“A Terrible Beauty is Born”. (Yeats).
“Many people believe that Derry, Northern Ireland’s second city, now surpasses Belfast as a mural display centre.” This is a quote from Northern Ireland Visitors Journal which is written to give tourists the facts they need. It is a fact that is unlikely to be contested.
It is a fact that is due entirely to the industry of The Bogside Artists who, over the years since 1994 have produced the eleven murals that make up The People’s Gallery. Only one of these murals remains to be completed. This will be called The People’s Mural. The Gallery, unique in the world, brings in a very great number of people to the city and helping to establish Derry as one of the must-see cities in Ireland.
Virtually all of the murals were painted thanks to donations from the ordinary people of The Bogside. Recently the council of the city have taken an interest in the gallery and have subsidised their refurbishment.
The Following is a small example of what is said about the artists.
“The Bogside murals are splendid examples of original, popular and imaginative political art of the period and deservedly attract great interest from tourists and locals alike.” (The Guildhall Press).
“The Bogside Artists have made a marked contribution with this work, and their particularly strong images linger long in the memory. ” (Prof. Sheehan, ACU. Sydney, Australia).
“The contribution made by the Bogside Artists in recording the events of the last thirty years through their wall murals cannot be overstated. The artistic creativity and clarity of their message is to be commended.” (Gerry Adams, MLA, MP).
I am amazed at the outstanding quality of this artwork.” (John Hume, MLA, MP).
“There is definitely something special about these murals as there is simpley nothing like them anywhere else in the world.” (Student, Hannah Orrock, Australia).
“The Bogside Artists are sharing their history and art with people around the world.” (Laurie Callahan, Marymount University).
“Their works is a worthy record of the people’s struggle for social justice and civil rights. ” (Ian Hunter, Director of Projects Environment).
“The Bogside murals are the most popular murals in Northern Ireland, and the most prominent political murals in the world.” (Author of “… atuk.co.uk”)
“The works are a moving testament to the power of art as historical document; the importance of documentation within the history of art, and the power of art within society; a creative process that situates the past as something we must acknowledge within the present, and from which we can draw strength.” (Author of “… irishsocieties.org”).
“The Bogside now has an attraction that rivals the city walls”. (ex-mayor Gerry O’Hara) “Theri murals expressed the fears and memories of the people and, in so doing, assisted them in their struggle for human and civil rights, for peace and for justice.” (Eoin Murray writer and human rights activist based in Gaza).
“Among the world’s most famous muralists are Diego Rivera, David Álfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco, Bogside Artists and Gert Neuhaus.” (Melanie Phillips, artist, Wales).