Belfast's Artist in Residence

Eleanor Wheeler has been appointed to bring artistic vision to the city

Ceramic artist Eleanor Wheeler has been appointed Artist in Residence by Belfast City Council.

Wheeler specialises in the design and production of large scale sculpture and relief panels in ceramic and brick for architecture, gardens and public places. Her public commissions have included birds and patterns from linen at Belfast Gasworks, wall panels and seating at the Mater Hospital, and a mural of ceramic fish at Kilkeel Harbour.

She has also undertaken residencies, conducted community and schools projects and workshops and lectured throughout Northern Ireland. Examples of her work have been displayed at the Ulster Museum.

With several major urban regeneration projects now underway in Belfast to transform the city’s arterial routes and public spaces, Wheeler’s brief will be to ensure that creativity, innovation, cohesion and high quality design are reflected in the council’s current regeneration initiatives.

During her year’s residency, Eleanor will engage with Belfast designers and developers to integrate a strong artistic vision to the ongoing regeneration projects. She also will engage with communities to facilitate the involvement of local people in shaping their environment. Her input will help to create a shared vision in Belfast for architecture, public space, planning and high quality urban design.

Siobhan Stevenson, the council’s culture and arts manager, said it was the first time that a project of this type had been undertaken.

‘It will act as a powerful catalyst for promoting creativity in the built environment and for encouraging the public to think imaginatively about the development of the city. It represents the first grant of its type to be awarded in Northern Ireland and the Council secured the maximum amount of funding available to one organisation.’

The Artist in Residence initiative is funded through the ‘PROJECT – Engaging Artists in the Built Environment’ scheme, a UK-wide funding initiative which aims to involve artists in regeneration and to encourage quality urban design.

‘PROJECT – Engaging Artists in the Built Environment’ is funded by The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and Arts and Business (A&B), and managed and delivered by Public Art South West (PASW).

Examples of Eleanor’s work can be seen on her website.