Dunmurry’s DeLorean becomes a work of art

The unveiling of the Belfast Photo Festival's DeLorean Print Project.
The unveiling of the Belfast Photo Festival's DeLorean Print Project.

The timeless DeLorean DMC-12 which was propelled to international fame by Robert Zemeckis’ science fiction blockbuster, Back to the Future, is now a work of art in Belfast city centre.

The DeLorean Print Project, one of the signature events of the 2015 Belfast Photo Festival, is now complete after construction tools wrapped up generating 1.21 gigawatts of electrical power to see the instantly recognizable car take shape.

The sculpture is both celebratory and a commemorative installation marking the 35th anniversary of the first pre-production appearance of the timeless car.

French artist Cyril Hatt collaborated with local artist and woodworker Robert Anderson, and Scottish woodworker Jonathan Hickey, in combining the disciplines of sculpture and photography to see the DeLorean DMC-12 revitalized as a work of art. Using the methods of Mr. Hatt, a replica DeLorean DMC-12 similar to that used in Back to the Future 2 was meticulously photographed.

Each photograph was then printed on A5 size aluminium plates and affixed to the wooden frame to form a 1:1 scale replica of the iconic car.

Former employees of the Dunmurry factory recently reunited for their first and potentially last reunion to celebrate the enduring following the car has amassed over the years, and to assist in what could be viewed as the last DeLorean DMC-12 the former employees of the original DeLorean Motor Company will have an input in assembling.

Unknown to many, whether they are fans of the film or automotive enthusiasts, the former employees of the Dunmurry based factory had a unique tradition of adding their own personal touches to the DMC-12 during production. Often found on the unseen inner stainless steel body panels of the DMC-12 are messages – coined ‘cave paintings’ - that give us a glimpse into the enthusiasm of each employee during their time with the DeLorean Motor Company in the early 1980s.

In keeping with this tradition, the former employees who travelled from across the world to convene in Belfast were met by the staff behind the Belfast Photo Festival where they once again added their own unique messages to the individual photographic aluminum plates that formed the DMC-12 sculpture.

In conjunction with Belfast Photo Festival 2015, Belfast Exposed – Northern Ireland’s principal gallery for contemporary photography – is working alongside a local Dunmurry community association to hold a series of DeLorean based photography workshops.

The sculpture will on display in the grounds of Belfast City Hall until June 30.

Plans are currently in place to tour the sculpture and showcase the DeLorean unlike it has ever been seen before.