Tuesday 12 November 2019

Prayers to go up in smoke as art project burned to ground

Visitors and participants visit the Temple by renowned Burning Man artist David Best in Derry. Photo: Getty Images
Visitors and participants visit the Temple by renowned Burning Man artist David Best in Derry. Photo: Getty Images
Visitors at the Temple by renowned Burning Man artist David Best in Derry

Emma Jane Hade

A cross-community project that took more than two years to build will go up in flames this weekend.

The 'Temple' project from renowned American artist David Best will be ceremonially burned this Saturday, after years of dedicated work from volunteers in Derry city.

The 75ft wooden temple, which features intricate designs and panels has been constructed under the watchful eye of 69-year-old David Best. The Californian is best known for his involvement in the 'Burning Man' festival and has designed eight temples for the Nevada event over the last 15 years.

The project, which involved the assistance of hundreds of volunteers, will come to an end this weekend.

The structure, which features a giant wooden chandelier inside, towers above the city and is perched on an area between Irish Street and Top of the Hill in the Waterside area.

Since last Saturday, members of the public have been visiting the "shared" space and are being invited to leave letters, cards or other personal items.

The temple was built with the assistance of hundreds of young Catholic and Protestant volunteers, and members of the public are now being invited to leave prayers and messages inside in honour of lives lost during the conflicts in Northern Ireland.

The temple, which has been hailed as a "spectacular bonfire", will be set alight this Saturday at dusk.

London-based charity Artichoke is behind the project, which it describes as "huge collaborative effort".

Irish Independent

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