One of the first things you will notice when stepping into The Sandwich Co at the Diamond are the several pieces of incredible wall art, including a mixed media mural of the Corinthian Ballroom and an 8 foot tall painting of Alice in Wonderland. These were created by talented local artist Domnall Starkie. Domnall Starkie is a graphic designer and artist from Derry who co founded the design company SmartSwag (Find out more about SmartSwag here). His work is known for creating a social commentary in a unique pop art style. Starkie is best known for his piece Culture Wall which he created during Derry / Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013. This was an 18 metre long projection made from a mosaic of more than 27,000 portraits, which created an illustration of a robin and Derry’s iconic peace bridge.
Starkie is the main contributor to The Sandwich Co’s wide range of unique artwork. He created a wall mural to celebrate the Corinthian Ballroom which was located in the building before the Sandwich Co. Starkie describes the piece as having a “contemporary feel that younger people would be attracted to and find interesting”. The children’s area in The Sandwich Co. is overlooked by a huge painted mural of Alice in Wonderland with The Sandwich Co logo painted on her apron. This comical pop art style piece captures perfectly the fun and friendly atmosphere throughout the café.
Domnall Starkie also played a role in the creation of The Bunker Room, an Aladdin’s cave of eclectic décor and unique artwork in the backroom of The Sandwich Co. Starkie designed a huge mural which covers the entire back wall of the Bunker Room. This cultural piece includes many of Derry’s historical monuments including Bishops Gate, Hands Across the Divide and the many canons that are found around the city. Much of the furniture found in the Bunker Room was upcycled and designed by Starkie and the walls are covered in framed pieces of his artwork including quirky illustrations of the famous faces from Derry. Starkie has also recreated his iconic Culture Wall out of a collage of book pages.
Even when leaving the café you will find more of Starkies artwork, as he has painted a large mural above the door wishing you farewell in 120 different languages!