2012 IN PICTURES – JUNE

Not a lot happening this month, but still managed to get some good photos.

At the start of the month, I went to Amsterdam to see Northern Ireland play, and got some nice photos of the stadium (my seat was too far for match photos) and Street Art within Amsterdam.

Less said about the actual football, the better.

Fantastic city, can’t suggest you visit there enough.

Talking of Street Art, there was a Sandy Row Hall Of Fame mural launched in June, and I went out and got some snaps of the Linfield players featured, as well as Alex Higgins.

Amsterdam Street Art

Amsterdam Street Art Photo Album

Holland v Northern Ireland

Holland v Northern Ireland Photo Album

Graffiti Round-Up

Knitted Art

Sandy Row Hall Of Fame/Rory McIlroy Mural

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SANDY ROW HALL OF FAME

Was out for a cycle today. Not in Liege, but in Holylands and Sandy Row.

Managed to get some pictures of new murals.

The first new mural is of Rory McIlroy, in the Holylands.

Meanwhile, en route from Holylands to Sandy Row, I encountered some more Knitted Art (blogged about last week) outside The Empire.

In Sandy row, I got some pictures of a new mural, on Stroud Street.

It’s a street long mural focusing on various aspects of life in Sandy Row through the years.

There is depictions of fruit sellers, and men who worked in the tram depot at Sandy Row, as well as local sporting successes such as various Boxing champions, Alex Higgins, and local footballers such as Grant and Ryan McCann, current Linfield players Daryl Fordyce and Albert Watson, as well as Linfield legends Tommy Dickson and Joe Bambrick.

The image of Higgins is of the iconic of him carrying his young child after winning the 1982 World Championship.

For some, it is not their first time being immortalised in mural form.

Alex Higgins is commemorated on a mural painted immediately after his death outside The Royal Bar, a street away. He frequented, and lived opposite the bar in his later years.

Further on down the Donegall Road, there is another mural of him. This photo was taken in 2007.

Grant McCann features on a mural opposite Days Hotel alongside Warren Feeney Jr (who, as far as I know, doesn’t come from Sandy Row)

Joe Bambrick and Tommy Dickson also feature on a mural of local footballing legends in The Village, while Bambrick’s former home at Roden Street gets a blue plaque, and Tommy Dickson has a mural in Taughmonagh.

Enjoy

Photo Album

ART OF CONFLICT

Got an e-mail last night, unexpected and out of the blue, but definitely worth sharing.

It was from an American TV company looking to get clearance to use this photo of a mural of David Ervine in East Belfast as part of a documentary provisionally titled ‘Art Of Conflict’, looking at murals in Northern Ireland .

I’m presently in the process of signing off the relevant paperwork to approve this.

I’ll keep you updated over the coming months with regards to the progress of this show (If I hear anything) and if it gets broadcast in the UK .

The mural itself was erected in 2008, a year after Ervine’s death. It replaced a mural of David Healy’s goal against England in 2005, based on a photograph by William Cherry. To compensate for that, a new mural of Healy’s goal was painted across the road. The three murals are documented in this blog post from September 2010, A TALE OF TWO DAVIDS

Regular readers will of course be aware that I love my street art and murals, especially getting photographs of them.

To be honest, I’m not as fussed on the paramilitary or political ones. It may shock people, but not every mural in Belfast is a paramilitary or political one.

David Ervine’s son has, in recent years, become a muralist himself. His best known work is one of John Peel in the Cathedral Quarter.

Sport in Belfast also have been immortalised in paint. There was an Elisha Scott mural painted in West Belfast in 2010, Glentoran used to have one on the Newtownards Road . Crusaders have one on St Vincent Street , outside Seaview and there’s an Antrim GAA one in the Lower Ormeau .

Two of Belfast’s most famous sporting sons have the most wallspace dedicated to them. Alex Higgins two World Championship wins were already commemorated on the Donegall Road during his lifetime, and an impromptu mural was painted in the days after his death, outside The Royal Bar, where he frequented in his later years, and across the street from the apartment complex where he lived and died during his later years (There’s a wreath made out like a snooker table outside the building)

George Best was also muralised during his lifetime on the Woodstock Road . That mural has unfortunately gone, but there is one in Blythe Street in Sandy Row. George Best also appears on a mural of Northern Ireland football legends outside Windsor Park.

