Is it September already?
The calendar says May, but the weather feels like mid Winter, so it’s a bit confusing.
There is further confusion by the fact that the Northern part of Belfast City Centre recently getting a makeover with some new Street Art, as part of Hit The North, an event which usually takes place in September, as part of Culture Night, but has been brought forward a few months this year to be part of Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.
No reason was given for the switch, but the event page on Facebook states that it was going to be a smaller event in 2019.
The smaller nature of the event meant that it wouldn’t be taking part in North Street, with Kent Street (Walk towards The Sunflower and you can’t miss it) being the main location for Street Art, although the shutters of Dawson’s in Royal Avenue had a piece drawn on it.
This event was scheduled for Sunday and Monday over the Bank Holiday Weekend, but my past experience of it has seen some artists start a bit earlier to get their work done so I had a week check on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the week before, but there was nothing there, they would all be starting on the Sunday.
I would also be there on the Sunday, but first I would be heading to Bangor on the Sunday morning for Bangor Flea Market, but I would also be sneaking in some Street Art photos while in Bangor.
First up, was a mural by Friz near the marina to promote Snow Patrol’s upcoming concert at Ward Park.
There was also some painted art on abandoned buildings which I snapped. You can see a photo album here.
If you’re interested, the Johnny Rotten mural from last year is still there.
The plan was to go from there into Belfast City Centre in time for the 2pm start, but my route into the city was closed off because of Belfast Marathon, meaning I had to go home instead and walk into the City Centre instead, arriving at around 3.45pm when I would have been there an hour earlier if the roads weren’t closed.
Was I naïve by thinking it would be all over by 2pm? What sort of stupid city is closed at 2pm because of a Marathon?
It’s bad enough having to put up with Runners behaviour on the Lagan Towpath, now they are stopping me from seeing Street Art.
What’s the difference between a Jogger and a Dog? One is a dumb creature that runs about aimlessly without looking where it’s going and doesn’t care if it runs into people. The other is a dog.
When I arrived, I headed straight for Kent Street to observe what was being painted, leaving just before 5pm.
On Monday, I returned to Kent Street to see the finished pieces, although there were still some pieces being worked on.
I got a bit of a surprise as it hadn’t really started when I left on the Sunday, to see a mural of Lyra McKee, though it wasn’t finished as some more was added to the piece after I left.
Of course, being a Bank Holiday, it was pissing down with rain, so I didn’t stay in Belfast City Centre for long.
As well as pieces on Kent Street, there was also the first of what will be a series of utility boxes being painted as part of a project to emulate Dublin Canvas.
Something similar was attempted in Belfast a decade ago, such as this piece in Royal Avenue.
The weather on Tuesday and Wednesday wasn’t great for photos, so I left it, but did stumble upon some of the utility boxes that had been painted.
Helpfully, Seedhead Arts posted a map in the event page for anybody looking to find one of these.
By Thursday, the weather had improved and I was armed with a list of locations of utility boxes, so I went out and got some photos of them as well as the finished pieces on Kent Street.
If you’re interested, locations with painted utility boxes are:
I had planned to see him in Edinburgh last year but I couldn’t get a ticket, so I was glad he came to Belfast.
That was me for Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival for this year, looking forward to see what it will offer me next year. If Hit The North is on it, i’ll be out and about snapping it.