2020 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

Unfortunately, due to the situation with Coronavirus, it was too big a risk to travel anywhere, so I decided to have a Staycation in Belfast when using up Annual Leave in the middle of the month, walking up hills North, East, South and West, as well as documenting Street Art on the Peace Wall.

Monday was spent at Cavehill. The weather was dull so the photos weren’t that good.

Tuesday was spent at Giant’s Ring, more daylight to work with and a lot better photos, as well as an enjoyable walk.

Wednesday was spent getting photos of Belfast Peace Wall, while on Thursday, I went to Lisnabreeny Hill, but like Cavehill, the weather was dull, so the photos didn’t come out as I hoped. 

Friday was the best day of that week for weather and photos, so I headed to Blackmountain, and got lots of photos, travelling along the Ridge Trail this time, as my previous visit saw me head up Divis first.

Two days later saw the return of Hit The North, originally postponed due to Coronavirus and back in it’s original traditional slot of September having moved from it’s new traditional slot of May. 

I was out on the day getting photos, and then was out the following week getting photos of the aftermath.

Cavehill Photo Album

Giant’s Ring

Giant’s Ring Photo Album

Belfast Peace Wall Art Photo Album

Lisnabreeny Hill Photo Album

Blackmountain

Blackmountain Photo Album

Hit The North

Hit The North Photo Album

Hit The North Aftermath Photo Album

2020 IN PICTURES – MARCH/APRIL

March 2020, that was an, um, interesting month.

As I turned over the calendar on the first day of the month, I had three football matches and three concerts planned, with hopefully another football match on the last day of the month where Northern Ireland would qualify for Euro 2020.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

As we all know, most of the month was spent indoors. However, I still managed some photo adventures in the first week of the month before Lockdown started.

The first day of the month saw me check out a mural of Andrew Weatherall in Belfast, before heading to The Limelight to see Blossoms in concert a few days later.

I then headed to Taylor’s Avenue on the first Saturday of the month to see Linfield take on Carrick Rangers, securing a fifth successive win, looking forward to the following weekend’s match at home to Larne.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

Unsurprisingly, there was not one single photo adventure in April 2020. Not even a single photo taken.

Andrew Weatherall Mural

Andrew Weatherall Mural Photo Album

Blossoms live at The Limelight

Blossoms live at The Limelight Photo Album

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

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2020 IN PICTURES – JANUARY

I went out for a walk on New Year’s Day and found a tenner. That was as good as it got in 2020.

If a see a £50 note lying on the ground on the first day of 2021, i’m just walking on and leaving it.

2020 began with a trip to the Football on the first day of the month. Not too far thankfully, just a short trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Institute.

My second football match of the year, Linfield’s trip to Queen’s University, was not as enjoyable. The less said about, the better, even though it was my first visit to The Dub for a match.

I had to wait nine days for my next football match, as Linfield won at Cliftonville, before a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Dungannon Swifts.

It wasn’t all football, as the middle of the month saw my first concert of the year – Badly Drawn Boy at Black Box.

The first of many concerts in 2020, with Paul Weller and Lightning Seeds already booked for late March. Um ….

That was then followed by a trip to Manchester, primarily to see United take on Burnley. While I was there, I managed to sneak in a trip to Salford City v Accrington Stanley (a first visit to Moor Lane), as well as Street Art in Manchester and Salford Quays.

The month ended with two more football matches, Linfield’s 8-1 win over Glenavon, which was followed by a 3-1 defeat at Larne, my first visit to Inver Park since 2005.

Linfield v Institute

Queen’s University v Linfield

Cliftonville v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Badly Drawn Boy live at Black Box

Badly Drawn Boy live at Black Box Photo Album

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Salford City v Accrington Stanley

Salford City v Accrington Stanley Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Burnley

Manchester United v Burnley Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

Larne v Linfield

HIT THE NORTH 2020

Coronavirus isn’t going to stop Street Art being painted in Belfast. It might delay it though.

Hit The North, having recently moved from it’s traditional September slot as part of Culture Night, moved to the first May Bank Holiday Weekend last year. Before they had a chance to settle into their new date, Coronavirus saw it get cancelled, before they were able to slot in a smaller scale event in September, taking place seven days ago on 20th September.

Part of the May event was a Lisburn event leading into it on the Thursday night before. Unfortunately, that did bite the dust.

If you don’t know, Hit The North is a Street Art event where new pieces get painted in the Northern End of Belfast City Centre.

This year’s location was Kent Street and Union Street. Or to put it in simpler terms, near The Sunflower.

As it was near Stephen Street, where a mural of Catwoman and Joker was painted last year, I took an opportunity to have a look. Sadly, it has since been defaced.

The event started at 12pm, and I arrived there at around 12.30pm, having a look about and snapping pictures every ten to fifteen minutes to chart the progress.

As it was a much smaller event, there were no sneaky starters. In previous years, due to the size of the artwork and time needed, some artists would start a few days in advance.

