New Crumlin Road Sculpture

Mill workers depicted as part of the 'Renewing the Routes' programme

Two new sculptures, reflecting the heritage and history of the Crumlin Road area, have been unveiled. The stone sculptures, by artist Jason Mulligan, were erected at Snugville Street and Tudor Place. Each work is inspired by pieces from notable poets and painters from the area, such as Albert Haslett, William Conor and Markey Robinson.

The first of the two pieces, the ‘Tudor Pillar’ is located at Tudor Place and symbolises the history and renewal of the locality, as documented by the artist William Conor. Developed in collaboration with local residents, the contemporary stone sculpture is engraved with the word ‘Tudor’ on the front: affixed to the back and sides of the sculpture are a series of recessed bronze plaques that document the industrial and cultural heritage of the area.

The other stone relief sculpture is located at the junction with Snugville Street. Entitled ‘One Instant Out Of Time’, the piece combines the works of three of the area’s most notable artists: the visual imagery and text used in the sculptures is derived from the poetic works of Albert Haslett; the figurative paintings of William Conor and Markey Robinson.

The carvings depict the image of two mill workers or ‘shawlies’, a scene that would have been familiar in this part of Belfast during the height of the linen industry in the 1900’s. From one view point, as the viewer passes by, the two images of the women become one, creating a united image referring to a sense of community and a coming together in times of hardship.

'The Crumlin Road area has produced some notable painters and poets which were as much an inspiration for the artworks as the industrial heritage of the mills and, in particular, the contribution of women in the mills,' commented Councillor William Humphrey, Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Development Committee, who joined Baroness May Blood for the official unveiling of the new works on Monday, March 29.

'These new sculptures are a fitting testament to that creative talent of the past, and to that which continues to exist in the area, as evidence by the bronze plaques created by members of the local community during design workshops,' he added.

The sculptures are an extension of Belfast City Council’s ‘Renewing the Routes’ programme of targeted intervention along Crumlin, and complement the shopfront improvements, landscape enhancements and lighting projects already carried out in the area.