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Living Sculptures Installed in Ards and North Down

Five ‘living sculptures’ have been installed in Ards and North Down, giving residents in the Borough an opportunity to consider and celebrate our local history and culture.

Part-funded by the Department for Communities and agreed with the Town Centre Recovery Groups, the thought-provoking sculptures were created and installed by landscaper Eoghan Riordan of Sequoia Design, who took part in the Netflix series, ‘The Big Flower Fight’.

Located in Bangor, Comber, Donaghadee, Holywood and Newtownards, the living sculptures are created with living, growing grasses, vines, plants or trees. These unique, horticultural creations will grow and mature over the coming weeks and are individually themed to represent a key aspect of the history, culture or folklore of each town.

Bangor Mermaid

Captivating maritime tales and nautical legends are often connected with the seaside town of Bangor. This sculpture is inspired by the story of Saint Muirgen, which dates back to the 6th century. Legend has it that monks who had been sent to Rome to deliver a message by Saint Comgall (who founded a monastery in Bangor known as the Bangor Mor) caught a mermaid named Liban in a fishing net while at sea. She promised that if they set her free, she would return to them in one year. When she did return, Saint Comgall baptised her and she became known as Saint Muirgen.

Comber Brent Goose

The Brent Goose design was chosen for Comber to mark the wonderful wildlife spectacle that takes place every year on the shores of Strangford Lough. Each autumn, three quarters of the world’s population of light-bellied brent geese travel from High Arctic Canada to Strangford Lough. Attracted here by the nutritious eelgrass which grows abundantly on the rich mudflats at the northern end of the lough, they make the shores their winter home.

Donaghadee Waves

Donaghadee’s rich maritime history is evident throughout the town so the Wave sculpture symbolises the town’s strong connection to the sea. As the nearest port to Scotland, the town was the province’s principal port until the middle of the 19th century and much of the town’s development resulted from ships and shipping. On a clear day the views across to Scotland are clear and uninterrupted.

Holywood Golfer

Holywood has a rich golfing history, dating back over 125 years, so this sculpture is designed to celebrate the sporting heritage and wonderful local golf courses that can be enjoyed in the town. The Royal Belfast became Ireland’s first golf club when it was established in 1881 and Holywood Golf Club was formed in 1904. In more recent years, the town has become well known as the home of global golf superstar, Rory McIlroy, who took his first swings at Holywood Golf Club.

Newtownards Spitfire

The Spitfire design was chosen to celebrate the long aviation history of Newtownards. Newtownards Airfield was established in 1934 and held a crucial role during the Second World War. The Ulster Flying Club (UFC), which is based at the site, was founded in 1961 and has evolved to become Northern Ireland's largest flying school.

The artistic living sculptures will remain in place until mid-June. For more information, visit ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/livingsculptures.

 

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