STROKE CITY STREET ART – JUNE 2019

With my football season over, I decided to make the most of my free Saturdays by heading Foyleside.

It wasn’t primarily a Street Art trip, but it would be rude not to take my camera with me and see what I can snap,

I hadn’t properly visited the city since 2007 though I have made working visits since.

Those visits were usually getting off the bus and heading to the office not seeing much. Apart from one, where I managed to cram a whole day into a lunch hour, and managed to get some photos.

For this visit, I decided I would be heading by train. For the sake of twenty minutes extra, I preferred the comfort and having a table seat to myself, setting off at 8.10am armed with my Bradshaw’s Guide*

*Not strictly true, just a couple of freesheets and the new copy of Q, because when they put a Gallagher on the cover, I give them my money and don’t ask any questions.

As I walked onto the platform at Great Victoria Street, you’ll never guess who I saw.

If you can’t work it out, you can phone a friend to see if they know.

Under any other circumstances, walking past Chris Tarrant would be quite cool, but it felt disappointing that it wasn’t Michael Portillo.

In case you are wondering what he was doing, he was filming for Extreme Railway Journeys on Channel Five.

I know Translink have a bit of a reputation, but describing them as “Extreme railway journeys” seems a bit much.

And there was me thinking I was making a scenic railway journey.

Whenever I make the journey by bus, one of the things that is hard to miss when you approach the City Centre is a giant mural on Glendermott Street. Being close to the Train Station, this was my first place to visit, getting some photos of that mural.

As well as I could try, as it was hard to get decent backlift for photos as you would be standing in the middle of the road, which is generally frowned upon.

From there, I walked along the Peace Bridge into the City Centre, having a nosey in the Guidhall.

As with any city I visit, I like to wander about and stumble into things. One piece of Street Art I stumbled upon was a mural of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights.

From there, I stumbled upon some absolute hidden gems such as Smart Swag, which has a Derry Girls painting done in the style of a comic book, amongst the art and random stuff they supply.

I’ve got a house move coming up soon, so if you’re stuck for an idea for a gift, nudge nudge.

I also stumbled upon a fantastic vintage shop called Bedlam. The highlight was following the signage advertising a shop called The Yellow Yard which captured my curiosity. It was worth it.

Second hand football shirts, CDs, records, posters, pillows with artwork on them. You have to see for yourself how wonderful a shop it is.

Other highlights included a trip to the Craft Village just off Shipquay Street and a browse through a shop called The Warehouse.

But back to the Street Art. As I said earlier, I wasn’t going specifically for Street Art, but it would have been remiss of me not to get a photo of the Derry Girls mural.

Painted to promote the second series of the show, i’m not usually a fan of advertising mural, but it’s done in a way, like the John Lydon mural in Bangor, that it doesn’t say it’s an advert, and therefore won’t date.

Located in Orchard Street, it is very easy to find. It’s on a hill, so you can get to experiment with angles when taking photos of it.

Be warned though, there may be queues of people wanting to photograph it. As well as that, it is at the side of a pub, so you may have people sitting at a table featuring in your shot.

That mural was organised by UV Arts, an arts organisation based in the city.

I wondered why Gerry Quinn from Derry Girls didn’t have a mural, but I think it might be because he’s a useless shite.

Because I only had a day there, I would be confined to the City Centre, so I wouldn’t get to travel too far.

That meant I didn’t get to see a new piece called Stag With A Bag in the Rosemount area of the city.

That was done by Irony, who is a regular visitor to Belfast and has featured on this blog. He also did another piece in Derry with his leftover paint where Praxis is based, but I didn’t get a chance to see that either. Maybe next time.

If I did have more time on my hands, I might have also taken a trip to see Drumahoe, the abandoned football stadium which has become a morbid tourist attraction, albeit not quite on Chernobyl type levels due to it being abandoned since a flood in August 2017.

I didn’t get a chance when I waited at the Park and Ride beside the ground last November due to time constraints, so I plan to have a look around there when Linfield are away to Institute next season.

