that creative expression can effect change in people’s lives.

“The MAC embodies change and new hope for the future, which are ideals that we share.

“The MAC’s commitment to working with young people across the arts made it the obvious location for us to to commission this stunning and thought provoking work by Mark Garry.”

Chief executive of the MAC Anne McReynolds added: “We wanted to commission an artwork that would comment on the Thomas Devlin Fund’s commitment to highlighting the futility of violence as well as the hopes and aspirations of our young people.”

See The Permanent Present - A Sculptural Commission by Mark Garry on display at the MAC, Belfast.