Durkan calls for support for People’s Gallery

Local MP Mark Durkan has called for the Bogside Artists to be awarded proper funding to keep their People’s Gallery open.

The gallery, on ‘Aggro Corner’ at Rossville Street, is set to close the doors for the final time this coming Friday.

Mr Durkan said that it’s regrettable that the lack of sustainable funding has forced the Bogside Artists into this sad decision.

“Their work has been internationally recognised as well as being locally appreciated as a very effective expression of turbulent community experiences,” he said.

“People will find it hard to understand how an artistic group whose work is so iconic have to fold up when Derry is building up to its year as the City of Culture.

“The landmark work of these artists is part of the tourism trail here and so represents an economic asset which helps to contribute to the economy and pay people.

“I have helped to secure elements of financial support for the Bogside Artists as authentic community artists free of political control and offering outreach in terms of both reconciliation and education.

“While such lobbying and the quality of their own efforts has secured grant aid for some time, they have not been afforded the sort of sustainable core support they need and many others would expect.”

Meanwhile the Bogside Artists have renewed their appeal for businesses in the city centre to donate premises to house their art work.

The trio of muralists - brothers Tom and Will Kelly and Kevin Hasson - have called on all the major parties and Derry City Council to help the major tourist attraction keep their doors open.

One business owner from the Strand Road, answered last week’s Derry Journal appeal and has donated a small room to house their artwork.