A barn has been raised at The F.E. McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge, in order to host a public art seminar.
Local artist Paddy Bloomer and his team, erected his art work, The Barn, ‘Ireland’s only nomadic agricultural building’ in the grounds of the Gallery.
Conceived as a temporary event space where the erection of the venue is as important and sociable as the goings on within,
The Barn was originally developed as part of Arts Council of Northern Ireland project delivered by Craigavon Borough Council in 2005.
Since then this temporary structure, which has PVC walls printed to look like rusty corrugated iron, has been erected at several festivals and community events but this was the first time that it has been brought to Banbridge.
On this occasion The Barn was used for a public art seminar organised by the Gallery in connection with the ongoing Banbridge Public Art Commission.
This project, funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, aims to commission a major Strategic Gate Way art work for a site along the north bound carriage way of the A1, adjacent to the F.E. McWilliam Gallery and at the first exit for Banbridge.
After a public competition, four artists Kevin Atherton, Brian Connolly, Locky Morris and Tim Shaw have been short listed to develop proposals for the site.
Once the work is commissioned, funding will be sought to realise the project.
The Banbridge Public Art Seminar was part of the public engagement for this project and brought experts from Belfast, Dublin and London to discuss the value and challenges of public art in its traditional forms and the alternatives possible within the constraints of the commissioning process.
The audience of around 40 students and artists were taken on a bus trip of Banbridge to see the existing sculpture – The War Memorial and The Crozier Monument and the proposed site of the Gateway sculpture.
The Public Art Seminar was the first of a series of public engagement events that will be organised in conjunction with the Banbridge Public Art Commission.