Council seeks artist to design and install Frederick Douglass sculpture

Belfast City Council is looking for an artist to design and install a sculpture of abolitionist and campaigner Frederick Douglass.

Douglass was a former slave who became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in America. He first visited Belfast in 1845 at the invitation of the Belfast Anti-Slavery Society and returned for a second visit in 1846.

The nominated artist will be required to design and produce a permanent figurative sculpture, life-size or larger, to be installed on Rosemary Street downtown, subject to obtaining planning permission.

The project is funded by Belfast City Council and the Department of Communities.

Mayor of Belfast, Councilor Christina Black, said: “Frederick Douglass is an inspiring historical figure, famous for his oratorical and anti-slavery writings. He delivered at least 11 lectures during his four weeks in Belfast in 1845, including in Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church, close to where the sculpture is planned to be installed.

“Douglass was 27 when he visited Ireland so it is fitting that the statue depicts him at that age. I am sure the project will help to increase footfall in this part of the city center as locals and tourists interested in Douglass and his campaign in this part of the world, visit the sculpture.”

Artist sourcing is a two-step process, with initial expressions of interest due by September 16, 2022.

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