A Portrait of the Artist : Caoilfhionn Hanton

We sit down with Waterford artist and powerhouse of creativity Caoilfhionn Hanton for our latest profile of the artist.

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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.


A Portrait of the Artist : Kelsey Montague

We sit down with USA artist Kelsey Montague in our latest portrait of the artist.

kelsey montagueTell us how you first got into street art, what was the scene like where you grew up and how many years have you been painting?

I’ve been an artist since I was a kid. My Mom, Uncle, Grandpa and Great Grandpa were/are all artists. I grew up in Colorado and spent a great deal of time in my family’s various studios.

I didn’t get into street art until I moved to London to go to school. I loved learning about Banksy in school and then being surrounded by street art in London was really inspiring. When I moved to NYC after school I was determined to get into the New York street art scene- which was and continues to thrive.  


What has been your favourite place to paint and why?

My favorite place to do a big street street art piece is NYC (so far). The people there have a huge respect for art and street art. They also aren’t afraid to interact with and interpret art.


What is your biggest source of inspiration in your work? Do you have any favourite writers or artists? 

My family and their work is really inspiring to me. My grandfather included a bird in every painting he ever did (it was a sign of faith for him) and I only realized later that that is probably why I have always been so drawn to creating wings and winged pieces.

Beyond that I am obsessed with vintage movies and movie stars from the past, such as Catherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Carry Grant, and Ingrid Bergman. I think their work is iconic and I think the feeling I get when I watch older movies inspires my creativity.


What city do you live in now? Has this affected your style, medium or technique in any way?

I live in Denver now but I am on the road about 75% of the time and traveling to new places is really what I draw from to create new ideas, new pieces and techniques.


We’re very excited about having you at Waterford Walls 2017, What attracted you to the project? And what are you most looking forward to?

I am so excited. I think what most attracted me to this project is the fact you all are working hard to not only beautify spaces but also create community. I’ve seen how street art can motivate and inspire a community. I’m honored to be part of that in Waterford.


How would you rate Waterford Walls in terms of artistic quality standard? 

It’ll be an honor to join the Waterford Walls ranks of artists. You have curated some beautiful walls with stellar artists.


The theme of Waterford Walls 2017 is “Renewal & Regeneration”. What do you see as being street arts role in this? 

Street art has the power to completely regenerate neighborhoods. Take the Rino area in Denver for example. What used to be a rundown area of Denver is now a thriving, artistic neighborhood due to street art. I have seen over and over how art has the power to renew and regenerate neighborhoods around the world.


Do you have any projects, trips or shows coming up that we can look out for? 

Yes! After this I am traveling to the following countries for street art projects:


June 30- July 3 – UK, Manchester

July 4 – 9 – Spain, Castellon

July 9 – 10 – Netherlands, Breda

July 14 – 20 – Wroclaw, Poland

July 20 – 23 – Sweden, Gothenburg

July 27-29 – Greece, Mykonos

August 7-19 – Johannesburg, S Africa


Any shoutouts, thanks, links or comments?

Huge shout out to Waterford Walls for having me! You all are awesome to work with!

Follow Kelsey on Facebook here for all her latest work.

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A Portrait of the Artist: Thiago Ritual

Thiago Ritual is an artist, photographer, activist and free skater from São Paulo, Brasil. Having spent some years in Dublin, he became a notable regular on the Irish art scene, working with the Little Green Street Gallery, Abbey Gallery, Cabra Park Urban Gallery and numerous festivals and regeneration projects.

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A Portrait of the Artist: Louis Masai

Louis Masai is a London-based painter and street artist with a passion for nature – particularly endangered species. Louis painted the patchwork hammerhead sharks on Barrack Street at Waterford Walls 2015, with the astonishing statistic that, ‘By 2030, 90% of marine life will be endangered’. This year, Louis painted the elephants on Barker Street, which have fast become a favourite of locals and visitors to Waterford alike.

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Waterford Walls are thrilled to introduce our little sister, T-Walls. Five new murals will grace Tramore town as the Waterford Walls project expands its reach to one of Ireland’s favourite seaside spots.

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A Portrait of the Artist: Le Bas

Le Bas is a Dublin-based visual artist who divides his time between painting walls and producing studio work. A background in architecture and graffiti has influenced his approach to painting. Le Bas’ art infuses painterly abstraction with digitally produced images, which are meticulously hand-rendered to form a collage-like aesthetic.


Waterford Walls 2016

Waterford Walls 2016 is fast approaching and promises to be even bigger and better than last year, with 40 local, national and international artists set to descend on the city over the main festival weekend in August. We have broadened our scope with a jam-packed arts programme which has already started in earnest with the launch of T-Walls in Tramore…

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Waterford Walls 2015 Media Coverage

Waterford Walls is a unique and exciting people driven project. In 2015 we had the local print and radio media interested in regularly doing features of our project. In addition, we received huge attention from the local media channels and were partnered with BEAT fm. We also did regular features pre and post the festival. We also received huge from the national media channels with RTE 1 Six one & 9 O’Clock News covering the project extensively, a piece on Radio 1 Drivetime, a feature in the Irish Times and two articles in the Irish Examiner.