Tourism Ireland today unveiled its Culture Wall in Londonderry – the culmination of a major innovative promotion undertaken by the organisation this year, to celebrate the city’s term as UK City of Culture.
Earlier this year, Tourism Ireland invited its Facebook fans around the world to submit their profile pictures, to create a giant mosaic – online – which would subsequently be used to create a real life piece of art, to be installed in the centre of Londonderry. More than 27,000 people from across the globe responded – from the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as from closer to home, including Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Scandinavia and the Netherlands – uploading their profile pic through a specially-created Culture Wall app.
These Facebook profile pictures were then placed in the hands of local artist Domnall Starkie, who has transformed them into a magnificent – and impressive (the wall measures 18 metres by five) – example of wall art on the Primark building in Market Street.
Tourism Ireland’s objectives in creating the Culture Wall were twofold: to raise awareness around the world of Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture and the wonderful programme of events taking place throughout 2013; and secondly, to build on the legacy of this special year for the city, into 2014 and beyond – Tourism Ireland aims to get those Facebook fans around the world to book that trip and come and visit the city. An email invitation will be sent to the fans, inviting them to visit in 2014, to see themselves on the Culture Wall.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This unique creation has been a fantastic way to raise awareness of this special year around the world, enabling people near and far to take part in the City of Culture celebrations, as well as providing a wonderful legacy of the year. Domnall Starkie has managed to encapsulate the vibrancy and energy of the city, helping to encourage many more visitors from around the world to come here in 2014 and beyond.”
Niall Gibbons continued: “Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture has been a major focus of Tourism Ireland’s promotions throughout 2013. The City of Culture programme provided a tremendous ‘hook’ to shine a spotlight on Londonderry and Northern Ireland around the world – particularly high profile events like the Fleadh Cheoil, the Return of Colmcille festival, Lumiere and the Turner Prize exhibition. Tourism Ireland’s Culture Wall will be an important element of our overall programme to build on the legacy of Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture in 2014 and beyond.”
Explaining the artwork, Domnall Starkie said: “The graphic sunrise in vibrant colours symbolises a fresh, new dawn for the city, as we look towards the future full of hope and possibility. The oak tree branch symbolises the city and revitalised growth, along with the singing robin that embodies the great spirit of the people and their tenacity to achieve positive new things. The Peace Bridge stands as a beacon of stability and also represents continued community cohesion.”
Artist Domnall Starkie; Mayor Martin Reilly; and Brian Twomey, Tourism Ireland, at the unveiling of Tourism Ireland’s Culture Wall on the Primark building in Market Street, Londonderry.
For further media information, contact:
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 07766 527719
Notes to editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 40,000 jobs.
• By the end of 2013, an estimated 1.789 million overseas visitors will have come to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately £438 million.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is ireland.com, which is rolling out in 11 different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.