Boris Bally to take up three week residency

Urban Alchemist To Work Magic On Local Scrap

Top American artist and self-professed urban alchemist Boris Bally will be taking up residence in Derry~Londonderry throughout the month of August, working with local artists to transform discarded street signs into some unique pieces of urban art.

Bally will be leading a unique project titled Reclaim the Streets, engaging with artists and craft makers of all levels, from colleges to community organisations, as part of Derry City Council’s CultureCraft legacy programme.

Bally has created a genre of work known as Humanufactured, which merges art, design and craft to create functional and funky pieces of urban furniture, as well as a wide range of smaller bespoke pieces, from coasters to jewellery. By using discarded road signs, usually dumped as scrap metal, Bally manages to recreate and recycle, while incorporating the eye-catching graphics of the signage as part of his subject matter.

Both challenging and witty, the end result uses around 30,000 pounds of recycled scrap metal each year, and Bally’s prolific work transforms every element of the raw materials, down to the last shavings.

Speaking ahead of his visit, he said he was looking forward to sharing his expertise with local artists.

This project has so many exciting components that it’s unprecedented and in my opinion quite cutting-edge
— Boris Bally

‘Actually, I’ve not done anything like this before,’ he admits. ‘This project has so many exciting components that it’s unprecedented and in my opinion quite cutting-edge. For almost three decades I’ve taught numerous metal and design courses but nothing with this optimism and breadth. It’s unique to work with a group of creative people from the community to build furniture specifically for use in their own environment.