Later today, the Turner Prize Building at Ebrington Barracks in Derry-Londonderry will be closed. £2.5m of
public money has been spent on turning buildings 80-81 into state of the art galleries to host the Turner Prize
for 2013. But when the lights are switched today after the last visitors leave, the Ebrington gallery will shut its doors for good. The flagship gallery will revert to offices.
This cannot be allowed to happen.
A recent article in the Derry Journal signposted the growing
controversy over the future of the Ebrington Gallery as the litmus test in terms of Stormont’s commitment to culture in Derry post 2013.
It features a quote from Charlotte Higgins, Chief arts writer with
the Guardian back in October: “Fears are growing that these [City of Culture] gains risk being frittered away through lack of vision and ambition.
“Symbolic of this for many is the fact that the £2.5m galleries created for the Turner prize – high-spec, museum-quality spaces converted from barracks that will see 8,000 pre-booked schoolchildren and some 100,000 adults come through the doors over the next four months – will revert to the offices of a digital hub after the show has closed.”The Guardian article also quoted Caoimhin Corrigan of Ilex as saying the spaces in question have long been earmarked for offices and had been “borrowed from their intended use for the Turner prize. We can’t turn round and tell people who are expecting them to be one thing that sorry, they are going to be something else.”
In the article Higgins quoted Willie Doherty, himself twice shortlisted for the Turner prize, as saying that it
was “ludicrous that a town spending that amount of money would let it last just four months and not take the
opportunity to build upon it”. According to Doherty, the risk was that after the Turner prize show has rolled out of town, 'it will feel like the lights have been switched off again in Derry'.
Please don't let the lights go out!
Show your support and Like the 'Save Ebrington' Facebook page. Post up pictures
of your happy times at Ebrington. Please sign the ipetitionhttp://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-ebrington-gallery-2013/
Check out the links to the website www.saveebrington.com
Time is running out!