Flashpoint mural gets makeover

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By Rebecca Black

newsdesk@newsletter.co.uk

A FLASHPOINT mural has been transformed to celebrate famous people who hail from the area.

The new artwork - at the junction of Alliance Road and Alliance Parade in north Belfast - was unveiled yesterday.

Around five years ago, the mural was changed from a large UFF sign to an Ulster-Scots themed art piece.

The new painting was created by Italian artist Daniela Balmaverde. It features Olympic boxer Wayne McCullough, Dame Mary Peters and flautist Sir James Galway, and also includes iconic images of the city, including the Titanic, the Floral Hall and Belfast Castle.

Lord Mayor Naomi Long paid tribute to the hard work of the artist as well as the local community.

“It is a big responsibility for any artist to capture the identity of local people like this but I think the project has been very successful,” she said.

“She (the artist) has captured something positive about the area and about this neighbourhood that both the people living in the area, as well as people visiting, can enjoy

“It looks amazing and it is a complete transformation from political to cultural.”

Jim Potts, from the Upper Ardoyne Community Empowerment Partnership, who coordinated the project on behalf of the Arts Council and Belfast City Council, said he was “delighted” with the finished mural.

“I hope that some of our older residents will take pleasure in the memories that it evokes,” he said.

“The kids got involved through their youth club and loved being able to help create the mural they will see every day.”

The artwork is part of the ongoing “Re-imaging Communities” programme and is the fifth of 11 re-imaging schemes to be completed. The other six are expected to be finished by the end of September.

Projects already completed in the last month include ceramic mosaics on one of the city’s first peace walls at Bryson Street in the Short Strand; a new mural, inspired by Tom Kerr’s poem, “The Sky”, in Conway Street; 10 new murals, replacing former paramilitary ones, in the lower Shankill; and a new mural in Donegall Pass commemorating the Battle of the Somme.