Something fishy has been going on with a group of University of Ulster students and lecturers in Belfast city centre – and it’s all in the name of art!
This morning (Friday August 31) they descended on the Big Fish tourist attraction at Donegall Quay, to give it an eye-catching makeover with fabrics, rugs and cushions, courtesy of IKEA.
Commuters, shoppers and visitors couldn’t believe their eyes as they watched the talented team from the University’s Textile, Art, Design and Fashion Course and IKEA designers perform their own ‘textile Banksy’.
Putting their own spin on the global, street art phenomenon of ‘yarn bombing’, they transformed the area into a colourful flurry of fabrics and textiles – unique, interior styling in an outdoor setting.
Alison Gault, Lecturer in Fashion and Knit Design at the University of Ulster, said: “This is an exciting and unique collaboration between students from our Textile Art, Design and Fashion Course and IKEA.
“Students have been able to stretch their talents by utilising various textile products available at IKEA to decorate this well-known area of Belfast and bring an interior quality to an urban landscape.
“The use of textiles is a wonderful and inexpensive way to transform interior and exterior spaces and this is a challenging and highly rewarding project for everyone involved.
“While ‘yarn bombing’, involving knitting and crocheting, has been used to inject some excitement and colour into sterile areas of London, for example, it is a new concept for Northern Ireland.
“This fresh approach to viewing IKEA’s textiles – with the artistic presentation of up-and-coming textile artists and designers – will certainly showcase our students’ creativity with a diverse range of fabrics and textures.
Lisa Ward, Communication and Interior Design Manager at IKEA Belfast explained: “We are delighted to bring such a unique use of fabrics and textiles to the streets of Belfast and we have loved working with such creative and adventurous students from the University.
“Our main aim is to show that in these difficult times, the average household doesn’t need to spend a fortune on revamping interior style as such products and fabrics can bring style and vibrancy where you would least expect it.
“We’re happy to have made our mark on Belfast in more ways than one!”
The event was made possible by support from the Department for Social Development and Lagan Weir Harbour Office.
It is part of IKEA Belfast’s celebration of the 2013 catalogue, which launches in store next month and focuses on textiles and up-styling, a trend that has swept throughout the UK and Ireland in recent months.