An event so good it has spawned it’s own imitator in it’s own city returned, as Hit The North returned to add a bit of colour to Belfast’s walls.
If you don’t know what Hit The North is, it’s a Street Art event. It depends on which way you take the name. It takes place in Northern Ireland, in North Street, where Belfast City Centre meets North Belfast.
The “imitator” I speak of (Well, it’s more influenced by) was Hit The East, last month as part of Eastside Arts Festival in East Belfast.
Come on Southies and Westies, time to join the party.
It is an event which usually runs alongside Belfast Culture Night. There was a change this year, with it taking place on a Thursday and a Friday instead of a Friday and Saturday. I presume, so that the finished pieces can be done on Culture Night.
However, I was tipped off that some artists would be starting on the Wednesday, so naturally, I went out to investigate.
I saw a cherry picker outside Aether and Echo and got some photos. The artist doing this was called Irony. I had a look at his Twitter and noticed a familiar image on his pinned tweet showcasing his work.
It was of a woman with rainbow coloured hair, a mural I found by accident as I was in Liverpool and had some time to kill (evening flight) and was looking for a mural of Dixie Dean near Goodison Park and found that one by mistake.
I still haven’t found out if that mural I was looking for still exists or if it has been painted over.
Talking of Dixie Dean, he’s one of many figures being suggested for a new mural in Toxteth. I’ll keep an eye out if i’m in Liverpool any time soon.
I also noticed that the Pure Here mural outside The Dirty Onion was being painted over and a new work was beginning, as well as something occurring at the old Belfast Telegraph offices.
On Thursday lunchtime, I went and explored some more, getting updates on those pieces as well as finding pieces on Church Street and spotting Glen Molloy hard at work at the old Belfast Telegraph offices, before getting later updates on these pieces on Thursday evening after work.
There were some areas that were previously used that were out of bounds such as the area between Kent Street and North Street, due to building work, while The Garfield Bar was out of use due to facilities being put up for Culture Night.
On the Friday, I had a half day booked for Culture Night, but as I was already in the City Centre, I thought i’d pop round and have a look at how the pieces were progressing, while continuously checking Social Media for spottings of pieces I hadn’t seen.
As well as doing a piece on Donegall Street, Glen Molloy also touched up his Wall Of Fame on Hill Street, putting labels on the portraits just in case you didn’t know who they were.
You may have heard the phrase “Raining cats and dogs”, which sums up the weather in Belfast, but this event had “Painting cats and dogs” (Well, it should actually be singular) with a mural of a cat in Donegall Street and a mural of a dog in the alleyway leading up to Hill Street.
I also spotted pieces in the area around the Sunflower Bar (Library Street, Donegall Street), which is generally done at his event, while the entrance to Bullitt also got the Street Art treatment.
One of those in that area got the seal of approval from one of it’s subjects, Rupaul, on Twitter.
I made the most of a football free Saturday by heading out on my bike to get images of the pieces that were getting finished off.
I had difficulties getting photos of the Friz piece at the entrance to the alleyway leading up to Hill Street due to a lack of natural light, and I struggled shooting Bullitt (no pun intended) for the same reason.
On the Sunday morning, I headed out to get the final photos. It was easier on the Sunday with less cars and people about, but it wasn’t perfect, with parked cars on Donegall Street meaning I had to improvise with camera angles getting shots of pieces there.
The pieces on Exchange Street were still being finished, and there was a cherry picker blocking any chance of a decent photo of The Dirty Onion, meaning i’ll have to go back next week to get photos of them, so you’ll have that to look forward to.
Until then, enjoy the new pieces of work which have popped up in Belfast, but maybe not get too attached incase they are replaced at Hit The North 2018.