Brandywell womens mural launched

The lives and times of the women of Derry have been celebrated in paint as part of a unique Good Relations focused project in the Brandywell area of the city.

Brandywell womens mural launched

Women from the Brandywell area working on the new bric mural

Launched on Friday, August 1 as part of the Derry Féile, the initiative has been facilitated by the Peace III funded Building Relationships in Communities (bric) Programme, a unique collaboration between the Rural Development Council, Housing Executive and TIDES Training.

This latest scheme features a bespoke mural detailing the trials and tribulations faced by women from the city over the last hundred years or so. Located at the site of a 200-year-old forge, the artwork has been designed by the women of the Brandywell.

The one-of-a-kind piece charts key moments in local history including the days of female labour in the shirt factories, women’s rights, the civil rights campaign and the Troubles while celebrating the undeniable role women played in the city and its history.

Speaking at the launch event, Teresa Canavan, RDC Chief Executive, said:

“Projects like this are an integral part of the bric Programme.

“They help ensure the legacy of those who strived and struggled to not only help themselves but to empower and enrich others are never forgotten. Instead, they are celebrated and this helps to ensure their impact on local, national and global history will never be forgotten.

“The bric Programme cultivates and builds community spirit. These initiatives leave permanent reminders of just how important that spirit is and just what it can achieve in even the most difficult of circumstances.

“I want to congratulate all of those involved who helped to make sure the lives, events and situations highlighted by these projects are never forgotten.”

Jennifer Hawthorne, the Housing Executive’s Head of Neighbourhoods, said: 

 “This mural documents the history of the women in this area and how their experiences shaped the future of generations of women to ensure a legacy of hope.

“The project was developed to bring women from all generations together to celebrate women and their contribution to the community. I hope that it will also invoke personal reflection on individual values and beliefs; challenge stereotypes and encourage acceptance and understanding of others.

“This is particularly important for those younger women attending this event today, many of whom will be the advocates for change going forward.

“The Housing Executive very much appreciates the excellent work that has already been done to improve community relations and cohesion in the area and we commend the women of Brandywell for all their work on this inspirational project.”