There was a decent sized crowd during the day but very little concerns regarding Social Distancing as people were keeping their distance. It did help that the streets hosting the event were pedestrianised for the day.

Another plus was the weather, dry throughout, which helped make the day a more enjoyable experience.

Amongst the Artists on display included KVLR, Holly Pereira, Danni Simpson, Glen Molloy and Friz.

Holly Pereira incidentally, turned up in advance to paint the entry that leads from the back of Guiney’s.

It was interesting, but not surprising, to note that the mural of Lyra McKee painted as part of last year’s event was untouched.

I left just after 4pm on the Sunday, but returned on the Monday night after work to have a look, and there was already a crowd of people getting photos.

With brighter weather and more daylight to work with on Wednesday, I returned to get some photos when out for my lunch. I had to be quick though due to not having a lot of time to work with.

While I was there, there was someone else getting photos ….. of their dog in front of the artwork.

To be honest, Dogs In Front Of Murals sounds very Tumblr.

With more time on my hands after work and daylight until 6.30pm, I cycled over on the Wednesday teatime to get more photos as the ones at lunchtime were rushed. Again, there were people turning up to get photos and admire them.

There were media outlets coming out to cover Hit The North and it’s aftermath, such as Belfast Telegraph and Radio Ulster.

A lot of events in Belfast are doubtful, even for 2021, because this city is too stupid to not spread a virus. I’m actually considering staging a coup at Belfast City Hall and putting myself in charge. Thankfully, this event looks safe.

Whatever the situation regarding Coronavirus in 2021 and beyond, at least Belfast has it’s Street Art, the only decent thing about the city. Might be worth someone painting a mural which simply says “WALK ON THE LEFT YOU IDIOTS”.

Sunday 20th September Photo Album

Aftermath Photo Album

Hit The North 2019

Hit The North 2018

Hit The North 2017

Hit The North 2016

Hit The North 2015

Hit The North 2014

Hit The North 2013

Hit The North 2012

BELFAST ENTRIES

Coronavirus has stopped a lot of things from happening the last six months, but that hasn’t stopped Street Art from appearing in Belfast.

Of course, during April and May, there were various tributes to the NHS, but most recently, Belfast City Centre has been given a makeover with the Belfast Entries Project.

The plan, is to use Street Art to brighten up entries in Belfast City Centre.

The first of those to get the treatment, was Crown Entry. If you are wondering where that is, it’s across the road from The Wicker Man.

So, I decided to head out and get some photos.

However, I would have to wait for a Sunday morning, when there’s not a lot of people about, for obvious reasons, not getting Covid and, most importantly, having the area to myself for photos.

A couple of Sundays came and went, the weather not really working for phototaking, eventually hitting on a Sunday that was dry and had daylight.

With the city to myself, I headed to Crown Entry for photos, snapping away. Due to the tightness of the area, I didn’t get the back lift I wanted, so apologies for the picture quality.

The delay in getting out allowed me to capture some more art, with some pieces appearing in Cole’s Alley in the past week, which I snapped.

There was further good news for lovers of Street Art in Belfast, as it was recently announced that there will be a Hit The North in 2020, on Sunday 20th September. Naturally, I shall be out for that.

Last year, the event moved from it’s traditional September slot to May.

The move back to September is planned to be for one year only, so all being well, it should be returning in May 2021.

There was a similar event scheduled for late April in Lisburn, which was cancelled and doesn’t look like being rescheduled.

Finally, I stumbled upon an event called Seek Dundalk, like Waterford Walls, but in Dundalk.

That’ll be something to bear in mind if I need some daytrip inspiration.

When the other entries in Belfast are painted, I shall be there getting snaps of it.

Photo Album

WEATHERALL

Nobody reacts to a celebrity death quite like the Artists of Belfast, as the recent death of Andrew Weatherall, Music Producer famed for his work with Primal Scream, showed.

A new mural has appeared of him, on the side of The Telegraph Building.

If you’re looking to find it, it’s on Donegall Street as you walk towards the Irish News offices. The mural of The Beastie Boys is beside it.

It was done by Glenn Molloy, a familiar face, or brush, on Belfast’s Street Art Scene.

However, when it came to painted tributes to Weatherall, Belfast was beaten to it by Edinburgh.

Local artist Shona Hardie painted a tribute to him on a wall outside Meadowbank Stadium, which is currently undergoing building work.

I plan on going to Edinburgh in August and might make this part of my itinerary, if it is still there.

Photo Album

SALFORD QUAYS STREET ART – JANUARY 2020

Of course, no trip to Manchester would be complete without a walk along Pomona Wharf to check out the Street Art.

Well apart from the last time when I decided to visit Rochdale and check out the aftermath of Rochdale Uprising.

I usually stay in Salford Quays when I go to see United, so I can just walk over, but as I was staying in the City Centre, I needed to change my plans.

