New ‘Origin’ raindrop sculpture to overlook Belfast

A new stainless steel raindrop called ‘Origin’ will overlook Belfast from Cave Hill, as part of a cross-community project.

The six-metre tall sculpture will sit atop Squire’s Hill in Cavehill Country Park and when illuminated at night, will give the appearance of floating.

Artist Tracey McVerry from Solas Creative said: "The raindrop, made from polished stainless steel arcs, appears to hover six metres above the ground on a brushed stainless steel plinth and represents the elegant flow of water.

"Then, nestled inside the raindrop, is a fin of Narima glass, giving an ethereal quality and animating the external structure with elements of spectral colour, movement, texture, reflection and refraction which continuously shifts with the changing light and creates an arc of energy reflected back to the viewer."

Ms McVerry added: "The importance of the Farset River, and the life force which it gives to the people of Belfast is portrayed in the form of a granite 'ripple' at the sculpture's base.

"Everything radiates out from the centre, just as a drop hits the water surface. The ripples represent the linen industry, foundries, the hard working communities that built and shaped Belfast."

Origin is the beneficiary of £100k of Lottery funding and was designed as part of a cross-community initiative to celebrate the Farset River.

In the large scale of things, it is part of the ‘Creative Belfast’ initiative between Belfast City Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland which has invested £900k in seven large scale projects such as Belfast Opera, BabyDay and the Nine Nights theatre spectacle.

The sculpture was funded with Lottery money. Credit: Presseye

Deputy lord mayor of Belfast Councillor Mary Ellen Campbell said: "Our Creative Belfast initiative was all about investing in big, bold and ambitious cultural projects which would give everyone in Belfast the opportunity to take part in high-quality culture, inspired by our rich heritage. It was also founded on close cultural and community partnership.

"I'm delighted that Origin will be a beautiful legacy. It celebrates the source of the Farset River and all of the people who have helped make Belfast great."

Roisin McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: "Public money makes things possible that wouldn't otherwise be possible. In the hands of artists a remarkable and defining legacy has been created for Belfast city through this piece of public art.

"Origin gives us a suitably powerful and inspiring statement about the scale and the influence that this river has had on generations of people's lives and livelihoods in Belfast and I hope many, many people come to enjoy it."