Light and Heat

Rob Hilken is a multi-disciplinary artist who's loves repetition. This piece went though a number of versions in the design process before being stripped right back to an abstract piece. Visible down the length of Wilson's Court it brightens up the whole entry and is designed to compliment a planned lighting installation in the adjacent part of the entry. 

Rob says this about the piece...

Samuel Neilson played an integral role in the revolutionary politics of the 1790s, primarily as the founding editor of the Northern Star newspaper, described by Walter Cox in 1811 as:

‘… a planet of light and heat; its influences were commensurate with its circulation and its circulation was only restricted by the ocean. It warmed the cold; it animated the feeble; it cheered the afflicted; it stimulated the intrepid and instructed all. Pernicious dogmas, false reasonings, slavish superstitions and gothic prejudices, which broke the people into different sects and marshalled them against each other, disappeared before it.’

The Northern Star was published in Wilson's Court Entry.

It was always the idea that the repetition within the design represented the mechanical printing process of the newspaper manufacturing that went on there, and that the deliberate block pattern echoed the desire to build a better future. I think it also subconsciously plays homage to the iconic socialist mural on transport house which has similar dimensions, although it projects a more overt political message.

I like the reference to the ocean in the quote too. I always saw the mural as reflecting (pun intended) the importance of the water in Belfast, but I also like the idea that the shimmering effect of light and heat can also be seen in the design, paying homage to Samual Neilson.


Part of the Belfast Entries Project
Created on July 19, 2020
27 High St, Belfast BT1 2AA, UK
Hunted by Adam Turkington.
Pictures by Neal Campbell, NealCampbell.

Marker details

Camera usedCanon EOS 5D Mark III
Date created2020-07-19T22:00:00.000Z
Marker typeartwork
CountryUnited Kingdom