The outstretched hands of Derry’s world famous Hands Across the Divide sculpture were united for a few hours this week - and it’s all part of a new artwork by Syrian conceptual artist Khaled Barakeh.
Barakeh is creating a cast of the gap that exists between the hands in the Hands Across the Divide sculpture and in doing so, he created the illusion of the hands actually touching for a time.
The completed artwork will now be exhibited in the Imagined Communities exhibition opening at the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast.
“The sculpture in Carlisle Square, ‘Hands Across the Divide’ by Maurice Harron, where two figures stand side by side but aren’t touching has inspired my new art work!”
“They are about to shake hands - this sums up the general feeling I have being here in Northern Ireland: The two sides, are close to meeting, if not embracing, at least recognising the humanity of each other - but are not quite there yet, they are one city, divided, not only by a river, but by ideologies and pain,” inspired artist Khaled Barakeh said of the project.
“From my own background, I am aware of the differences that can cause turmoil between and within peoples, but I have become so surprised by the culture of division that still exists in modern Northern Ireland.
“The double naming of the Derry~Londonderry, the separate housing, schools, taxi companies, are a mimesis of the other, replicas of the same, only in different colours.
The fascinating artist, who is here working with the Playhouse ICAN project, will be based in Derry for the next month.
For further information on the project, contact Elaine Forde: firstname.lastname@example.org.