The project created a kind of trickle down effect through the streets of Dublin and the famous Temple Bar skeleton or Two Pups cafe’s Bowie-esque lightning bolts can at least be partially attributed to this rise in street art triggered by All City Jam.
However, trends in Dublin’s street art have taken a turn, particularly in the past two years to development of art with a statement. Aside from their aesthetic function, murals popping up across the city also provide a wry cultural commentary. When Maser’s now iconic “Repeal the 8th” tag was removed and repainted several times on the wall of The Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar throughout the two years leading up to the referendum, the city became privy to the power of street art. The support that was rallied around the artist who is also behind Grantham Street’s ‘U Are Alive’ mural was a clear sign of Dublin’s appetite for art with a message.
“Aside from their aesthetic function, murals popping up across the city also provide a wry cultural commentary”
Aches’ commemorative mural for Savita Halappanavar became another landmark of support for the repeal movement, with many leaving touching notes attached to the mural during its run outside The Bernard Shaw. It has now become one of the city’s prime locations for ever-changing public murals. Aches’ mural now resides permanently overlooking the nearby Eatyard, which is also host to an eclectic mix of graffiti and art.
However, within the past few months alone, Dublin has welcomed a new kid on to the street art scene with the artist collective, Subset, making waves on bare walls across the city. Their ‘Grey Area Project’ is hellbent on bringing vibrancy to the capital and resisting the prohibitive legislation on public art culture. Take one look at their Instagram account and you’ll see murals and notices from Dublin City Council in equal measure. Their Stormzy mural in Smithfield Haymarket, which is now covered up, reached Banksy levels of irony with the addition of a council worker, mid brush stroke, removing the piece.
What started out as a resistance against censorship and its prohibitive effects on public art culture has rapidly developed into something even bigger. Recently, the radical group returned to Haymarket to take on the city’s housing crisis, showing support for the work of the Inner City Helping Homeless. As part of their iconic ‘Grey Area Project’, the group took over the outer wall of Proper Order Coffee Co. This mural appears to question the priorities of the Department for Housing and Planning who are responsible for the legislation that prevents Dublin’s street artists from unrestricted creative endeavours. Keep an eye out to see their work popping up all over the city, filling in the blanks with artistic statements and beautiful pieces.