Sheriff Street Outdoor Art Exhibition Launch
One of Dublin’s largest outdoor art exhibitions has been unveiled on Sheriff Street.
Ballymore’s Dublin Arch Murals aim to make art accessible to all by using eight emerging, local and established artists to create dramatic large-scale works.
Well-known artists such as Solus, Shane Ha, Kiki Na, Duc Pham and local artists and creatives such as Rebecca Kehoe and Tara Kearns have created pieces with the after-school group Sheriff Street ASESP.
The images are a mix of printed graphics and painted artwork and will be in situ for the public to view for the next two years.
The artwork will be displayed on signs currently around the proposed Dublin Arch site on Sheriff Street and Oriel Street, next to Connolly Station in Dublin.
When completed, the mixed-use development will include homes and offices, retail space, a cafe and new facilities for Docklands Boxing Club and St. Joseph’s O’Connell GAA Club.
Also included are over 7,000 m² of public open space and over 2,000 bicycle parking spaces for residents, visitors and workers.
The project is led by Artistic Director Fionnuala Halpin who works with local children and youth groups and has extensive experience in civic art projects and youth work in communities.
She is also an accomplished artist in her own right and has a passion for making art more accessible to the public.
Speaking about the exhibition, Fionnuala says, “With this project, we are removing the constraints of a gallery and making art more accessible to the community.
“There hasn’t been a real focus on art in the city center on a consistent basis, so it’s a great way to showcase our local talent and hopefully bring a hub of arts to the community in the future.
“Public art reflects society and can reinforce a sense of place by being site-specific. It is a community activity that can reach a wide variety of people. It can be engaging, inspiring and thought-provoking and can help stimulate conversation between a wide range of individuals and groups.
Tara Kearns is a rising expressionist artist from Sheriff Street, who became known for her paintings of real people in the community and issues such as homelessness.
Working two jobs, Tara entered the IADT in Dun Laoghaire and graduated with a first class degree.
She then featured her work in a solo exhibition at Trinity College where she depicted disabled university leaders to mark Disability Week and she also took part in the long-running Five Lamps festival.
In art college, she felt there was a Sheriff Street stigma and it was something she carried with her all her life. She felt that art was something for the “rich” and those who had the education to understand it, and that’s something she wants to change through her work.
Speaking about the project and her local community, Tara said, “Growing up, my mom sacrificed a lot for me to fulfill my dream as an artist.
“To see my work displayed here in my community alongside some of these great artists is a very proud moment! I am determined to show the positive side of Dublin city centre. I regularly have young people asking how they can paint and draw “like me”, so the chance to do more teachings and workshops here would be great. I invite anyone who has never been to this area of Dublin to come visit and look at this beautiful art and see our strong sense of community.
Ballymore is a developer with a wide and varied background, credited with pioneering some of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe. Art and culture is a key part of its developments with recent initiatives including a 9-storey mural and four murals in Brentford London by British mural artist Jo Hicks.
Ballymore Group Chairman and Chief Executive Sean Mulryan officially unveiled the murals today and said: “Arts, culture and design are essential to our lives and our well-being. We need to appreciate the importance of the arts to our quality of life and we always make sure they are in the places we develop. This project offers inspiring examples of how individual artists can make a difference and we are delighted to have Fionnuala Halpin on board who brings her knowledge, experience and creativity to this exhibition.
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