This is a portrait of Bernadette McAliskey who in the late 1960s, before her marriage, was known to all in the Bogside as Bernadette Devlin. The image depicts a scene from the 'Battle of the Bogside'. Bernadette was a seminal figure in the civil rights campaign. The mural however is a homage to the role played by women in general in the civil rights struggle.
This was the first colour mural we tried although it has to be said we had no colour photographs to work from. And the black and white photos we managed to get were not of the best quality. Both the colour harmonies and the design are kept very tight, the triangle motif being predominant throughout. We were in fact painting the mural with women especially especially in mind; it is a tribute to them.
The photograph on the left is of the original drawing done as a plan of the layout of the mural. The drawing was squared off and scaled up to fit the gable wall.
The construction is based firmly on the triangle first suggested by the apex of the Free Derry gable wall. It is repeated throughout to give stability and harmony to the design. The triangle itself is a potent symbol by itself as it suggests a rising and overcoming. This is echoed in the three circular forms of the bin-lids and the megaphone. At this time the bin-lid was used both as a shield during riots but also by women and children to sound an alarm whenever the security forces entered the Bogside.
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