Northern Ireland news

Work of art or blot on urban landscape of east Belfast?

The strangley decorated house in Ardenvohr Street, east Belfast PIcture Mal McCann.

SOME may see it as a work of art, while others call it a blot on the urban landscape of east Belfast.

One house, located just of the Woodstock Road, is one that certainly turns the heads of passing commuters and pedestrians.

Among the rows of neatly terraced and semi-detached houses on Ardenvohr Street lies one rather unusual property.

In what appears to be an intriguing art installation on the front facade of the house, a figure made to look like a large face stares out

The house in Ardenvohr Street. Picture by Mal McCann

While most of the outside walls of the property are painted black, a heart shape has been left in the original white paintwork of the house to create a face.

On top of it appears to be expandable foam, formed to create the appearance of a nose alongside two large circles to look like eyes, possibly inspired by the facial artwork of Picasso.

Christmas tree decorations, including baubles and tinsel, have been attached to the foam coming from the upstairs window.

There is a black cross on the front door as well as dozens of pieces of rubbish-type items scattered in the garden, including toys, plant pots and wooden restaurant signs.

There are also several bags of compost lying in the front garden.

The strangley decorated house in Ardenvohr Street, east Belfast PIcture Mal McCann.

A name, possibly that of the householder, is carved out in the front hedge of the property, alongside a large clock face which could possibly be a nod to artist Salvador Dali.

A comparison of images on Google Street View reveals that the 'artwork' outside the property has been a work in progress for several years.

A photograph of the house dating back just over 10 years ago to 2008 reveals a simple, stone-washed semi-detached home with a neatly cut lawn and outer hedge.

Fast forward to 2012 and the front garden is much more overgrown with a large tree-like item placed beside the front door. Two years later and several unusual items have been attached to the windows and the hedge painted in several parts.

Today's appearance is now even more dramatic, and in complete contrast to the other properties along the street.

The strangley decorated house in Ardenvohr Street, east Belfast PIcture Mal McCann.

There are regulations in place that mean householders have to adhere to certain criteria regarding adding to the exterior of their property, with limits on the size, position and proximity to neighbouring houses.

When asked if Belfast City Council had any ongoing concerns or complaints received about the house on Ardenvohr Street, a spokeswoman said there were no ongoing issues they were dealing with.

"The last complaint received about this property was in September 2015," she said.

"Having investigated our officers are satisfied this property does present any public health or environmental nuisance."

The strangley decorated house in Ardenvohr Street, east Belfast PIcture Mal McCann.

The strangley decorated house in Ardenvohr Street, east Belfast PIcture Mal McCann.

The strangley decorated house in Ardenvohr Street, east Belfast PIcture Mal McCann.

The strangley decorated house in Ardenvohr Street, east Belfast PIcture Mal McCann.

The strangley decorated house in Ardenvohr Street, east Belfast PIcture Mal McCann.

The strangley decorated house in Ardenvohr Street, east Belfast PIcture Mal McCann.

The strangley decorated house in Ardenvohr Street, east Belfast PIcture Mal McCann.

 

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