The BID have been very active in working with landlords based in the Linen Quarter to implement street art interventions across the District. Murals have been recognised as an effective tool in place-making strategies by adding visual interest to the urban environment and by discouraging graffiti.
Over the past two years the BID have (co)funded murals at six locations across the Linen Quarter.
This mural was commissioned by the BID and completed as part of SEEDHEAD ART’s Hit the North festival by the end of April 2022. The mural covers two derelict single storey buildings on Linenhall Street (opposite the BBC Parklet) and measures approx. 10m x 6m. The artist Sophie Mess took the idea of creative innovation as inspiration for the mural.
As part of Hit The North Street Art Festival 2023, a new mural has been installed in the Linen Quarter by the Dutch street art collective Studio Giftig, who were crowned Best Street Artists 2022. The 12m high photo realistic artwork at James St South pays homage to the Linen Quarter with references to Linen and flax plants. Commissioned by the BID, the welcome addition will add a touch of vibrancy and colour to the district.
Another mural added in the Linen Quarter as part of Hit The North 2023 Festival is on the back wall behind Trademarket on Dublin Road. The brightly coloured mural has been painted by Aberdeen street artist KMG and is intended to add visual interest to the vibrant street scene of Dublin Road.
The birds on “Flying High” mural (installed October 2023) represent a mix of species. These include the Godwit, a Dunlin, an Artic Tern and a Lapwing. The latter is semi native and the unofficial national bird for Ireland. The others are all migratory in nature and represent the diversity of the Church congregation. All four birds are sea waders, representing the geography of this part of the city before it became developed (all lands between Sandy Row and the river Lagan were marshlands along the lower course of the river Blackstaff – now culverted underneath Bankmore St). Finally, all birds represented are either red or amber for their conservation status, raising awareness of the fragility of local wildlife.
Belfast Punk gallery
In October 2023, murals were installed on the four front elevations of these Victorian-era terraces, with another mural appearing on the gable wall on Stroud Street. The five different murals all intend to celebrate the theme of ‘Belfast punk scene’ as one of the terraces (nr 121) used to house the famous Good Vibrations record store during the 1980s and early 1990s. Terri Hooley – the founder of the Good Vibrations store – acted as a catalyst for the emergence of a distinctive Belfast punk scene and has been honoured with a mural on the gable wall on Stroud Street.
Great Victoria Forest
The mural sits on the background of a small gap site on the corner with Downshire Place that was characterised by dereliction and graffiti.
The aim behind this mural was to celebrate urban ecology in the Great Victoria Street area by creating a forest inspired backdrop to the micro-habitat for city-dwelling wildlife species (e.g. birds, insects) that was created on this gap site.