People are turning to Christmas earlier than ever this year as an escape from the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. Work by local artists is being sold at Vault Artists (tw | web) ‘Vault Pop‘ (in the Portview Centre on the Newtownards Road) with work by many artists whose street-art is featured in these pages, including Leo Boyd, FGB, and Esther O’Kelly, and at Born & Bred (web) on Ann Street, including ‘Ulster Says Noel’ cards by James Ashe (tw | web) – who did the ‘Ulster Says Yeoo’ tarp shown above, next to the Ulster Social Club (now just a regular bar) – and mini H&W cranes as a tree ornament (see David & Goliath).
(Extramural Activity is not associated with either shop or any of the artists named.)
This is a “People Before Profit” (web) poster (at the Waterworks) in support of a ‘Northern Ireland Trade Union Freedom’ bill being brought forward by MLA Gerry Carrol (Irish Legal). The bill has its own Facebook page.
Confusion over what to do with vacant lots along the south side of Carrick Hill continues. The corner site at the junction with Donegall Street was part of the ‘Northside’ plans back in 2008 and both it and the Library Street site were earmarked for high-rise student accommodations in 2015. None of those plans came to fruition and social housing was approved in 2018 (SF). But now the dispute is over whether to build two-storey family homes or high-rise apartments (which is apparently the preference of the current minister for Infrastructure, the SDLP’s Nichola Mallon (Irish News)). The board was erected by the Carrick Hill Residents Association at the Library Street site.
A budding artist in Exchange Place, inspired by Banksy and all of the street art in Belfast city centre, but disappointed with their efforts so far: “Aww, I wish I was Banksy”. (Or perhaps a sarcastic comment on most street art.)
The previous UVF mural in Carrington Street (Volunteering | On Your Side) was paint-bombed in October (Keep It Local) but has been quickly replaced by this computer-generated board showing the Harland & Wolff cranes, a Long Kesh watch-tower, and a hooded gunman from the UVF’s East Belfast Battalion.
Work by NOTA and the TMN crew (see previously) on the construction hoarding around the old Botanic Lodge (87-91 Botanic Avenue) Belfast. Work started in December (2019) on two commercial units and 14 apartments above (Future Belfast).
On March 24th, the Mater Infirmorum hospital closed its doors to all but Covid patients, partly enabled by a dramatic fall in emergency cases once the coronavirus struck (Irish News). In October, ICU care was moved from the Mater to the City; non-ICU Covid cases are still being treated in the Mater (Belfast Trust). The ICU beds in the City and in Altnagelvin were full last week (BelTel), as cases resurge. The carved statue in the Mater is the creation of Belfast City Sawmill (Fb) in Ballinderry (BelfastLive has in-progress shots).