Thursday Doors – Seek Arts Festival Dundalk

Thursday Doors this week features Seek, a contemporary urban arts festival. It began in 2019 to promote visual art in Dundalk and takes place over a five year period, commissioning established and emerging artists, locally, nationally and from abroad, to help promote the town culturally and artistically. If you can get to it this week, it’s running from August 1st – 8th. I was on a family visit for a few days and my sister booked us on the guided street tour, which runs each day of the festival. This first image is the work of Claire Prouvost (France) one of the five artists whose work we can follow as the days go on. Because of travel restrictions some invited artists could not participate. Hopefully, that will not be the case next year.

We went back next day to have a look at her progress. All the artists have done very well in spite of our wet summer. Claire was given the theme of local writer, Dorothy Macardle (1889โ€“1958). She was a journalist and political activist throughout her life, writing many short stories and plays.

The theme Brigid of Faughart, who is an Irish saint, was given to a Northern Ireland based artist, Friz. Her work largely revolves around the female form and our connection to the natural world around us. Brigid is said to have been born to a Pagan Irish chieftain and his Christian wife in Faughart, near Dundalk in 450 AD. Her father named his daughter after the Celtic goddess of fire, who is also linked to poetry, healing, childbirth, and unity. My sister took a shot of Friz’s work a couple of days later and you can already see how much detail there is in it.

The work of the next artist is Omin (Ireland) who is well established on the national and international street art scene with twenty years of artwork to his credit. He was given the theme of local photographer, Paul Kavanagh (1929-2012), whose work is displayed in the Dundalk Museum. Some of his best known photographs depict the poverty of 1960s Ireland.

You would be mistaken if you think the foundation of this piece doesn’t make any sense. It does to the artist using this system. When you see the next image, taken a couple of days later, you’ll be amazed. There are elephants, people and of course, a camera in the hands of Paul Kavanagh.

The next artist is Chula Mente (Spain). Her theme was Industrial Railway Heritage. The original station in Dundalk opened on 15th February 1849 as Dundalk Junction (being located at the Junction of the Dublin-Belfast line and the Dundalk and Enniskillen line). The current Dundalk Station opened in June 1894. It was given the name Clarke Station in 1966 in commemoration of Tom Clarke, one of the executed leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. My grandfather was involved in building and repairing the railway carriages back in the early nineteen hundreds.

They only have a week to complete their projects and the weather has not always been kind to them.

I’ve saved this last one to end my post on as the subject is connected to my family tree.

The artist Aches (Ireland) has been commissioned to portray Dundalk born Hall of Fame boxer, Thomas “Sailor Tom” Sharkey (1871-1953). He fought two fights with heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries in a ring career which spanned from 1893 to 1904. He is credited with having won 40 fights (with 37 knockouts), 7 losses, and 5 draws. From what my family has researched, Tom Sharkey appears to be a distant cousin of our great-grandfather, Patrick Sharkey. My sister and I went back next day to see the progress made by Aches.

As this is a Thursday Doors post I can’t end it without including a door, can I? Here’s last years contribution by Aches to the Seek arts festival in Dundalk, which includes a door.

Check out the Seek website for more photos and info. Many thanks toย Martin McElligott, Photographer andย Dundalk Town Centre Commercial Manager, for a hugely informative and interesting guided tour and to my sister Anne for booking the tickets and bringing me along. There are lots more Thursday Doors to see over on Norm’s blog.

About Jean Reinhardt

Author of 'A Pocket Full of Shells' an Amazon International best seller, Jean writes young adult and historical fiction. She has been known to shed a tear over Little House on the Prairie.
This entry was posted in Art, Blogging, History, Ireland, photography, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel, writers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Thursday Doors – Seek Arts Festival Dundalk

  1. Norm 2.0 says:

    These are amazing. So much talent out there. The last one is stunning. When we have the Mural Festival here I always go down and spend a few hours watching the artists at work. Aside from being very talented they have to be comfortable with heights. You wouldn’t catch me up on one of those cherry picker lifts for hours at a time ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ally Bean says:

    Oh my goodness, these are fascinating and beautiful works of art. What a cool festival. I’m glad you got the chance to snap a few pics of it in process.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Thursday Doors โ€“ Seek Arts Festival Dundalk โ€” Jean Reinhardt | homethoughtsfromabroad626

  4. JT Twissel says:

    Always cool to see a reference to one’s ancestors!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan Antion says:

    Wow! These murals are amazing. Thanks for sharing the pictures with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Teresa says:

    ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ wonderful murals!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are truly talented artists you showcased here. It reminds me of two walls I shot while in Ireland that to this day still amaze me. Lots of talented folks in your part of the world. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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