Volunteers Wanted for Weeping Window Sculpture

The Belfast Festival is looking for 'Poppy Ambassadors' to help welcome visitors to the Ulster Museum installation this autumn

Last year the Belfast International Arts Festival announced that as part of its 2017 programme it would commemorate the First World War centenary with a major installation at the Ulster Museum.

Poppies: Weeping Window is a sculpture by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper which features thousands of handmade ceramic poppies cascading from buildings across the UK where the work has toured.

Having been displayed originally at the Tower of London in 2014, it's brought to new venues and audiences by 14-18 NOW in order to prompt a new, nationwide dialogue around the legacy of the First World War.

Belfast International Arts Festival and the Ulster Museum are now looking to recruit a team of 'Poppy Ambassadors' to help deliver a world class visitor experience for those who come to see the sculpture – and its broad programme of associated events - when it pours down the facade of the building between October 13 and December 3.

The festival’s Marketing Manager Karen O’Rawe said: 'We are looking for friendly, outgoing people who can spare some time, and act as ‘ambassadors’ for the Belfast community to visitors travelling from all over the world. Volunteer Poppy Ambassadors will be on hand to welcome up to 3,000 visitors a day, answer questions and provide information.

'This will be a wonderful opportunity to gain skills, friends and interact with people who come to see the Poppies – and to share in their thoughts and reflections as they experience this incredibly moving piece of art.'


Full training and support will be provided and volunteer Ambassadors will then be scheduled for morning and afternoon shifts between October 13 and December 3. Those interested can apply at www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/get-involved/poppy-ambassadors.

In addition to the first acts announced for this year's festival, it was also confirmed last week that 'David Bowie's last band', the Donny McCaslin Group, would be performing as part of the programme.

Saxophonist Donny McCaslin and his group featured as Bowie's band on Blackstar, the acclaimed album released just two days before the iconic artist's death in January 2016. On Wednesday October 25 the band will perform at The Limelight, playing music from their own latest album Beyond Now which documents the grief that followed Bowie's passing.

'It was like a dream except it was something I could never have dreamed of' reflected McCaslin on working on Blackstar. 'David Bowie was a visionary artist whose generosity, creative spirit, and fearlessness will stay with me for the rest of my days. Beyond Now is dedicated to him and to all who loved him.'

Tickets for the concert are available now at belfastinternationalartsfestival.com