Woman’s face spotted in ‘Temple’ flames

Gerry Temple's photos of the 'Lady's Face' staring out from the flames durning the burning of 'Temple'.
Gerry Temple's photos of the 'Lady's Face' staring out from the flames durning the burning of 'Temple'.
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A Derry photographer might have come face-to-face with the supernatural on Saturday when a photo he took appeared to show the face of a woman staring out from the flames of Dave Best’s ‘Temple’.

The ceremonial burning of ‘Temple’ took place at around 8pm. Thousands of onlookers attempted to capture the magnificent site of the burning structure in Kelly’s field on the Corrody Road but when Derry man, Gerry Temple, looked over his images when he went home he got a bit of a fright.

“People could see many shapes when watching the big fire but when I checked my photos when I got home I could see the face of lady staring back at me.

“I posted the photo on Facebook and people started commenting on it. I don’t for one minute think there’s anything to the photo but I just thought it was interesting.”

Some other photographers claimed to have snapped images resembling a fire breathing dragon and angels emanating from the flames on Saturday but Gerry said the true value of ‘Temple’ was in the messages left inside the structure by the people before it was set on fire.

“Personally, I have struggled all my life with the memory of seeing a soldier shot dead in Derry. It’s a nightmare that has haunted me my entire life. One of the memories I had was of a girl dancing with joy after the death of the soldier.

“I met the man behind ‘Temple’, Dave Best, at the site and told him about my memory. Dave suggested I use ‘Temple’ to try and move past it.

“So I wrote a message and put it into the structure to be burned with all the other messages. My message simply read ‘bye bye dancing girl - no more nightmares’.”

It’s been reported that it cost £300,000 to stage ‘‘Temple’ and despite some thinking the amount excessive, Gerry said, in his opinion, it was money well spent.

“When you compare ‘Temple’ to something like the Turner Prize you soon realise that for £300,000 it was a steal.

It has been a very special and unforgettable experience for me and my crew

Dave Best - ‘Temple’ artist

“People from virtually every walk of life were involved and I thought it was absolutely amazing. Congratulations to everyone involved,” he said.

‘Temple’ by Dave Best took two years to organise and six weeks to build; it attracted in excess of 60,000 visitors inside one week.

The project was produced by Artichoke and and supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland and a raft of partners, sponsors and individual donors.

“The temple was for everyone to use as they wanted, for healing, celebration and commemoration.

“It has been a very special and unforgettable experience for me and my crew.” said artist, Dave Best.