Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Friday, 13 February 2009

800,000 city sculpture revealed

'Mute Meadow' was the winner of the 800,000 competition to create an iconic piece of contemporary art at Ebrington

A "vast field of light" at the former army barracks at Ebrington has been selected as the winner of an 800,000 Foyle public art project.

'Mute Meadow', by Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier, is to be constructed at Ebrington but will be visible from both sides of the river Foyle.

The announcement was made by Arts Minister Gregory Campbell on Friday.

"It is truly inspirational... it will place arts and culture at the centre of the city's regeneration," he said.

The project, run by the North West Cultural Challenge Fund, was to find an artist to develop an iconic piece of contemporary public artwork to mark the regeneration of Derry.

'Mute Meadow' takes the form of an undulating landscape of reflective surfaces, creating columns of light that refract and fragment the surroundings to create a forest of light which will spill onto the river itself.

Claire Oboussier and Vong Phaophanit
The winning artists Claire Oboussier and Vong Phaophanit

"It is a city's architecture and public art that makes it unique and helps it to stand out from other international cities," said Mr Campbell.

"This piece of artwork will certainly do that and, in turn, the site of the work itself offers prime views over the river to the walled city opposite."

"Mute Meadow' will place arts and culture at the centre of Londonderry's regeneration and present the city with an opportunity to demonstrate that it is worth coming to see and worth investing in."

Professor Declan McGonagle, Director of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, said the project was an "exciting response to the rich historical environment of Derry".

"The selected proposal touches on the issues of identity, history and the riverscape on which the city stands.

"It connects Derry to the range of European cities which have rich heritages and have also developed public art projects as a way of negotiating the future," he said.

Work on the project, which is expected to take two years to complete, is scheduled to get underway this year.

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