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?
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.