02 April 2005

Daily Ireland

Artists to create Palestinian peace mural

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click to view: The Bogside Artists
Tom Kelly, William Kelly and Kevin Hasson

(**Visit The Bogside Artists)

A team of Irish mural artists is preparing to create a Palestinian peace mural, Daily Ireland can reveal.
The Bogside Artists transformed the Rossville Street area of Derry with a series of murals that form a people’s gallery in the heart of Derry.
Thomas Kelly and Kevin Hasson will travel to the strife-torn Palestinian city of Ramallah at the end of this month at the invitation of the organisers of the annual Palestinian Arts Festival.
The artists will produce a mural based on a painting featuring a dove of peace on the gable wall of a house in the heart of Derry’s Bogside.
Mr Kelly said that the Bogside Artists will be honoured to complete the project. “This is a major honour for us,” he said, “our work is distinctly different and we produce murals with an international resonance. We’re delighted to be invited to this event.”
The Bogside Artists have been producing murals on the streets of Derry for ten years. The subjects of their work include the Bloody Sunday massacre and internment.
“The people’s gallery in Derry really is owned by the people of the Bogside and the city,” Mr Kelly said. “The murals in the Bogside have proved to be one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city. It was all made possible by the ordinary people contributing money so that we can carry out our work, as we don’t receive any funding or sponsorship.”
The Palestinian Arts Festival runs from April 20 until May 5. Mr Kelly said that the mural will be based on the peace mural in the Bogside, but will be characterised by a distinctly Palestinian theme.
The Rossville Street murals are viewed by hundreds of international tourists each day. The most famous piece of art is one depicting the iconic image of Bloody Sunday, former Bishop of Derry, Dr Edward Daly, shepherding a group of men attempting to carry the body of Jack Duddy to safety. The artists have had exhibitions in three continents and have travelled the world to conduct lectures.
Ramallah has been at the centre of bitter clashes between Palestinian militants and the Israeli army since the beginning of the conflict.
On Wednesday members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs fired on the Ramallah headquarters of new Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, who replaced Yasser Arafat after his death last year.

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