I decided to head over on the afternoon of the match, to make the most of my Day Ticket on the Metrolink.

The area was still untidy, but not as bad as it was previously, I got some photos of new pieces, including a Hello Kitty.

Closer to home, a listing in Island Arts Centre’s new programme is for a Hit The North event to be held in Lisburn in late April. Very interesting, I shall be keeping an eye out for this and checking it out.

Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art May 2019

Salford Quays Street Art January 2019

Salford Quays Street Art November 2018

Salford Quays Street Art May 2018

Salford Quays Street Art December 2017

Salford Quays Street Art January 2017

Salford Quays Street Art November 2016

Salford Quays Street Art May 2016

MANCHESTER STREET ART – JANUARY 2020

I recently headed over to Manchester to see United take on Burnley. The less said about that match the better.

On the plus side, I did get to see some decent Street Art.

A veteran of visiting Manchester, I know my way about and where to find Street Art. However, I did get a pleasant surprise.

When I make my own way to a United match, I usually stay at Salford Quays. However, this time, I was staying just off Oxford Road.

That meant, I would get a train from Manchester Airport to Piccadilly instead of a tram to Salford Quays.

Just before arriving in Piccadilly, I noticed some Street Art that got my attention, so I decided to investigate more.

It was a mural in part of a new development called Mayfield, and a mural has been commissioned to commemorate the history of the area, and the work of Thomas Hoyle.

As I was staying in the University Area, I discovered some pieces when walking to my hotel, such as a mural which said “GOOD LIFE” and a mural of bees buzzing around a rainbow outside The New Union Hotel.

I went in search of Street Art in the Northern Quarter, spotting a piece of Top Cat, just like there is one in Lisburn.

However, the Street Art in Stevenson Square is the same as on my last visit in November, so I didn’t bother documenting that.

On the Wednesday, I got some more photos on pieces I stumbled on, such as when I explored through Great Northern. I also by fluke stumbled upon the mural of Ariana Grande.

Funnily enough, I remember the news coverage at the time and made a mental note to go and see it, but I forgot, so this was a happy fluke.

Thursday was a mop-up day, getting pieces in Tib Street and Thomas Street for completeness.

Photo Album

Manchester Street Art November 2019

Manchester Street Art May 2019

Manchester Street Art January 2019

Manchester Street Art November 2018

Manchester Street Art May 2018

Manchester Street Art December 2017

Manchester Street Art May 2017

Manchester Street Art February 2017

Manchester Street Art November 2016

Manchester Street Art May 2016

Manchester Street Art January 2016

Manchester Street Art November 2015

Manchester Street Art May 2015

Manchester Street Art November 2014

2019 IN PICTURES – OCTOBER

October 2019 began with a trip to Seaview to see Linfield take on Crusaders.

A busy month of concerts began a few days later with a trip to Ulster Hall to see The Divine Comedy.

There was even some Street Art spotted during the month, heading to Stephen Street to see a mural of The Joker and Catwoman

The next day, I was on the road to Dungannon to see Linfield beat Dungannon Swifts 4-1.

From there, it was another concert, a first visit to The Telegraph Building, to see Two Door Cinema Club.

The flipping between football and concerts continued as I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Ballymena United. The following midweek saw a football/concert double header, seeing Linfield take on Warrenpoint Town, before seeing OMD at Ulster Hall.

October’s photo adventures ended with a trip to see Linfield take on Coleraine, the month beginning and ending for me with a 1-0 defeat.

Crusaders v Linfield

The Divine Comedy live at Ulster Hall

The Divine Comedy live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Joker and Catwoman Mural

Joker and Catwoman Mural Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Two Door Cinema Club live at The Telegraph Building

Two Door Cinema Club live at The Telegraph Building Photo Album

Linfield v Ballymena United

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

OMD live at Ulster Hall

OMD live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

2019 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

My first photo adventure of September 2019 was a trip to Solitude to see Linfield get a 1-0 win on their return to domestic competition after their European adventures the previous month.

That was then followed by a Windsor Park double header, taking in Northern Ireland v Germany and Linfield v Glentoran.

The day after that match saw me have an adventure, taking in some Street Art in Belfast, and Edwyn Collins doing an instore gig at Strange Victory.

My next adventure came the following Friday with Culture Night.

It was then two football matches, seeing Linfield get wins over Carrick Rangers and Glenavon.

The month ended with a trip to Yorkgate to check out a new mural.

Cliftonville v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Germany

Northern Ireland v Germany Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

Belfast Peace Wall Art

Belfast Peace Wall Art Photo Album

Ulster Sports Club Street Art

Ulster Sports Club Street Art Photo Album

Edwyn Collins live at Strange Victory

Edwyn Collins live at Strange Victory Photo Album

Culture Night

Culture Night Photo Album

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Glenavon

Yorkgate Street Art

Yorkgate Street Art Photo Album