07th April 2011
The Best Things in Life Art Free
There was an unusual one-day art exhibition on Lagan Legacy’s Barge on the 12th March 2011. Called ‘It’s Yours Take It’, the artists were giving away their works of art – free!
Curator, Portavogie artist Alice Burns, explained that IYTI is a worldwide artists’ collective which holds regular exhibitions where everything on show – posters, paintings, embroidery, photographs – is offered gratis to whoever wants it. We wondered if the paintings were unwanted leftovers from an art boot sale? Might the photographs be the result of a bad day in the dark room? But you don’t look gift-art in the mouth, so Lagan Legacy agreed to host the exhibition.
When it opened, the Barge was ablaze with all sorts of art works – on the walls, on the floor, on panels, and adorning tables and chairs. Smiling art lovers wandered thoughtfully around the exhibition, stepping delicately over posters, lifting embroidered lacework, holding prints to the light for closer observation. A warm fusion of joy and incredulity shone from every face. There was a set of ceramic cufflinks; hand illustrated poetry pamphlets; screen prints and flash art.
“The artists are so generous,” said Dave from Carrickfergus, holding a colourful caricature he’d just acquired entitled Mojo the Musician. “Someone has spent a lot of time painting this. I love the colours, the style and the imagery.” There was a painted lady and a cartoon face of a man in a cap, various shades of blue and yellow. “They’re by Sammo,” explained curator Alice Burns. “His proper name is Sam Morrison, an artist who lives somewhere near Lake Michigan.” Alice said that the art came from all over the world – Mexico, Finland, the UK, Germany, and of course Northern Ireland. There was a little girl eyeing up an embroidered cloth doll, decorated with sequins. A lady left the Barge clutching a large colour print of a lighthouse.“This is a great idea,” enthused Belfast art-photographer John Baucher, who had donated several works to the exhibition. “I’ll be taking a few things home,” he added, which seemed like a fair deal. “We don’t cater for everyone’s tastes in art,” explained Alice, who’d encountered two people leaving empty handed, “they come here, and they get what they see.” She photographed her happy customers with their works of art but “no questions are asked, no names are written down, no addresses are taken. We just give them the art if they want it.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if IYTI became infectious, and spread from art venues to other establishments like petrol stations, supermarkets, and - the mind boggles - pubs! The little girl skipped down the gangway on her way home, smiling broadly, clutching a beautifully embroidered cloth doll, its sequins sparkling in the winter sun.
More information on IYTI on http://www.flickr.com/groups/itsyourstakeit/
07th April 2011
An Unexpected French Connection
With the 100th anniversary of RMS Titanic’s launch looming closer on the 31st May, 2011 a number of Belfast people have been coming aboard Lagan Legacy’s Barge with stories passed down the generations about Titanic. They tell us about their great and greater grandfathers who worked on the construction of Belfast’s best-known vessel. We get lots of reminiscences too about many the other ships that were launched in Belfast. But we didn’t expect any Lagan memories to emerge from France, as happened a few weeks ago.
Mr. Evon Sellier from Paris arrived on board and asked us if we had any information about a pilot boat on the river Lagan during WWII called the Albert Faroult. It came from his hometown, Le Havre, and Evon is hoping to compile the vessel’s history.
“I lived most of my life seeing her nearly every day,” he told us. John Coulter, a former tugboat man on the Lagan contacted him “Albert Faroult wasn’t a pilot boat while she was in Belfast,” the tug man explained, “she was a Naval Examination Boat, under the control of the Admiralty Berthing Officer.” The tugboat man worked on the Lagan around 1944, and reckons the pilot boat remained in Belfast for two or three years. Evon Sellier hoped to find out something about her French crew. “A local man David Hunt was her skipper,” The tugboat man said. “I never met her crew, but I’d say they weren’t French, because she was working as an Admiralty boat. There was another Naval Examination vessel in Larne called the Empress Queen,” he added.
20th March 2011
St Patricks Day Snakes!
Families enjoyed our St Patricks Day event on The Barge saying "it was something different and fun for all the family".
There was something for everyone - real live snakes (with a professional handler of course), 'green' crafts made from recycled products for the children and all were invited to enjoy the new maritime museum below deck. Overall it was a historical and cultural day!
Keep an eye out on the website for upcoming family events at Easter.
11th March 2011
All aboard for Education
56 P4 students from Linn primary school, Larne, came on board yesterday to enjoy our exciting and innovative education programme. They were transported to the 1940s to experience what life was like in the shipyards during the war. It was a great day, and some of the comments from students were:
"It was brilliant!"
"I liked the bit with the ships plans"
"I liked dressing up and the crane"
Our education programme can be tailored to suit any age group and is open not only to schools but community groups.
11th March 2011
The Quirkiest Venue in Town!
Lagan Legacy is delighted to have recently exhibited at the Quirky Weddings Fair, alongside our sister company Lagan Boat Company. If you're looking for something different for your wedding, how about having your ceremony on the Barge or a hen party out on the River Lagan? Check out the link on our Facebook page to see some footage of our unique venue.