ANGELS landed in a city park yesterday as part of a fundraising drive that also hopes to lift the nation’s mood.
The Angels – Beacons of Hope art installation was unveiled in Cork’s Bishop Lucey Park.
It features more than 50 eight-foot tall angels individually designed by Irish and international musicians, celebrities and sports people.
Community groups, schools and colleges also took part, including the students of Cope Foundation in Cork city, who used their angel design to show the nation their interpretation of hope.
The angels will be on display in the park until February 14 before continuing on their nationwide tour.
Admission to the installation is free but organisers have suggested that people make a donation of €5 that will help three charities chosen by the Vodafone Ireland Foundation – The President’s Gaisce Award, Right to Sight and First Step Georgia.
The exhibition, which began in Dublin earlier this year, has also been supported by U2’s The Edge, Uma Thurman, Pádraig Harrington, Gerry Ryan, Amy Huberman, Ryan Tubridy and Neil Jordan, who each designed their own angel.
Australian rugby star Rocky Elsom spoke of what his design represents.
“The Last Angel projects the idea of angels only existing if you believe,” he said.
“As children we have a more free and easy outlook on life, but as adults we are conditioned by time and experiences.
“My angel is fading to black, a result of growth from child to adolescent to adulthood. It represents the theory that things can only be real if you believe in them.”
Exhibition creator, Nollaig Fahy, said he has been amazed and inspired at the support and reaction to the project.
“2009 was a tough one for many and the beginning of the year is the perfect time for the people of Ireland to focus on the simple things in life: hope, family and friends,” he said.
“Our wish is to capture the hearts and minds of the Irish public with these beautiful, uplifting works of art and to try and change the national conversation from doom and gloom to one of hope.”
Laura Turkington, Vodafone Foundation and corporate responsibility manager said the project been a “truly inspiring and enlightening experience”.
“We hope that the collective efforts of all of these beautiful angels provide optimism for a better future,” she said.
The exhibition includes a special “Cork Angel” which at the end of the tour will be gifted to the people of Cork where it will find a new permanent home.
People have been invited to visit Bishop Lucey Park, and for a €3 donation, write their name on the angel.
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