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Welcome to Banbridge

Artist Holly Pereira

Location: Newry Street

Year: 2022

Funder: Department for Communities and Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

Holly Pereira is an Irish-Singaporean illustrator & muralist based in Dublin, Ireland. Her work is colourful, fun and bold.  Her hand-painted murals often take reference from folk art, and she creates bright and exuberant environments in which we are invited to explore.  Her lively work also celebrates her love of typography and language, eking meaning out of imagery, and imagery out of meaning. Her work ranges from digital illustration for national advertising campaigns to four storey, hand-painted murals. Through her work, she seeks to investigate the experience of the public space through colour, light and design.

Holly has transformed a gable wall in Newry Street into a stunning work of art. Holly has been inspired by the area’s unique connection to the Brontë family. Her hand-painted ‘Welcome to Banbridge’ design celebrates the Brontë link to the area using typography inspired by the world’s most famous literary family.

Decoy Art

Artist: Decoy

Location: Scarva Street

Year: 2022

Funder: Department for Communities and Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

Decoy’s work is distinctive. His work centres around highly graphic shapes painted with an abstract colour palette and arranged into a layered composition. His background includes working as a shipbuilder on Bray’s docks and assisting Bjarne Melgaard in New York.

The artist is going for a tapestry-like aesthetic, with characters woven in, such as this traveller and horse. It gives a nod to how Banbridge grew around a coaching stop on the road from Dublin to Belfast.

Decoy’s piece celebrates Banbridge as a strategic river crossing point, a communication route between Belfast and Dublin and a focus for agricultural industry, trade and commerce. An ancient king’s road connecting Ulster to the rest of the island once crossed the Bann at a forging place a short distance downstream at Ballykeel.

Artist: Friz

Location: Bridge Street

Year: 2022

Funder: Department for Communities and Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

Friz is a Northern Ireland based artist who works in both traditional and digital mediums, currently focused on spray-painting. Her work largely revolves around the female form. It is a study in identity: who we are, where we come from and our connection to the natural world around us. Her paintings have been included in group exhibitions in Belfast, Sligo and Dublin. Friz studied Classical Animation in BCFE Dublin and Illustration in Telford College Edinburgh.

Friz’s mural celebrates an old woman who used to sell apples on the bridge and jingle the money in her pocket, giving it the affectionate local nickname ‘Jingler’s Bridge’.

Ernest Walton

Artist: FGB

Location: Bridge Street

Year: 2022

Funder: Department for Communities and Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

FGB (Francois Got Buffed) is an artist and illustrator based in Belfast. His work is inspired by classic cartoons, skateboard graphics, heavy metal album covers and pop art. All these influences come together resulting in his signature style. FGB honed his skills on the streets of Belfast, filling the streets with his paste ups and characters. His work has since become bigger, brighter and bolder. His studio work revolves around print as well as paintings in a variety of mediums including his classic charity shop re-paintings. FGB has filled the streets across Europe with his work as well as exhibiting and taking part in street art festivals across the UK.

Based on Banbridge educated Ernest Walton and his pioneering ‘atom smashing’ experiments. The design is based around an image of Ernest with a large atom symbol creating the background. The artist has chosen a colour palette to give an ethereal feel to the design.

Rob Hilken mural

Artist: Rob Hilken

Location: Linehall Street

Year: 2022

Funder: Department for Communities and Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

Rob’s design is steered by Banbridge’s history of linen production. The town is at the heart of a landscape once dominated by linen production. The linen was used to cover the tails of Spitfires and Lancaster bombers during World War Two. Three of Ulster’s major producers still operate in the area, Weavers, Thomas Ferguson & Co and John England Irish Linens.

This piece is inspired by damask designs and jacquard weaving patterns. The chrysanthemum damask design used here was created by William Liddell and rediscovered in 2007 during the dismantling of the Ewart-Liddell factory at Donacloney/Donaghcloney, six miles from the Linenhall Street site in Banbridge.

The mural incorporates the distinctive pattern found on Jacquard Loom punch cards that were used to create the complex damask designs that made the Banbridge area world-famous for its linen.

The colour palette includes the blue, purple and yellow hues of the flax flower that is used to make linen, with other complimentary warm tones added to create a high energy, positive impact for the site.

Artists: Alan Cargo and Eleaner Wheeler

Location: Kenlis Street

Year: 2014

Funder: Mourne Heritage Trust

‘Bridge to the Bann’ was inspired by the contribution of the linen industry to the local Banbridge economy.  The piece shows a cut in the middle that represents the shape of the River Bann with the top representing the Mourne Mountain. The piece will also contain a bronze band containing patterns from the linen industry.

Bridge to the Bann
BB Spike

Railway Artifact

Location: Downshire Place

The pressure from the linen industry saw the opening of the railway from Banbridge to Scarva in 1859. The railway also brought coal from the Newry Canal. By 1880 the line had extended to Ballyroney & Newcastle. The Banbridge to Belfast line via Lisburn, Hillsborough & Dromore opened in 1863.The station closed in 1957.

The black spike (not in its original position) was part of a crane used by the railway.

Reference:  railway stations (