Burned in their memory: Beautifully intricate 75ft temple by Burning Man artist is set to be torched in honour of Troubles victims in Londonderry, Ireland
Stunning timber sculpture is the work of renowned American artist David Best, famed for his Burning Man creations
Towering structure built by Catholics and Protestants from the city in honour of people who died in the Troubles
The temple has been open to visitors to scrawl messages to lost loved ones and will be burnt on Saturday at dusk
Beautifully and intricately crafted, this wooden temple is the product of two years of hard work and planning – and on Saturday night it will be burnt to the ground.
The stunning 75ft timber sculpture is the work of renowned American artist David Best, famed for his wooden temple creations set alight during Nevada’s annual Burning Man festival.
Towering into the sky in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, the structure was made by Catholics and Protestants working together to honour those who died in the Troubles.
During the Northern Irish conflict in the late 20th century, more than 3,600 people were killed and thousands more were injured as paramilitaries and security forces fought each other over a period of 30 years.
Symbolically, many of the commemorative temple’s panels were designed and made by more than 100 young people from around the city.
The structure, which features a giant wooden chandelier hanging down from a central spire, has been open since last Saturday and members of the public have been encouraged to scrawl messages and leave mementos in tribute to lost loved ones.
The temple, located in Corrody Road Country Park, was organised by Artichoke, a charity which works with artists to create large-scale events, and will be burnt on Saturday March 21 at dusk.
Bonfires have traditionally been a source of division in the city of Londonderry, also referred to as Derry, but the temple is about unity.
Huge towers made of wooden pallets are set alight every year to celebrate the victory of King William of Orange over Catholic King James in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
US artist Best decided to turn the tradition on its head – creating a work of art that Catholic and Protestants could work on together and burn in a symbol of peace.
Best has now produced eight temples for the Burning Man Festival, which takes place in the Nevada every August, and each one has had its own name, with 2014’s creation named the Temple of Grace.
Helen Marriage, director of Artichoke, said the project was building on the legacy of Derry’s City of Culture.
Speaking to Belfast Live, she said: ‘Ever since we began working in Derry-Londonderry in 2012, I have been interested in how our work might begin to undermine some of the long-held fears and anxieties prevalent in the city.
‘David Best’s work was always part of my thinking and I’m really pleased we’ve been able to return to build on the legacy of Lumiere.
‘Temple offers a new take on the bonfire tradition, creating a shared space that welcomes everyone.’
Photo: Mark of respect: A woman pays a nighttime visit to the temple to write a message on one of the timber panels aided by her phone’s light
Photo: Dozens of people gather in the park, also known as Kelly’s Field, to admire the towering 75ft temple on Saturday when it was opened
Posted by Teri PerticoneShare