The Moyle Community Cohesion Project is well underway with six participating villages taking the project from strength to strength.
The villages involved in the programme of sharing and exchange are Cushendun and District Development Association; Carnanmore Community Group; Bushmills Residents and Environmental Forum; The Glens Youth Club; Liscolman Community Association and Mosside Development Group.
By promoting cultural traditions through visual imagery, the villages will link with each other using an artistic tourist trail and share their learning across the wider Moyle District area. Supported by Moyle District Council’s Good Relation’s Strategy the project is funded by the PEACE III Programme and managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the North East PEACE III Partnership.
The villages have now arrived at the decision making stage of the project and through a number of public consultations and meetings have determined what form the artwork will take.
Cushendun and District Development Association (CDDA) actively encouraged community involvement and as a result of this participation, have decided to produce a piece of public art which will symbolise the Fuldiew Stone in Cushendun.
In Ballyvoy, the Carnanmore Community Group held an archaeological and historical session based on Carey, which led to discussions around community identities and how these identities developed through history.
With involvement from the local community, it was decided that the public artwork in Ballyvoy will be a representative feature in the form of metal work and information panels.
It will present a timeline representing key archaeological, historical, cultural and environmental features.
Bushmills Residents and Environmental Forum (BREF) held a number of workshops within the village which provided the opportunity to delve into the history of the Ulster Scots tradition.
BREF were also involved in the Salmon and Whiskey Festival held in September which was a huge tourist attraction for Bushmills.
Chair of BREF said: “I was overwhelmed by the numbers visiting Bushmills during the Salmon and Whiskey Festival.
“it was great to provide an opportunity for the locals and visitors to have their say in this project”.
During this event visitors were able to vote for their preferred piece of artwork which resulted in a feature symbolising a green smiling cow.
This concept was thought to represent the rural area, the farming community, the history of the market in Bushmills and the significance of the smile was to represent how welcoming Bushmills is to its tourists.
The Glens Youth Club participated in sessions over the summer, where the young people created posters highlighting their personal identities.
This allowed the group to understand the meaning of identity and cultural differences.
The final art piece for the Glens Youth Club will be a positive representation of Cushendall, Cushendun and Glenariff.
It will be placed at the new purpose built youth club in Cushendall, and will support inclusion of the young people from each of these three areas.
Liscolman Community Association explored their personal and community identities and discussed how the village could be best represented through art.
The group decided, through public consultation, to celebrate the work of the local Mill which had a huge part to play in the establishment of the village.
The Chairman of Liscolman Community Association said, “Exciting new project, New community Group, and building on previous completed projects it will be good to raise the profile of Liscolman again”.
Mosside Development Group was keen to involve villagers of all ages in the project to ensure ownership and give a representation of the full flavour of the village.
Mosside’s art piece will be expressive of the Ulster Scots traditions and dialect using mosaic which will be representative of focus groups working with the artist.
Now that the final decisions have been made, the next step in the project will be to secure an artist to create the art pieces which will link each village together and develop a cultural tourist product.
During this time the villages will continue to take part in workshops to promote sharing and exchange within the village community.
The villages will participate in a larger workshop that will bring all six together to help promote strong and confident communities and enhance relationships on a cross community basis.
If you would like any further information please contact the Cohesion Officer, Katherine at Moyle District Council 028 2076 2225 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.