By artists Cian Walker, James Earley, and Tony Byrne
Ardú Street Art continues to brighten up the streets of Cork, as artists take to the streets for the fourth annual outing.
Following the completion of a new collaborative mural commemorating Tomás MacCurtain on Coburg Street by artists Shane O’Driscoll and Peter Martin last month; the Ardú team once again bring together some of the country’s finest street artists for a new piece on Harley Street.
Shane O’Driscoll painted the first Ardú mural on Harley Street in October 2020. Organisers say
“We never knew at that point the direction that Ardú would go. We certainly didn’t think that we’d be getting to a point where we would be repainting murals from our first year… That’s just the nature of street art and murals only have a certain lifespan.”
James Earley, Tony Byrne, and Cian Walker have been friends of the festival since the beginning and have been painting in Cork for over 15 years. This week they reveal their collaboration in the city. Speaking about the large-scale mural, they explain:
“When we first met to discuss potential ideas for this mural, we found that each of us had been exploring similar ideas, a positive sign from the get-go. We had a fruitful meeting wherein we discussed ideas of industry, geography, and the ever-changing facets of Cork as a city. Given its significant history as a thriving port city, we wanted to create a work that alludes to the River Lee, its movement and its importance to the trade of Cork, and Ireland as a whole. Utilising earthy tones offset by more vivid and vibrant colours we feel that the piece pays homage to the history of the county and its energy in moving forward as a city of cosmopolitan modernity. Hard-edged geometric shapes make reference to the urban elements of Cork City, in combination with more organic forms that suggest links to the sediment of the river and the more rural areas of the county. There are visual cues hidden within the composition, abstractions on the logos of Dunlop and Ford, for example, the water from the image on the county flag, alongside less oblique references such as the use of Cork marble in the piece, our aim was to create an exciting, stimulating mural that allows viewers to appreciate on a purely aesthetic level but also one that offers nuggets of reference and inspiration for those who wish to explore more deeply.”
Follow Ardú on social media to see more: Twitter @ArduStreetArt / https://twitter.com/ArduStreetArt | Instagram: @ArduStreetArt | www.arducork.ie
Ardú Street Art was established in Cork during lockdown of October 2020, originally bringing seven of Ireland’s most respected and renowned street artists – Deirdre Breen, Maser, James Earley, Peter Martin, Shane O’Driscoll, Aches, and Garreth Joyce – to create large scale murals at key Cork city-centre locations.
Thanks to phenomenal community engagement and support, the event returned in 2021 with four more walls unveiled by Shane O’Malley, Friz, Conor Harrington, and Asbestos. And again in 2022, with artists Claire Prouvost, Kitsune Jolene, and VENTS137.
These fourteen inspiring pieces of work dotted across the city add greatly to the cultural landscape of the city centre. They’ve spurred conversations on the ground, shared widely across online platforms, and been praised internationally in the likes of Travel US Magazine, and the Brooklyn Street Art website.
Ardú Street Art Project is the brainchild of visual artist and designer Shane O’Driscoll, muralist, stained-glass artist and secondary school teacher Peter Martin, and organiser of the annual Cork Graffiti Jam, Paul Gleeson. Project managed by Rose-Anne Kidney of Goldiefish Events and made possible with generous support from Cork City Council and Creative Ireland.
Ardú is supported by the Creative Ireland programme, an all-of-government five-year initiative, which places creativity at the centre of public policy. Further information from creativeireland.gov. This project would not be possible without the support of Cork City Council, and Ardú’s generous sponsors Pat McDonnell Paints.