Thursday Doors – Street Art

It’s been a dull, wet February this year so I thought a colourful Thursday Doors post was in order and these street art images definitely fit the bill. Last year was Dundalk, County Louth’s third year of the Seek Festival which promotes contemporary urban art in the town. By commissioning established and emerging artists locally, nationally and internationally, they aim to promote the town culturally and artistically.

This first mural is by Italian artist Basik, whose style mixes his graffiti background with a graphic approach to painting, which is inspired by Medieval and Renaissance art. His work also looks at distinctive traits in popular culture and antique religious imagery. Basik was selected to depict Oliver Plunkett (1625-1681) who was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. In spite of religious persecution from the English Crown he continued his duties and was arrested on the charge of treason. At first, he was imprisoned in cells underground in Dundalk, near where this mural has been painted, before being transported to London, where his trial took place. Oliver Plunkett was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn in July, 1681.

The artist, Friz, was invited once again to participate in the festival last year. She works in both traditional and digital media and has a strong focus on spray painting. Her commission was to depict the life of Frances Leopold McClintock who was born in July 1819 in Dundalk. He was one of fourteen children and his father had been an officer in the 3rd Dragoon Guards. With little formal education he entered the Royal Navy as a gentleman volunteer when he was almost twelve and rose through the ranks to be commissioned as a lieutenant in 1845. Three years later, he volunteered to take part in a search for the missing Franklin expedition. During the course of a series of Arctic searches McClintock charted vast stretches of coastline and developed new methods for polar travelling.

Franklin’s wife was determined that a proper search should be carried out of the islands off the mouth of the Great Fish River. She knew it was highly unlikely that there would be any survivors of her husband’s expedition but hoped that some records might be found and any remains of the crew would be given a Christian burial. However, the Admiralty refused to fund yet another search, especially as a good many years had gone by, so she raised the money herself and contacted Frances McClintock. He was in Dublin on half-pay with plenty of time on his hands so he helped her obtain a ship, The Fox, a small steamship of 177 tons. In April 1857 she offered him command of the expedition. It’s a fascinating account so I’ll leave a link to it at the end of this post. *

This last mural is by an Australian artist, Sam Bates aka Smug, who is based in Glasgow. It took him ten days to paint the the 41 metre high depiction of the warrior god Lugh (Lu) using 247 cans of spray paint and 180 litres of emulsion. You can see the gleaming spear in his hand but behind that hedge there is an Irish wolfhound at his feet. It graces the Crowne Plaza Hotel and is apparantly the tallest mural in Ireland.

It wasn’t just this shop’s colourful window display that caught my eye – the name got my attention, too. The business belongs to a young local designer, 24 year old Megan McGuigan. Seeking Judy is a printed textile brand based in Ireland. They also specialise in hand dyed and reworked pieces.

At the age of fifteen, Megan started her business as a pop up shop while she was still in school. After graduating from NCAD with a degree in Fashion Design in 2019, she gave Seeking Judy her full attention and it has become a skate inspired streetwear brand, influenced by her time spent in Barcelona, Spain. I’ll put a link to their website at the end of the post.**

Many of the town’s doors and window trims are painted in eye-catching colours from purple to vibrant yellow, which really brightens up the place on a grey day. I hope you enjoyed the street art in this colourful Thursday Doors post, thanks for stopping by and if you carry on over to Dan’s blog you’ll find a great collection of links there to explore.

The Artic Fox *

Seeking Judy **

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, dundalk, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Thursday Doors – Street Art

  1. Dan Antion says:

    These are great doors, Jean. I like Seeking Judy and the back story. Thanks for bringing us some color.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JT Twissel says:

    A Warrior God is a strange subject for a mural!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sheree says:

    Really wonderful selection Jean

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennie says:

    This is just what winter weary eyes need to see!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tanja says:

    really beautiful murals

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jazzytower says:

    Nice capture of those I treating murals!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Jean, these are great pictures and I enjoyed learning a bit about their meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. scooj says:

    Great post and some superb murals

    Liked by 1 person

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