An iconic sculpture entitled ‘The Lady and the Lark’, which was inspired by George Sigerson’s well-known ballad, the Mountains of Pomeroy, was unveiled at a special celebration yesterday, Thursday, 25th June, by Chairman of Parkview Residents Group, Declan Coyle and Chair of Mid Ulster Council, Councillor Linda Dillon.
The launch marked the end of a project which was led and managed on behalf of Parkview Residents Group, Pomeroy by Mid Ulster District Council, and was supported by the ‘Building Peace through the Arts – Re-Imaging Communities’ programme which is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the European Union’s Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE III) managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and the International Fund for Ireland. The programme supports arts projects that promote a shared future and build positive relations within and between communities.
Speaking at the unveiling, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Linda Dillon said, “The very talented Kevin Killen has created a piece of public art which not only provides a lovely gateway to Parkview, but is also a very visible symbol of a community that has worked together to create something everyone has shared in and can be very proud of.
I believe that this has been the key to success. It wouldn’t matter how much funding there was, how much the council and its staff were there to manage and support, if the community was not 100% behind the concept and enthusiastic about making it a reality, then we would not be here ready to unveil ‘The Lady and the Lark’.”
Speaking on behalf of Parkview Residents Group Elaine Simpson said, “Having been just a vision four years ago, Parkview Residents Group wanted to help create a beautiful piece of art that captured the daily living and the history of the community of the village of Pomeroy and the surrounding townlands. ‘The Lady and The Lark’ has been created as a result of the willingness of the Pomeroy people to come together and become involved.
The end result is a beautiful piece of art which crosses the historical divides while portraying the feelings, visions and triumphs of the residents of Pomeroy both past and present. The children from both primary schools have helped to bridge relationships with their beautiful solo contributions to the Lady. Parkview Residents Group is extremely proud of this creation, which we believe demonstrates the willingness of the community to move forward together.”
Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of The Arts Council of Northern Ireland said: ‘The Building Peace through the Arts programme has ensured arts-led regeneration is at the core of communities coming together. Engaging with people and recognising the importance of their contribution fosters an authentic sense of ownership. This programme has been most effective in using art and creativity to address common issues that communities across Northern Ireland and the border counties share and has offered the opportunity to turn that learning into something positive for everyone.’
Artist Kevin Killen, creator of the piece explains its significance to the local area. “The Lady and the Lark symbolises the positive themes of the local music, the local landscape, local history of their area, coming together to form an iconic visual landmark. The figurative sculpture, using the musical score of the Ballad ‘The Mountains of Pomeroy’ as the focus of the Lady's dress, is embellished with laser cut images from the landscape and handwritten words from the local community. These words are a visual oral reference to the community’s thoughts, responses and feelings on their history, and their hopes and aspirations towards the future of their area.”