This project entitled ‘The Crossing Point’ by the artist Tim Ward has been organised by the Ballyconnell Building Peace through the Arts steering committee and funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. This committee comprises of representatives of community groups including the heritage committee and the community council. The project in its entirety aims to create an artwork of excellence, an enduring symbol of the locality and a collective project to promote peace and integration in the Ballyconnell area. This project is a large steel water sculpture with a carved stone ‘bridge’ top, incorporating ancient and modern stories of Ballyconnell and mounted on a circular paved area with semi-circular bench seating. The piece is future-focused promoting an understanding and awareness of political, social and religious sensitivities that were prevalent in this area. This consultation process considered all five of the Building Peace through the Arts- Re-Imaging Communities Programme themes - community cohesion, regeneration through the arts, positive relations at local level, peace and reconciliation, and connecting communities. Stage one was delivered by the artist Rita Duffy and over her consultation stage she engaged with 73 locals.
Tim Ward/ Circling the Square, artist was selected for stage 2 to deliver this piece of public art after extensive national advertisement. He provided workshops at Scoil Bhríd, Ballyconnell and the Central National School. Tim held a public consultation at the Market House, Ballyconnell displaying drawings of his work and also the artwork from the children to encourage an understanding of his art piece. A full day of consultation took place in Ballyconnell the 17 of March 2015. Tony Connolly, chair of the BPttA steering committee has worked with committee members since February 2014 to ensure that the community of Ballyconnell has the best possible piece of public art to represent the history and aspirations of the people of Ballyconnell.
This project is a partnership between Building Peace through the Arts steering committee, Cavan County Council, and our funders the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Bríd O’ Reilly, member of the steering committee said ‘We received great guidance from Sean Keenan and Deirdre Robb at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland who guided us through this process over the last two years. We were very pleased to have a professional recording of the history stories of Ballyconnell to incorporate in The Crossing Point.’
Tony says ‘I am delighted with the work that Tim Ward has carried out and I very much look forward to The Crossing Point on The Market Square. I believe that this work and enhancement of the Square by Cavan County Council will benefit our town creating a beautiful civic amenity at its heart. We also worked with Kevin and Shane O’ Connor to record local actors and voices from our Church and Community choirs with key stories and hymns that have their origins in Ballyconnell. We are delighted to have worked closely with the two national schools who will also play a key role on Thursday the 25 of June at the launch of the project. I would like to extend an invitation to the entire community to join us at 11am on Thursday the 25 of June for the official launch.’
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The Crossing Point Ballyconnell Building Peace through the Arts