The other end of Blythe Street features a mural to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Linfield FC, unveiled in November 2011. Linfield are also represented with other wallspace in South Belfast . Taughmonagh sees a tribute to Tommy Dickson, unveiled in 2008 not long after his death, while The Village also features Dickson on a mural, alongside Joe Bambrick and Elisha Scott.

Joe Bambrick’s former home, not far away in Roden Street , has a blue plaque outside to commemorate this.

This blogpost, from August 2010 features Linfield murals ahead of the start of the club’s 125th anniversary season, while this one features the Weavers To Winners launch from November 2011

Just goes to show, there are some hidden gems amongst Belfast ’s murals if you look in the right places.

2010 IN PICTURES – JULY

Not a lot happening in this month, the STLFTEM came right on the very last day when I went to see (for free) Adam Hills live at Mandela Hall.

The first half of the month was obviously spent watching the later rounds of the World Cup, and within days, the early rounds of the European Cup, where I ventured to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Rosenborg.

I also managed to take in a pre-season friendly between Linfield and Dunmurry Rec, and Dunmurry’s ground was amateur photographer friendly.

Some interesting Street Art also popped up in Belfast during the month, as various stencils of popculture icons appeared in the Woodstock Road, and a mural tribute to the recently deceased Snooker legend Alex Higgins appeared outside the Royal Bar in Sandy Row.

Enjoy.

NEW ALEX HIGGINS MURAL

Got this brought to my attention on Saturday, of a new Alex Higgins mural at the side of The Royal Bar in Sandy Row, where he frequented in his later years and across the road from the apartment where he died.

Apologies for the photo quality, as it was hard to get into a good position due to the traffic passing.

It’s a truly excellent and eye-catching mural and well worth checking out.

The more eagle-eyed of you will have noticed a piece of paper beside the mural.

It isn’t actually a note of condolence, but a note informing people that there is still wet paint there.

Interestingly, whilst I was getting photographs of it, locals were approaching me and talking about Alex Higgins in an affecionate way, under the mistaken impression that I was a journalist photographing it for a newspaper.

Meanwhile, the other mural that I had highlighted last week has had a few licks of paint and a tidy up, which is good to see.

Enjoy

ALEX ‘HURRICANE’ HIGGINS 1949-2010

It was announced today that former Snooker player Alex Higgins died, and unsurprisingly, like a favourite son of Belfast, he is honoured in mural form in the city.

To my knowledge (please feel free to correct if there are any others) there is only one mural of him in Belfast, just off the Donegall Road, where he grew up.

This photo, taken in May 2007, came about as a complete fluke. It was the Sunday of a Bank Holiday Weekend and it was light at a ridiculously late hour, I went out that evening to get photos of as much murals and graffiti in the University, Donegall and Grosvenor Roads.

The reason why I was doing that route was that I had always remembered seeing a plaque in commemoration of Belfast Celtic in the Park Centre and wanted to do a recce to see how to get there on foot.

Incidentally, there is currently an exhibition dedicated to the history of Belfast Celtic in the Park Centre. It’s periodically open to the public, and i’m hoping to try and sneak a visit on the lunchtime of 7th August, when Linfield host Ballymena United.

I was walking back home and spotted the mural, and couldn’t get the camera out quick enough, as I didn’t even know it had existed.

From time to time, i’d usually spot him walking around Belfast, usually in the Univeristy/Botanic/Shaftesbury Square areas, and there was still an aura about him, as other people in the street would stop and mutter to themselves “That’s Alex Higgins”

I actually once served him a beer when I worked in The Globe. Such was the change in his appearance that a work colleague thought I was winding him up when I pointed out that Alex Higgins was in the building.

I’m not sure what the mural is like at the moment as I haven’t ventured into the Donegall Road for a while. Hopefully, it is still there and in good condition.

A typically Belfast tribute to a Belfast sporting hero.