The Big Weave in the Mournes - A Celebration in the Long Gallery, Stormont



The Big Weave in the Mournes – A Celebration in the Long Gallery, Stormont  

A celebration event for the Big Weave in the Mournes was held in the Long Gallery, Stormont on Wednesday 12th November, sponsored by Mr John McCallister MLA (in association with Mr Jim Wells MLA and Mr Sean Rogers MLA).  John, who had participated in the project in Rathfriland, was so impressed with how it engaged so many people from the community, he felt that it warranted maximum exposure and so he suggested that the Mourne Mountains Landscape Partnership (MMLP) consider bringing the project to the Long Gallery. 

Approximately 70 guests from the public, private and community/voluntary sectors joined with representatives from the 4 participating schools to view the exhibition, which was displayed from Monday 10th until Friday 21st November.  During his welcome, John commended the quality of the art work from the schools, stating that the Long Gallery is the most used room in Stormont, with events being held on a daily basis. The students were delighted to see their paintings framed and on display in such grand surroundings !

After presentations from Camilla Fitzpatrick (MMLP Scheme Manager), Martin McParland (Big Weave artist), Paul Mullan (Heritage Lottery Fund, primary funder of the project) and Martin Carey (Mourne Heritage Trust), student representatives from each of the schools were invited to come forward to receive a gift of 6 peg looms and wool (in their individual school colours).  Guests were then served refreshments and given some time to enjoy the paintings accompanied by the beautiful sounds of the harp, played by Patricia Daly.

John then invited the group to go on a tour of Stormont, impressing the guests with his extensive knowledge of the history of the building and throwing in the occasional witty story or comment which added to the overall enjoyment of the evening.   

NOTE: Participating Schools – Kilkeel High School, Shimna College, St Malachy’s High School and St Louis Grammar School.