Young people have designs on bonfire wood

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Volunteers from a project aimed at challenging preconceptions, have made a design piece from palettes normally associated with bonfires.

The Spontaneous Space Challenge, led by Derry born architect and designer Joanna Doherty and including a group of ten local volunteers, took 99 palettes salvaged from various scrapyards and building sites and created an archway in front of the city’s Verbal Arts centre.

“It was a full on, exciting experience as we fought against the clock to get this ready in time but I am over the moon with the result and would like to thank the volunteers for their incredible effort as I could not have done this without them,” Joanna said.

“We wanted to create a temporary art piece that people could enjoy while also challenging preconceptions and I hope, to some extent we achieved that.”

Joanna was inspired to take on the project after initially looking to get involved in 72 Hour Urban Action – an urban architecture competition that was planned to come to the city this summer but has been postponed until 2014.

“I loved the concept of 72 Hour Urban Action – transforming run down or disused areas through temporary interventions – and was really disappointed when I learnt that it had been postponed so when Voluntary Arts Ireland offered some support for my idea I jumped at the chance!”

The group spent three intense days meticulously planning, designing and building an eight foot high palette archway which people could then walk through and even had some seating inside.

They then invited the public to enjoy the new space with a grand unveiling taking part on Friday evening with the archway open to the public on Saturday before it was taken down again.

The Spontaneous Space Challenge was supported by Our City of Culture – an initiative of Voluntary Arts Ireland and the Verbal Arts Centre which invites local people to put on creative events or performances in during 2013. For more information on getting involved in the events please call Tony Carlin, Voluntary Arts Ireland Information Officer, on 02871 272501.