We sit down with Waterford artist and powerhouse of creativity Caoilfhionn Hanton for our latest profile of the artist.
Tell us how you first got into street art?
I first pursued a debut in this very foreign world during the New Street Gardens Project, headed by Edel. I find street art is much more refreshing for me than the standard art gallery. I started taking my craft seriously in transition year. Since posting my work online I have gained myself a solid reputation. Also I gained priceless work experience from the brilliant Dublin artist Steve Kemp in stencil cutting and spray paint. I’ve been in love with urban art ever since.
What’s been your favourite place to paint?
The outside, on a warm, sunny day. I’ve been lucky that whilst I was painting for Waterford Walls, the Harley Davidson wall in Ozier Park and at The Bernard Shaw for International Woman’s Day, I was mostly blessed with lovely weather
What is your biggest source of inspiration in your work?
Instagram is essential for providing #vibes. I follow/stalk a few drag queens who use their faces as the canvas, I listen to music and throwback music videos and I obsess over boxsets and cinema. I’m obsessed with rap/ urban culture as those who know of my online presence or in person would guess. Gimme hip hop from every era, it’s all iconic and good.
What city do you live in now? Has this affected your style?
I’ve only ever lived in Waterford but I definitely think this has influenced my style.
Waterford is a unique, historical county and an underdog. I think youth culture here is very prominent and the city is more exciting than it’s been in years. It’s metropolitan in its own way. Waterford Walls has transformed the city and created a dialogue between cultures and generations, and generally makes the city look cooler and distils pride in all of us.
What attracted you to Waterford Walls, and what are you most looking forward to?
I was most attracted by the liberation of using our city’s actual walls. Being able to walk past pieces you love is incredible, and makes the city a meandering art gallery. I love the tourists looking and taking pictures. I can’t wait as I’ve fine-tuned my influences and have ideas lots of ideas in mind.
How would you rate Waterford Walls in terms of artistic quality standard?
I would rate the city as a phenomenal spot for culture. A huge chunk of the city’s creative façade is thanks to Waterford Walls. The work is incredible and rivals Dublin in cultural #fleekiness.
The theme of Waterford Walls 2017 is “Renewal & Regeneration”. What do you see as being street art’s role in this?
“Renewal and Regeneration” captures how WW benefits the city. It gives more value to pieces in my opinion, as there is history behind every wall, as opposed to the cold sterility of art galleries. I admire those also, but the interaction and connection between people and these Walls is something else. It’s a renewal and regeneration of people’s admiration of their city.
Do you have any projects, trips or shows coming up that we can look out for?
I’m living the adult life and working full time this summer, but buying essential art investments with my new-found financial independence. I’ve been practising illustration styles and trying to find what types I like the most. I’m laying low at the moment but expect an iconic comeback haha
Any shoutouts, thanks, links or comments?
Thanks to my fam, my supporters, and Waterford Walls. Thanks to all the internet friends who have showed me really cool things that still influence me today and last but not least, thank you Scottish Twitter for providing the best laughs of this year so far.