Artichoke’s Temple almost funded

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One of David Best’s previous Temple structures, pictured burning following its completion.

Ending at 11am today, Friday 31st October, the team who were behind last year’s hugely successful Lumiere festival need £30,000 to facilitate the event, which will see a huge temple constructed and then burnt.

As of yesterday, there was £3,000 still to raise, while over 500 people had pledged in excess of £26,000.

The idea originates in the ‘Burning Man’ festival, where each year a team of volunteers, under David’s direction, build a beautiful temple made out of recycled plywood. Over the course of the festival, messages and mementos are added to the temple’s walls before the structure is burned to the ground, with optimism and hope for the future rising from the ashes.

Speaking about the project, the Artichoke Trust Director, Helen Marriage said, “When I was programming Lumiere in 2013, I learnt about the traditions that surround bonfire burning in the city and that inspired me to invite David to create something with the community there.

“Bonfires still play a particular part in Derry’s history. They can be seen as a historic celebration of community identity, or as a hostile act against those from a different tradition. We wanted to change how people in Derry feel about bonfires and burning, and bring the whole community together to build a beautiful shared space, offering a moment of catharsis and release when it is set alight.”

If they reach the target Helen explained how people can get involved.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the kind offers of help we’ve already had for this project, not just from people living in Derry but across the world.

“There will be lots of opportunities for people to get involved: young people will get the chance to learn new skills in cutting panels at the Nerve Centre’s Fablab, and schools students will get the chance to design some of them.

“Over 100 individuals will be involved in raising the temple: we’ll be recruiting out-of-work builders and running a voluntary training scheme. We’ll also need volunteer “Temple Guardians” to help maintain the safety of the site and its structure.

“We’re very interested to know what skills people would like to bring to the project — so far we’ve heard from an electrician in New York and a carpenter in Derry, as well as many others, so please get in touch if you want to be involved!”

If you want to donate funds to help bring the project to Derry you can pledge an amount at www.