Play your part in completing one of Belfast’s largest pieces of public art at a wonderful Winter Picnic which takes place this Saturday, 2nd March from 1pm to 4pm with hot food, music, art and free admission for all the family.

Join Arts Ekta, organisers of the Belfast Mela as they encourage everyone to work alongside local artists to help complete ‘Silkscapes’ a 50 metre piece of public art made entirely from waxed silk panels, in a live painting spectacle celebrating Belfast stories of home and belonging. Plus there’s live music, dance, hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows, art workshops, street entertainment and a mini fun fair.

Councillor Deirdre Hargey, Lord Mayor of Belfast said:

“Engaging communities in projects like this is so important in fostering a vibrant, thriving city where diversity is celebrated though arts and culture. We want as many people as possible to participate in arts and heritage activities right across the city, and that’s one of the reasons Council is currently developing a cultural strategy; to nurture and grow this sector and, as a result, enrich the lives of our citizens and build on the city’s growing reputation as a tourist destination.

“Arts Ekta is an organisation that demonstrates and supports this vision, and I’m delighted that Council has supported this initiative through its Y(Our) Home community arts programme. This looks set to be a really fun event for all the family and I’d encourage people to come along and join in the celebrations.”

Nisha Tandon, Executive Director, Arts Ekta which is organising the Winter Picnic said:

“Our Winter Picnic is all about celebrating the diverse communities which make up South Belfast. Participants have been coming together over the past months in a series of workshops to engage, discuss, explore the surroundings of south Belfast, its diverse communities, its history and express their hopes for the future of their area.

“The participants have been working with an artist in residence to translate their ideas into visual designs, symbols and motifs that will form the panels of this silk piece.  Now we want to encourage as many people as possible to come along and take part in our live painting workshops at the Winter Picnic putting their very own stamp on Silkscapes which will become one of Belfast’s largest ever pieces of temporary public art.”

Arts Ekta is working with four organisations from South Belfast which includes an intergenerational group from Ballynafeigh Community Development Association; a women’s group from the Donegall Pass Community Centre; young people from An Droichead Irish Language School and asylum seekers and refugees from Homeplus. Each group has developed their own interpretation of Home whether it relates to family, place or migration journeys to Belfast.

The Belfast Winter Picnic and public art showpiece is supported by Belfast City Council through the Y(our) Home Pilot Projects.

Silkscapes has been designed in collaboration with a visual arts collective including local artists with Jane Butler, Elaine Taylor and Bridget Pullen.

Admission is free of charge, no booking required. Entry is subject to available capacity.

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