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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 : ARCY

arcy

 

Tell us how you first got into street art?

I’ve been doing street art for over a decade, but my artistic capabilities really emerged during childhood. Growing up about an hour outside of NYC, I was heavily influenced by the street art culture and immersed myself in the scene at a young age admiring both legendary and current artists from across the world. The motive that inspired me to take up the art form was the freedom of expression that street art represented.

 

What’s been your favourite place to paint?

Australia. The scene down under is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. So much talent crammed into one country left me very humbled to have been able to leave my work amongst some of street arts best.

 

What is your biggest source of inspiration in your work?

My largest source of inspiration points directly to my graffiti roots. Each and every piece that I create emphasizes paint splashes, splatters, and drips, which I attribute to the raw nature of the art form. As a child, I learned about Jackson Pollock, and how he developed a free flowing abstract nature of unpredictability in the art. His work is very much reflected in the style that I practice today.

 

What city do you live in now? Has this affected your style?

Born and raised in the suburbs of Connecticut, I still reside here today. My style developed from the Connecticut graffiti scene that I was raised on, and you will still see those roots show through in my work today.

 

What attracted you to Waterford Walls, and what are you most looking forward to?

I’ve always been known to embrace opportunities that bring the arts and communities together. Waterford Walls does just that. When I received the invite to participate in the 2017 exhibition, there was never a pause in commitment.  I am most looking forward to visiting the city, embracing the culture and way of life, and leaving a piece that the community of Waterford will be proud of.

 

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

I’ve followed the immense talent that Waterford Walls has exhibited in its city. Some of the best street artists in the world have left their mark in Waterford and it says a lot for newcomers like me. The bar has been set high which should always be the standard for public art. This standard teaches artists to always push their limits.

 

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

Street Art is arguably the most visible form of public art. It’s not hidden away in a gallery or on view for a limited time. Street art is statement making, it is attention grabbing and best of all, it is permanent. Adding color to the streets makes our communities feel welcome, safe, and proud. This year, the streets of Waterford will renew and regenerate with works of art by some of the most dedicated and passionate artists from across the world all whom which are willing to persevere for the common goal of globally uniting our planet through the arts.

 

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

Be on the lookout for my 2017 North American ARCY Live! live event mural tour.

 

Any shoutouts, thanks, links or comments?

I include a hidden Mickey Mouse head in every piece that I create for my two young sons back home to find. It started out as a way of keeping my family close to me during my travels, and has become a staple to my brand, with many of my followers immediately searching upon each mural release, so keep on the lookout!

 

As always, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the guidance and support of my crews, High Impact and From Up Above.

 

Follow ARCY and his work on Facebook and  Instrgram or visit his website.

 

 

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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.

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A Portrait of the Artist : Fintan Magee

fintan magee

Born in 1985 in Lismore, Australia and encouraged by his parents to draw from a young age, Fintan Magee began painting full time in 2009 and has since established himself as one of the world’s leading figurative street artists.

Magee’s large-scale murals create a visual circus of scattered imagery and styles, drawing inspiration from cartoons, children’s books, nature and architecture. Transporting the viewer beyond mundane routines and expectations into a world of unexpected beauty and chaotic balance, his paintings highlight the extraordinary nature of our everyday existence.

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 grew up in Brisbane Australia. The scene there really revolved heavily around graffiti and train bombing. So I gravitated towards that at a young age. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I started to explore different subject matter outside graffiti letters. So I have been painting murals for maybe 6 or 7 years now. 

 

What has been your favourite place to paint and why?

Anywhere that is different and out of my comfort zone. I really enjoy working in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South America. 


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

I see value in many art forms so the artists I appreciate are way to numerous to list. I have always really liked artists that engage broader audiences and work outside the traditional gallery system. Michael Leunig is my favourite Australian artist. I also love the old social realists, Rivera, Wood, Siqueiros etc.  


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

I am living in Sydney right now. Unfortunately in the age of the Internet local painting styles have evaporated a bit. I guess my environment affects my subject matter more than my technique. 


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?

My father grew up in Derry and most of my extended family is in Ireland so I like to get back when I can. 

 

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

I am still new to the project and I haven’t visited Waterford in person but it looks like you have some amazing work in a small city. 

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

Street artists are often unwitting agents in gentrification projects so I am cautious when commenting or embracing themes like this. I am all for renewal but I just hope that it is economically inclusive. 

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

I have a solo show in Paris with Gallerie Mathgoth in September. On top of that I am working on a bunch of public art projects in Europe, North America and a couple of counties in the Middle East. 

9. Any shoutouts, thanks, links or comments?

 Follow me at:

 Instagram: @fintan_magee

Facebook: facebook.com/fintanmageeart

Website: www.fintanmagee.com

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Shout Out Wall Community Event

Shout-out

We had a very exciting event for anyone & everyone to take part in! The Waterford Walls ShoutOut Wall!! Many people joined us on Sun 11th June at New St. Gardens & watched the magic happen! A massive THANK YOU to all who got involved! As a result we raised a wonderful €320!

For a small donation of €5 or €10 many became immortalised in a special work of art. One of Ireland’s top street artists, Rask, painted a vibrant new piece in the city made entirely of contributors names and messages. Many people surprised their friends, children, parents, dogs and had their names join the fun! This new work could only have happened with the participation of the wonderful people of the community.

Donations were accepted through PayPal or through The Parlour Vintage Tea Rooms, 2 George’s Street Waterford.

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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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T-Walls

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.

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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.