POTD – Draw Down the Walls

For a number of years a group called Draw Down the Walls has worked across the peace lines to produce art work related to living in the shadow of the peace walls. There are now more walls than before the Good Friday Agreement.

Funded by Belfast City Council the group, who work with the Golden Thread Gallery and North Belfast Interface Network are looking to open debate about the walls and their place in our society. They work with youth groups in Ardoyne and the Shankill

Yesterday two large scale photographs were installed on the gate at Flax Street off the Crumlin road and Ardoyne. If you are driving up there be sure to check for the road closed sign as these do make you look twice.

Artist and project co-ordinator Breandan Clarke stands in front of the Crumlin rd entrance to Flax St

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  • Drumlins Rock

    accident waiting to happen?….

  • Cynic2

    Why the hell is the City Council finding this?

  • Cut n paste of a message from Breandan…….

    Team effort, Ian Charlesworth helping with the photos, Ruth Graham just for being class, NBIN, Lower Shankill Community Assoc, Golden Thread Gallery, Ardoyne Women’s Group, Tar Isteach… Belfast City Council, IFI, CRC, US State Dept, Dept Foreign Affairs.
    No logos just actions.
    “How to Draw Down the Walls!”

  • Guys i suppose you either get it or you don’t

  • Drumlins Rock

    I get it moochy, unless there is some deep subliminal message…
    was just more concerned about public safety!

  • Cynic2

    I get it and think its original _ I just dont think taxpayers should pay. Just the same as the monstrosity at the end of the M1 that has all the personality of a dead badger

  • So how are we to move away from segregation if we are not even thinking and talking about it?
    Not sure which one you mean. I always liked Bill Drummond’s faux motorway sign that he erected overnight and it stayed there for 45 days “Welcome to Belfast. Twinned with your wildest dreams”

  • wee buns

    ”There are now more walls than before the Good Friday Agreement.”

    Yes and they’ve become such an inconspicuous part of the scenery, so to provoke questions about them which I think this artwork does, is a valid use of money more so than prettifying the joint.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “accident waiting to happen?”

    Absolutely. Can’t wait for the lawsuit. Should be roundly entertaining. Please, someone let me know when someone crashes full on into the thing. I know just the human factors expert that the plaintiff will need for trial. Lastly, compare the two photos. See that the first one has already been zapped by some paint. Wait till someone paints the thing to match the surrounding part of the picture (and someone will do that, sooner or later, the scene cries out for such). As I said, cant’ wait for the lawsuit and should be roundly entertaining.

  • In both photographs the paste was still wet.
    There was no “zapping” sloppy.

  • Drumlins Rock

    looking again at the pics, as local residents will do, they could actually be counter productive, because the desire to see what is beyond can be be one of the driving forces to tearing them down, these pics confirm that what is beyond isn’t anything special, not worth the hassle, maybe they should have created a fantasy world instead!

  • I cant understand why the walls are still there surely in an age of surveillance cameras it should be possible to catch the vandals.

  • another

    The real work of art, would have been for somebody to come along and blow a hole in the wall. Cosmetic surgery masks the problem and does nothing to fix it.

  • wee buns

    ”The real work of art, would have been for somebody to come along and blow a hole in the wall.”

    Ummm…we’ve been there, done that, we’ve got the ragged T-shirt.

    We have to find a way (explosive free).

  • carl marks

    blowing the walls down no but maybe someday we will grow up enough to take a big hammer to them it would be nice someday to be able to walk across belfast without these things getting in the way

  • hugodecat

    I live on a peace line, and like many of my neighbouring home owners, we are quite happy to see it stay. It means that when trouble does brew we can sleep soundly and not worry about bricks through our windows and arson attacks.

    but I do understand that in many ways the walls are divisive, allowing the sectarian louts to perpetuate the myth that the human beings on the other side are somehow a different species.

    I love the new artwork, it reminds people that we are all just people and on the other side is just mundane ordinary people and buildings too. you can see the view you should see, without fear of attack or inflammatory slogans, flags or other sectarian devices.

    These things do not work in isolation however, they need to be supported by integrated youth work programs and a zero tolerance approach to graffiti and antisocial behaviour.

    with the rioting season coming up, every penny spent on normalisation and cross community dialogue and talking points is money well spent to me!

  • otto
  • carl marks



    very good with any luck it will b a joyrider is that non pc of me.
    hugodecats post is interesting i know a little old man who tends a little market garden isolated from the world by a peace line knocking it down would break his heart. As they say a ill wind and all that.

  • Otto,


  • slappymcgroundout

    “In both photographs the paste was still wet.
    There was no “zapping” sloppy.”

    Mooch, look at the first photo. The road closed sign has been zapped with graffiti. Looks like there on the left is “K” and there on the right is “V”. Can’t make out the middle letter. Since you live there you might be able to fill in the missing letter for me.

  • USA

    Really good.
    Do like Drumlins comment though about an accident waiting to happen.

  • Oh do keep up sloppy, everyone knows i live over in East and am forever running it down by err documenting the environment that i see daily.
    The road closed sign is not part of the photograph that was pasted up so your assertion is irrelevant.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Mooch, my point was, if someone paints the road sign to blend in with the rest, then someone might believe that the road continues on. Someone has already painted on the road sign, now all they need to do is to instead paint it so that it fills in the street scene. Some miscreant will eventually do that. It’s too damn inviting. Think of the legal doctrine of attractive nuisance. Should be fun when someone collides with what appears to be an empty street. That was my point. As DR said before me, it’s an accident waiting to happen. I otherwise tend to think that your transportation department ought to be more concerned with saving lives and not on making political and/or cultural and/or social statements. If anyone had any brains, not only would that street mural not be there, there’d also be some poles painted in contrasting colors, say, white and flaming pink (in a bar or stripe pattern), well out in front of the wall. The poles can be a rigid but flexible rubber, to slow down the car before it hits the wall, and high enough to be easily observed by the driver. Lastly, if you’ve had reviewed as many autopsy reports and accompanying photos relating to death by motor vehicle as I have, you’d get the point.

  • Thing is anyone who lives in Ardoyne will know that you can’t drive down Flax street and i’d hazard a guess that if someone was stupid enough to try to do so they’re probably DUI.

  • Brian

    Not sure what the point of these walls are. They aren’t going to bring society to a point where they are no longer necessary any faster. As for the paintings themselves, I don’t live there but I would have preferred a nice painting of a tropical setting myself.

    I could certainly see some drunken idiot driving straight into the wall and then trying to see the city council who approved/funded this.

  • Brian