Derry Girls to Scary Girls: Mural gets Hallowe’en makeover

The Derry Girls are set to become Scary Girls as a mural of the cast comes to life for the city’s Hallowe’en celebrations.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 2:59 pm
The Derry Girls mural.

Street art organisation UV Arts, who created the tribute to the Channel 4 show on the wall of a local pub, are teaming up with Edinburgh-based arts collective Projector Club to devise an exciting projection mapped installation – where pieces of video and animated content are overlaid onto the wall – for three nights during Derry Halloween.

The installation outside Badgers Bar on Orchard Street will be in place from Monday October 28 to Wednesday October 30 as part of Awakening the Walls, a spectacular free trail of illuminated animations, performances and more along the 400-year-old Derry Walls.

The projection art will reflect this year’s Derry Hallowe’en theme, The Other World Awakens, and is expected to draw on an eclectic range of influences, from the Irish legend of the Morrigan to the Mexican Day of the Dead.

Further details are a closely guarded secret, but the tens of thousands of local and international revellers who descend on the city for the week long Hallowe’en festival can expect to see Erin, Michelle, Clare, Orla and ‘the wee English fella’ as never before.

Donal O’Doherty of UV Arts said: “We’re taking the Derry Girls mural and dressing it up in true Halloween style. It will feature all things Hallowe’en, and a few surprises, but we don’t want to give too much away. It’s mesmerising what can be done with video mapping.”

UV Arts and Projector Club will set up a platform, laptop, specialist animation software and a state-of-the-art 20,000 lumens projector (a normal board room projector has around 2,000 to 3,000 lumens) to create their artwork. Cutting-edge video content and animation will then be overlaid on the characters, and the background of the mural.

Projector Club’s Brian McFeely, whose father is from Derry, and collaborator Ross Blair will travel to Derry this weekend.

“It should look quite magical. We might even change things over the course of the three days and have a bit of a play with it,” said Ross. “You never know what might sneak into the back of the van when we head over on Sunday...

“The work that UV Arts have done is amazing. To be able to add to that in some way is great; we’d like it to be the start of an ongoing relationship with Derry and its vibrant street art scene.”

This year, Derry Girls are expected to be one of the most popular costumes for Hallowe’en.

“Derry Halloween started off along the River Foyle, then expanded into the Guildhall Square, and now the whole city is getting utilised, which is great,” said Donal.

“Everyone takes part, from eight-year-olds to eighty-year-olds. Everybody makes a big effort, families are out in force and it’s a real community feeling.”

Unveiled earlier this year, the Derry Girls artwork has become one of the top tourist attractions in the city, with fans from around the world – and even the stars of the hit comedy show – flocking to take photographs and selfies.

“We knew the Derry Girls mural was going to be popular, but we didn’t predict it to be as insane as it is. I think doing it allowed a lot of people to experience who we are and what we do, and added on to our city’s tradition of murals,” said Donal.

“It’s only a bit of paint, but it’s amazing what something like that can do. We are really grateful to the people of Derry for their support.”

The Derry Hallowe’en programme is organised and funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from the Tourism N. Ireland International Fund.

The festival was voted Best International Experience at the NI Tourism Awards and will run from Saturday October 26 until Friday November 1.

Highlights include the Awakening the Walls trail around the city centre, a Carnival Parade, the Legenderry Hallowe’en food event and of course the fireworks finale.

For more information on Awakening the Walls and Derry Halloween, or follow @DerryHalloween on social media #DerryHalloween.