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The Island,’ on which ISLAND Arts Centre is based, was formed in Lisburn when the Lagan Navigation was constructed in the mid 18th century. The canal works by–passed a bend in the river and created an island entirely surrounded by water. From that time the site was used as vitriol works producing a chemical used in the bleaching of linen and this continued within a castellated wall surrounding ‘the island’ until the 1830’s.

The building of two–storey linen, spinning mill at that time began the transformation of the site into the large industrial complex that has been well recorded through photographs and illustrations. The Island Spinning Company was established in 1867 and as well as producing linen yarn it wove plain cloth on power looms. The company is however best remembered for the manufacture of linen threads. Thread production finally ceased at ‘the island’ in 1983.

Following this the canal was landfilled and the whole site was cleared by demolition in 1992. The area was therefore no longer an island and since this time has been dormant.

Lisburn City Council’s capital investment in this site included the re–instatement of the canal which reclaimed the area as an ‘island’. Home to the Council’s new Civic Headquarters and the ‘Most Modern Arts Venue on the Island’ – ISLAND Arts Centre – the reformation of this historic area has contributed greatly to Lisburn Centre’s regeneration and complements the substantial natural beauty and wildlife that are unique features of this urban landscape.

The interwoven tapestry of the physical landscape of the Sculpture Trail, as well as its cultural heritage combine perfectly to provide inspiration for the successful commissioned artists, who in the creation of their work have responded to the people and location of Lisburn City while leaving art works that are designed to exhilarate and challenge.


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LOVING VINCENT screening

LOVING VINCENT screening

On 27 July 1890 a gaunt figure stumbled down a drowsy high street at twilight in the small French country town of Auvers.

The man was carrying nothing; his hands clasped to a fresh bullet wound leaking blood from his belly.

This was Vincent van Gogh, then a little known artist; now the most famous artist in the world.

His tragic death has long been known, what has remained a mystery is how and why he came to be shot.

‘Loving Vincent’ tells that story.  

Running Time: 1hr 35mins, Certificate: 12

  • Date: Sat 22 Sep
  • Cost: £5
  • Time: 8pm
  • Venue: Studio Theatre
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