Exhibition of extraordinary Temple project

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Following the success of the Temple project earlier this year, Hillcrest House and Artichoke are celebrating the event with an exhibition of photographs by Matthew Andrews.

Temple was a radical cross-community arts project, conceived and produced by Artichoke, that set out to demonstrate the transformative power of the arts. It was supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland and a raft of partners, sponsors and individual donors.

Artichoke brought Burning Man artist David Best and his American crew to Derry to build a temple together with more than 100 local people from across the city.

The 75ft high structure took six weeks to build and was constructed from birch plywood, laser-cut to Best’s original and intricate design.

The project created opportunities for local people to learn new skills through apprenticeships, a back-to-work scheme and voluntary training programme. A special frieze around the roof of Temple was made of panels created by schools and community groups inspired by Best’s design.

Matthew Andrews, who works regularly with Artichoke, helped document the project.

The story of Derry’s Temple went around the world. During the week it was open to the public, more than 60,000 people visited and left behind personal messages, mementoes and symbols of peace.

A further 15,000 people watched as the wooden structure was burned to the ground on the night of 21st March.

Geraldine O’Donnell, community representative at the Hillcrest Trust said, “Following on from the success of Temple we at Hillcrest Trust are delighted that Artichoke are once again coming back to the Top of the Hill for the opening of the photographic exhibition by Matthew Andrews.

“The exhibition will showcase the extraordinary event that was held in our community and celebrates the success of the Temple project. We look forward to residents and some of the many visitors who came to visit Temple returning to relive their experience.”

Artichoke Director Helen Marriage agrees, and now she is hatching a new plan for Top of the HIll. “The Temple project set out to create a shared space that welcomed everyone. And it succeeded. We were overwhelmed by how the people of this city responded to Temple and made it their own with their contributions.

“Standing on Top of the Hill on the night of the burn, it struck me that together with the local community we could make something really special here, something permanent, that would continue this process of transformation that Temple began. It’s something I want to start to explore with people here.”

The exhibition will be at Hillcrest House, Top of the Hill, BT47 2DZ from Thursday 6th - Friday 14th August from Monday to Friday every day from 10am-4pm.