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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 October 2005, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
Belfast to bloom with new artwork
A humble flower is set to dominate the Belfast skyline in three years time.

A 45-metre high structure, depicting a wild bloom, is to be erected at Broadway roundabout, as a symbol of the regeneration of the city.

Artist's impression of flower sculpture
The 'flower' will adorn the Belfast skyline from 2008

It will be the centrepiece for a major new roads scheme in the west of the city, and will be visible for miles after dark when the towering structure is lit up.

Commissioned by Belfast City Council, Trillian is the brainchild of Californian artist Ed Carpenter, whose proposal was chosen from hundreds of other submissions.

Carpenter said he felt the image of a flower could represent a post-Troubles city.

"It represents germination for the future," he explained.

"It represents growth, transformation, evolution, and these are all subjects which are universal and which we can identify with and particularly in a city which has had some negative press around the world, this can be a very positive symbol both internally and externally."

The artwork will complement plans to install a new underpass at Broadway, linking the M1 motorway with the Westlink.

Carpenter said he had been trying to visualise the new roads structure and "make a physical gesture" which would be an icon for the city of Belfast.

"It will provide a kind of very optimistic and memorable large scale monument which will be visible from a great distance night and day and which can be identified with by the people of Belfast," he said.

Ed Carpenter is behind the ambitious project
Ed Carpenter is behind the ambitious project

Carpenter, who lives with his wife and two children in the Coast Range mountains west of Portland, Oregon, has been responsible for many major pieces of art throughout the world.

These include Florida's Orlando Tower; the Fishbird Bridge in Portland, Oregon; Broadway Gateway in Denver, Colorado and Arizona's Grasshopper Bridge.

While an interest in light has been central to most of Carpenter's work, he also enjoys projects which require new approaches and skills.

This has led to an increasing variety in his commissions, using a wide range of sites and materials.

Trillian will be made of polycarbonate with steel trusses, and will be supported by steel cables.

Carpenter explained: "The delicacy of nature and the strength of human resolve are simultaneously suggested in graceful lines and robust steel.

"Perched and leaning, Trillian suggests life in the balance."

Councillor Bernie Kelly of the council's arts sub-committee said: "This new landmark for Broadway will create a unique identity in this area of renewal and regeneration and engender a real sense of ownership.

"It will also help to create a cultural legacy for the future and enhance the profile of our creative industries, artists and craftspeople."

The next phase of the artwork will be mainly funded by the Department for Social Development along with the Department for Regional Development and the Arts Council.

The proposed landmark is subject to an official confirmation of funding.

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