Congratulations to the talented members of Ballymena’s Care for Creation team which picked up the Northern Ireland Award in the 2020 EPIC Awards.
The awards were set up in 2010 by Voluntary Arts, an organisation that works across the UK and Republic of Ireland to promote participation in creative cultural activities.
Care for Creation is a unique, large scale, inter-faith, public art project, devised and delivered by Ballymena Church Members Forum, including Craig’s Parish Church and St Patrick’s and St Columba’s, Ballymena. The awards were announced on Thursday October 22.
The Care for Creation team project was a celebration of the natural world, aiming to highlight environmental concerns and how people can all work together to ‘Care for Creation.’
Along with the three Church of Ireland parishes, the churches involved were High Kirk Presbyterian, Ballymena Methodist, West Church Presbyterian, Gracehill Moravian and All Saints’ Catholic Church, which brought together 50 children from five schools – Carniny PS, St Colmcille’s, Ballykeel PS, St Brigid’s and Braidside Integrated – to produce three of the final pieces of artwork.
During the winter months of 2019/2020, the Care for Creation project engaged more than 400 people of all ages, abilities and faith backgrounds in a collaborative process of making large scale public artworks as part of a unique art trail around the Ballymena area.
Around 60 volunteers, including local artists, made the project happen by guiding a series of more than 30 expressive arts workshops involving 14 local groups to develop ideas. Part of the project saw the formation of a new children’s choir from all the participating schools.
The resulting bus shelter art trail was viewed by thousands of local people using buses and those driving/walking past and feedback has been very positive.
Many of the volunteers tried making art for the first time through this project and are now seeking continued arts projects. New skills were developed in working with new materials, in large scale, for public exhibition, with new people and in new spaces. Volunteers were encouraged to be expressive and to celebrate their art works.