Volunteers sought to help build burning Waterside temple

FabLab technician Paul McCay and student Aaron Millar. Aaron is one of ten students so far who have gained an OCN qualification in Digital Fabrication during the design phase of 'Temple.'
FabLab technician Paul McCay and student Aaron Millar. Aaron is one of ten students so far who have gained an OCN qualification in Digital Fabrication during the design phase of 'Temple.'

More than a hundred volunteers are being sought to help build a huge ceremonial temple that will be burned from a vantage point above the city in the Waterside shortly after St Patrick’s Day.

US artist David Best’s remarkable ‘Temple’ - modelled on his world famous temples at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert - promises to be one of “the biggest and most dynamic” arts projects the city has ever seen.

The radical creation, which is being delivered by Lumiere producers Artichoke along with Mr Best and local collaborators, the Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership and the Nerve Centre, will turn traditional associations with bonfire burning in Northern Ireland on their head.

John Peto, Director of Education at the Nerve Centre commented: “‘Temple’ is going to be one of the biggest and most dynamic projects that Derry has ever seen. The chance to get involved in actually building it is something that people will remember proudly for the rest of their lives.”

Jennifer Crook, Producer at Artichoke commented: “The community engagement programme is at the heart of this project and its legacy, and our partners are key to helping us deliver it.

“The Nerve Centre has provided invaluable support for ‘Temple’ right from the start, and we’re excited to be working with them now as the build begins.”

‘Temple’ is a huge construction project and a beautiful and decorative work of art. The towering structure will be built and raised by more than 100 individuals drawn from communities across the city, working together with Mr Best and his crew.

So lots of opportunities are still available for local people to get involved.

There will be apprentice, back-to-work and voluntary training opportunities, including up to 40 onsite placements as part of a work experience scheme. Further training will take place in local schools with students as part of their ICT classes.

The first round of a training scheme for the design phase of the project took place recently.

Up to 20 young people will be able to access design technology training through FabLab at the Nerve Centre, supported by the Community Relations Council and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland through the Acorn Fund.

Trainees will work towards an Open College Network Level 1 qualification in Digital Fabrication and will gain experience in designing individual panels for Temple as part of the finished artwork.

Places are still available on the second course at FabLab, which begins on Monday 9th February. For further information contact gareth.stewart@artichoke.uk.com.

Mr Peto said: “To do that, and actually learn some real digital skills at the same, is a great opportunity to both take part in something truly amazing and train for the digital economy. Don’t miss out.”