16 Dec 2004

THE Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Nigel Williams, today (Thursday) officially unveils public artwork which gives a unique perspective on life in Northern Ireland.
After open competition earlier this year, artist Martina Galvin worked with over 50 children and young people from community and youth groups from across Northern Ireland.

Each young person used a disposable camera to take informal portraits of each-other, self portraits and images of where they live.

The final artwork hangs in a 10 ft square space at the entrance of the Commissioner's office and is made up of 80 images of children and young people from across Northern Ireland.

Nigel Williams said of final artwork;

“When I first took up post last year, one of my first tasks was to find a suitable office. I always envisaged a piece of public art displayed at the entrance with children and young people at the heart of its creation.

“Martina Galvin has done a fantastic job of encouraging the participation of young people in the development of this work and has given us a wonderful representation of children and young people from Northern Ireland.

"I hope that all who visit the offices of the commissioner will enjoy looking at the range of faces and images of young people- created by young people”

Conor Fitzpatrick one of the young judges of the artwork, and member of NICCY’s youth panel, said of Martina’s work;

"What I like about the artwork is that all the images used represent young people from various ethnic backgrounds in Northern Ireland, into one piece of work. It includes everybody."

Martina Galvin said of the experience;

"When I gave the young people their own disposable cameras and brief guidance, I encouraged them to capture whatever images they wanted on the day. I was impressed with their natural creativity and eye for a great photograph. They then helped me choose the best images for the final artwork, so I have the young people to thank for the final composition."

Notes for Editors:

  • Groups that participated with the artwork project included; Arts Disability Group at the Crescent Arts Centre Belfast; East Belfast Community Group Belfast ; Indian Community Group, Belfast; Culturlann, Belfast; The Fountain Centre Community Group, L'Derry
  • The artwork image was used on the cover of the Commissioner's Christmas card this year.
  • The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People is independent of Government and acts to promote and safeguard the rights and best interests of children and young people in Northern Ireland.
  • Further details on the role of the Commissioner can be found here on the NICCY website.