Saturday 21 February 2015

[Yet] More Street Art in Dublin

I found another street poet, not entirely unexpected as I think this one had been posted by @picturethisdublin at some point or other but it’s definitely worth adding to the list. 10/10 for location too, @echoesofagirl.


The focus today was really on stickers. There are a lot of stickers on the street furniture in Dublin. I wonder what that really says about the city sometimes. The council could adopt a much more aggressive/defensive approach and not have so many smooth/flat surfaces for example. The folks distributing the stickers could choose a less “mass market” approach too. And in many cases the stickers are not art, they are often just marketing or political sloganeering. Whatever the motivations of the various players I’m quite happy with the status quo, I find them interesting.


Some of the old Traffic Light control boxes have been repainted. Dublin City council now have a formal project for this where artists apply for a box, and are then their art is left alone on the box, rather than the standard reaction of getting a dollop of grey paint, so I assume these are now 100% official.



Hope to see more.

And there were a few other interesting things. This is an ad for Molloy and Downling who are a sort of weird opticians who specialise in antique-ish eyewear. Cool company. Bonkers bit of viral advertising if that’s what this is. It’s a sticker with a lot of thread randomly sewn into it. Found on a wall on Essex St east.


What’s really interesting is that last week I found this sticker, also with some thread sewn into it, just around the corner near Crampton Court. This one appears to be a map. I’m intrigued and may spend some time tomorrow trying to track down some of these numbers.



And finally. This is both sad and totally hilarious. In case anyone is sympathetic, I have also found two annoying cats. If you feel like adopting the dog, why not consider adopting my two cats first. I assure you they are probably a lot easier to look after than an annoying dog. PLEEEEAAASSSEEE!!!.



Glasnevin Cemetery

During my tour around the city today I took a short detour through Glasnevin Cemetery. It’s a an amazing place, definitely worth a visit and if you haven’t done one of the tours then sort that our, their tours are one of the best things to do in Ireland as a tourist.

Anyway I just went for a stroll and took some pictures. The light was lovely but the temperature was plummeting and I was getting way too cold to be taking the time needed to set up the sort of shots this place deserves. So I will got back but these can do as a sort of amuse bouche.

This was from a recently restored gravestone from ( I think) Louise Casey from Leixlip who died sometime in the 19th century. Her husband was a fairly committed Irish nationalist, and presumably she was too but nobody seemed to see fit to make that point on the headstone. In any case the gold inlay is unusual, and it is quite a beautiful bit of stone carving and the effect was quite evocative.


Daniel O’Connell’s rather epic grave – I’m pretty sure that a 30m Round Tower is pretty much unique in that regard.


The vaults around O’Connell’s grave are pretty imposing. We’re not quite in Roman\Vatican territory here but it is highly unusual to see sculpture of this quality in any other graveyard in the country. I find these two pictures particularly pleasing as I took them both standing barely 10 metres apart looking more or less in the same direction. The weather was truly weird today.


Say what you like about all the rest. Parnell wins on style. Chunk of Wicklow granite. Epic.


The war graves commission memorial to the fallen of WWII was quite special. Those who have issues with this, and the Lutyen’s War Memorial Garden in Islandbridge, need to think long and hard about the role played by Irish people in the defeat of fascism and the defence of small nations.


There is just an endless supply of incredible stone carving. The design on the left is from the headstone on the grave of Sean T. O’ Ceallaigh, but there is literally a sea of such beautiful work to be found if you look.


By far the most interesting spot that I found was a second set of circular vaults. It kind of captures all of what I thought Glasnevin would be about, and which it isn’t really, but it’s nice to see that parts of it are. I think it’s just that it’s just so big that there had to be a spot like this, after all there are a million people buried here and you kind of feel that in your bones when you are walking through it.


The light was really working well at this point but I was struggling to keep my shadow out of the photos. Then I thought I should probably just go with it, and there is something fitting about shadow selfies taken in the biggest graveyard in the country.


I’m thinking I may use this one as my new profile picture.


Anyway Glasnevin Cemetery, epic spot to go and spend some time in Dublin. Give it a go, you wont regret it.


Snowdrops and Daffodils

Yeah I just did that. Channelling Dana is bad karma but what can you do, today was a definitely a Snowdrop & Daffodil day. With some crocuses, gentian, and possibly a daisy or two thrown in for good measure.

So to redeem myself in the eyes of the faithless lets start off with my best Repeal the 8th Imelda sticker to date. Take it as read that I’m working on making this particular thing happen, and hopefully before long we wont have to worry about that building in the background having to host yet another supreme court session to decide on the relative importance of the rights of a bunch of cells over those of a living, breathing and very much sentient member of our society.


With that out of the way, it pains me somewhat to revert to Dana and her Eurovision winning song but today was very much a case of Snowdrops and Daffodils. With a lot of other early blooming flowers thrown in but the snowdrops and daffodils ( Galanthus and Narcissus to be more precise) are definitely out there claiming “First Post” on springtime with a vengeance. And it’s pretty cool to see. There were a few spots, notably the Blessington Basin, where the Crocus family had a pretty strong claim too. In any case it was a great day for taking a long stroll around the city looking for signs of spring.






Blessington Basin was also full of birds. Dublin City council may be well intentioned putting up “Don’t feed the birds” signs but nobody pays any attention. I think they should install a few vending machines that dispense healthy bird food rather than rely on the signs, nobody ever pays any attention to them and I’m pretty sure all the white bread really is bad for the birds.  


It was bloody cold but a great day for a walk even so. I haven’t been using the Fitbit so much lately so I don’t have any of it’s data but I had a solid 6 hours of walking in there, so at a guess ~30km. Not a bad result for the day. 

Sunday 15 February 2015

King Crept


Last August I noticed one of those “Missing\Have you seen” posters on my way into work. A young guy, John Ryan, was missing and his friends were asking for help finding him. A couple of days later I came across a small news item that explained that he’d, unfortunately, been found dead earlier i in the week. Apparently he’d been a well known, and obviously well loved street artist and his friends have been commemorating him by creating memorials all over the city.

Over the past few months I’ve come across a lot of these memorials, in locations as far apart as Killiney and Laytown. It’s nice to see them, and a shame that he couldn’t see for himself how appreciated he was. Hopefully it may help others realise that their are always alternatives. Not many of us have made this sort of impression on others. Just 20.

Crow St Temple Bar , Liberty St.


More from Liberty St.


From the south side on Killiney beach up to County Meath on the beach near Mosney looking south to the Gormanston firing range.


Along the promenade in Clontarf.


Island St. behind Usher’s Island.