The following news story is a copy of a press release issued by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland on 12th June 2024:

Brink! has teamed up with Artpark to bring their expertise in dye gardens to Belfast for ‘Colour Stories: Joint Journeys of a Colour Garden’.  The public will have a chance to explore the dye garden during Brink!’s Summer Solstice Weekender on 22-23 June 2024.

The Colour Stories project is led by Brink! in Belfast in partnership with Artpark Hoher Berg in Germany.  The project is supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Cultural Bridge programme, a scheme that promotes cross-border collaboration and exchange between Germany and UK arts organisations.  Artpark Hoher Berg and Brink! share a passion for using art and cultural events as catalysts for social change and are working together on Colour Stories which explores the topic of climate breakdown.

The public can view the dye garden at Brink!’s site in the heart Belfast city centre where Brink! has have turned a former derelict space into a thriving area for growing sustainable food, creating art, connecting people and demonstrating what is possible in the face of climate change.

Gawain Morrison of Brink! commenting on the project said, “What unites both our organisations is our desire to preserve our world for future generations and leave a lasting impact. With a shared passion for using art and cultural events as catalysts for social change, we want to work together on the topic of climate breakdown. We take all participants on a creative journey through a colour story. This ancient knowledge of extracting natural colour dyes from plants is the starting point. We will engage with the people of Belfast to bring their stories and identities to life through colour and nature.”

The topic is a universal one, what is new is their approach. The project asks, how do we sensitise our communities to use art to make a difference to climate change. The knowledge about dye gardens and their positive influence on a community and their way of acting is an old knowledge that has been forgotten. But Brink! and Artpark Hoher Berg are bringing this knowledge back to life to bring about social change.

This ancient knowledge of dye gardens is to be preserved and cultivated, and the extraction of natural colours from dye plants is the starting point.  Through the cultivation and appreciation of regional cultures, by engaging with these craft techniques and making them accessible across national borders, an exchange of knowledge and the further education of everyone is to be made possible.  The joint work promotes cultural diversity and the intangible cultural heritage, the protection of biodiversity, the recognition of ecological connections and economic opportunities as well as the strengthening of personal responsibility.

Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said, The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to partner with Fonds Soziokultur, Goethe-Institut London and our arts funding colleagues across these islands in the Cultural Bridge programme. This important initiative offers a valuable opportunity for our artists to engage with their counterparts in the UK and Germany with the aim of using the arts to connect communities, develop shared understanding and facilitate social change through the creation of new artistic work.  Congratulations to Brink! on their Cultural Bridge project, Colour Stories and I would encourage everyone to go along and explore the dye garden on 22 and 23 June.”

Brink!’s Summer Solstice Weekender is on from 22-23 June.  On Saturday 22nd visitors can hear from regenerative farmers, climate scientists, community growers, and food producers, and go on urban safaris with Wild Belfast, from midday to 6pm.  From 6-11pm BBC Summer Solstice Live from the Brink! will broadcast a selection of sets from some of Belfast’s finest DJs to celebrate the start of the summer.

On Sunday 23rd, from midday-9pm, Brink! will host a series of food, climate & activist related films, interspersed with Q&A from local specialists to hear how these films relate to Northern Ireland.  These events are all FREE, and access to the site will be limited for safety, and on a first come first served basis.  For more information visit

About the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the lead funding and development agency for the Arts providing support to arts projects throughout the region, through its Treasury and The National Lottery funds.  Arts Council funding enables artists and arts organisations to increase access to the arts across society and deliver great art that is within everyone’s reach.

To date, National Lottery players have helped to raise £48 billion for Good Causes, with more than 685,000 individual awards made across the UK. With hundreds of lottery grants in every postcode district, most people will have benefited from a National Lottery-funded project at some point.