Memorable moments in Botanic Gardens' rich history celebrated with new artwork

Artist Peter Strain and poet Emma Must admire the results of their collaboration.
Amanda Ferguson

MEMORABLE moments in the rich history of Botanic Gardens in Belfast are being celebrated with a new 27 metre long artwork.

Artist Peter Strain and poet Emma Must collaborated on the project commissioned by Belfast City Council to surround the Tropical Ravine while its £3.8 million restoration is completed.

The artwork featuring events which took place in the gardens which was established in 1828 and include a hot air balloon ascent, the ‘King of Niagara’ Charles Blondin carrying a man across a tightrope on his back, and a U2 performance in 1997. The artwork stretches across the great lawn, close to the Ulster Museum.

Strain drew inspiration from the memories of more than 400 people and also creative writing from schoolchildren, residents and park users, who attended a series of workshops facilitated by Must and writer Jan Carson.

Alliance councillor Sian O’Neill, deputy chair of the council’s People and Communities Committee, said: “When the Tropical Ravine reopens next year, it will be another must-see attraction for Belfast.

"It’s wonderful that so many of the park’s visitors’ memories have been captured in this artwork which demonstrates what a magical place Botanic Gardens is, and builds excitement for this coming new era for Botanic.”

To celebrate the installation of the artwork, a free Great Explorer Hunt has been organised for Saturday, August 20, from 11am to 2pm in the Palm House.


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