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Portrait of the Curator : Louise Flynn

Louise Flynn has been with Waterford Walls since the beginning and she performs the key role of Curator which puts her in the position of selecting and commissioning artists and assigning them walls to match their projected paintings. Like all the team she does many other things as well to make the festival the great success it is. This year Louise has accepted applications from a large number of international artists, attracted by the growing reputation of Waterford Walls as a great street art event, as well as Irish based artists with both local and national roots.

 

When did you fall in love with street art? 

 

A few years back I was studying for a Masters Degree and I got really into the idea of art that interrupts every day life or that you happen upon by accident…from huge murals or even flash mobs to clever little pieces that interact with an existing environment.

Are you an artist yourself? 

 

Yes I am a tattoo artist working at High Society Tattoo in Kilkenny, I draw and paint all the time

What is your role in organising Waterford Walls festival? 
As curator I liaise with artists throughout the year and help organise walls, paint, accommodation, cups of tea…. whatever everyone needs to make their experience in Waterford a fabulous one.
What’s the best part of the festival for you? 

 

When it’s over ha! The best thing is welcoming artists to our city and seeing the impact the festival has on them and vice versa the effect their work has on our community. I love seeing people have a good time, enjoying their passion and seeing other people enjoy it too.

Organising a festival is stressful – have you ever had any scary moments? 

 

Apparently you’re supposed to do something that scares you every day so here we are!
What impacts have you noticed on Waterford life thanks to the festival? 

 

I think after year 1 there was a nice buzz about it as it was all so new and unexpected. A lot of people wouldn’t have known it was going to happen. It lifts people’s spirits to pass beautiful pieces of art on their daily route to work or school when before it might have been monotonous. I have heard from lots of people how brilliant they think it is and how it brightens up areas even just brightening their day. I think people take pride in the artwork which is what I love, for everybody to take ownership of their environment and be proud of helping to make it happen. Certain murals are particularly loved by kids like The Elephants by Louis Masai, which I think is really important. They are inspired by this injection of fun into the city, little pops of colour are always nice surprises.

Who should we be looking out for this year? 

 

So many amazing artists to choose from, I’m looking forward to it all to be honest I can’t pick one! I’d definitely recommend making it out to the Deise Greenway to see what’s happening there and take a stroll down O’Connell Street. Basically get the festival map and go everywhere!!

Any shout outs for future projects?

 

Check out my personal work on Instagram & Facebook 

 

Future projects – ask me in September!

 

 

If you would like to check out the festival programme for Waterford Walls 2017 please download a copy from our website at www.waterfordwalls.ie  or pick up a hard copy from the Waterford Tourist Office.

 

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A Portrait of the Artist : Magda Karol

 

Tell 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 have been painting since I can remember but last year was the first time I stood in front of a wall with paint in my hand. As I grew up I witnessed the growth of graffiti culture as trains and walls were painted at night. At that time, I wasn’t bold enough to do anything against the law. Today, street art is accepted and there are festivals like Waterford Walls. This event gave me the chance to develop a different field of art.

 

What has been your favourite place to paint and why?

For me place is not significant. Walls and their surroundings should work with the artist trying to add something new to their appearance without trying to change them completely. In this year’s project I will focus on the first lines I saw on the falling plaster on the building which inspired me to draw out into the already existing shape. I do not have a favourite wall, as each one inspires me to create something new.

 

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

My biggest inspiration is people. I always incorporate human emotions into my art and illustrate them in a metaphorical way. I also have my artistic masters who inspire me and give me new ideas. I love Egon Schiele’s freestyle lines, colour-building like Janny Saville and Sepe, and the incredible guys from Etam Cru who play with the light.

 

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

I have been living in Waterford for 13 years and the fact that I’m a foreigner, and I’m slightly ‘exotic’ helps me to take any criticisms on board much easier. I’m mainly creating for my own recognition but the people of Waterford believed in my authenticity, they invested their faith in my art and thus supported me in my further artistic provocations.

 

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?

This year I will be taking part in the Waterford Walls Festival for the second time, and I’m just as excited. This festival once again gives me the opportunity to showcase my art on a large scale and expand my own techniques and this is most exciting for me.

 

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

I am the last person to judge anything!  I can certainly say that WWF and the people taking part in it are helping me to expand my artistic potential and they are enriching it with a new energy.

 

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

WWF has changed the aesthetics of the city. New walls with new colours light up the grey streets of Waterford. The city gets more modern because street art is a form of contemporary art. I am honoured that my work may have an impact on the appearance of this city.

 

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

Last month I was working elsewhere so I accidentally neglected my own artistic backyard. From September I will be back at full speed as I have ideas ready to illustrate but where and when will you be able to see them? Honestly, as yet, I have no idea.

 

Any shout outs, thanks, links or comments?

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who trusted in me and my art and accepted my exotic authenticity. There are so many that I cannot mention them all in a short interview but thank you all very much!!!

Find Magda on Facebook here.