Derry-Londonderry ‘Culture Wall’ to be unveiled today

Domnall Starkie's design trumped that of other local artists

The Derry-Londonderry ‘Culture Wall’ will today be unveiled showcasing a mosaic of user submitted Facebook profile pictures in an artwork collage.

Publicis London’s interactive Facebook App for Tourism Ireland invited people to submit their Facebook profile pictures to be placed upon the wall, encouraging tourists to come to the city to find their image and to promote Derry-Londonderry’s status as the UK’s City of Culture 2013.

The 18 metre wall, located in the heart of the city centre near Market Street, along the trail of the historic city walls will be revealed by Mayor of Londonderry, Martin Reilly.

Local artist, Domnall Starkie, created the winning design. Having built a reputation in Northern Ireland for work providing social commentary in a contemporary, graphic style, Starkie’s winning piece symbolises Derry-Londonderry’s future as a cultural hub.

The Facebook app invited people to add their picture and help compose a giant online mosaic. Users uploaded their pic, which was instantaneously added to the mosaic, with over 27,000 people submitting their portraits.

An updated version of the Facebook app will be released this week where people can see the artwork, watch videos about the artist and project, and book their trip to go see it for themselves. Everyone who submitted a picture will receive an e-zine inviting them to visit the city to see themselves in the ‘Culture Wall’.

Jason Cobbold, Publicis London deputy managing director, said: “We believe in leading change and this is about what brands do rather than just what they say and putting this campaign into the real world shows this commitment. 

“This idea is an example of how old media and new technology can combine in arresting new ways -the digital reach and immediacy of Facebook allows a community of people to participate in something real and permanent. Pixels convert to bricks.”

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “This unique piece of wall art has been a great way to allow everyone near and far to take part in this year’s City of Culture celebrations and will provide a wonderful legacy of the year.

“Local artist, Domnall Starkie has managed to encapsulate in this artwork all that is vibrant, young and exciting about the city, and will encourage many more visitors to the city in 2014 and beyond.”

Derry-Londonderry beat three other finalists, Birmingham, Norwich and Sheffield to the title.

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