Abandonment was a theme of the weekend, with a talk by Abandoned NI (you should check out their rather excellent Facebook page) at Vault Studios as part of Belfast Photo Festival.

Unfortunately, I faffed about and it sold out before I could get a ticket. My bad.

Talking of Vault Studios, i’m planning to get some photos of the Street Art outside it, so watch this space.

Back to my visit Foyleside, it was an enjoyable day out, saw some Street Art, visited some decent independent shops and got sore feet from lots of walking about.

And I got a celeb spot.

It’s such an easy city to navigate around, you can pick up where is where very quickly. I’ll definitely plan on making a return visit. I might even make it a June thing with there being no football one.

There’s also a lot of spare wallspace. Hopefully, if I do come back, it will be filled up with more Street Art.

Photo Album

Stroke City Street Art October 2015

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SALFORD QUAYS STREET ART – MAY 2019

I didn’t get a chance to go for a walk along Pomona Wharf pre-match, so after United’s match against Cardiff, I decided to go for a walk to Pomona Metrolink Station to head into Manchester City Centre to check out the Street Art.

It was a nice evening for a stroll too, which was a nice bonus.

There was a lot of new pieces, and there were some works in progress when I was walking along.

You may remember the last time I visited, in January this year, I noted that the are was very untidy, dirty and a bit of a mess.

I doubt it was because of my blog, but somebody obviously felt the same way, as the area has had a bit of a clean up since then.

Photo Album

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 – MAY 2019

It’s a bit grim when visiting Street Art in Stevenson Square is more exciting than going to Old Trafford.

Headed over to Manchester at the weekend for United’s match against Cardiff City, but I made sure to get some Street Art photos while I was there.

A regular visitor to the city, I automatically know where to go in pursuit of Street Art.

I was a bit late getting into the city on Saturday, heading straight to Stevenson Square in the Northern Quartet, a hotbed of Street Art.

Thanks to websites dedicated to Street Art in the city, as well as local media coverage, I knew there would be new pieces waiting for me.

One of them was a mural of someone called Arya Stark, who sounds like a German midfielder being linked with an English club this summer that Championship Manager experts on Twitter rate as the new Lothar Matthaus, but is actually someone from Game Of Thrones.

I haven’t a clue who she is, or was, as I don’t watch Game Of Thrones, but I am aware through media consumption that she died recently, and this was Manchester’s tribute to her.

Obviously, an hour away in Liverpool, the tribute would have been black armbands and a minute silence at Anfield. YNWA Arya.

It took ages to get a photo of it as there was a queue of people getting photos when I arrived.

Beside it, is one of Ian Brown.

There are other murals on the Northern Quarter, on the shutters of Vinyl Revival, and on a board to cover a building site on Thomas Street, as well as the usual pieces on Tibb Street.

Sunday was spent mopping up what I missed, focusing on Ancoats, and spotting a work in progress on Spear Street.

And then, it was off to Old Trafford. The less said about that the better.

As a post script, last week, BBC Newsline did a feature about Belfast Canvas, but unfortunately, I can’t find a video of it online.

Meanwhile, BBC NI’s website has a feature on Street Art in Derry. I’m planning on visiting the city some Saturday in June, so i’ll be keeping an eye out for anything I see. Keep an eye out for that.

Photo Album

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

HIT THE NORTH 2019

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:

Ann Street
Castle Lane
Church Street
Cornmarket
High Street
North Street
Royal Avenue
Talbot Street

In my recent Echo and the Bunnymen post, I forgot to mention that I was going to see Kieran Hodgson on Tuesday night, and he was very funny.

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.

Sunday 5th May Photo Album

Monday 6th May Photo Album

Hit The North Aftermath Photo Album

LISBURN STREET (WELL, IT WAS INDOORS ACTUALLY) ART – APRIL 2019

I know what you’re thinking, I cycled to Lisburn and took some photos outside R Space.

Well, I did cycle to Lisburn on Easter Monday, but I didn’t get any photos as there’s nothing new there, the mural of Top Cat is still there.

No, this Street Art event was indoors, at Island Arts Centre, as part of an live art painting event called The Outsiders, involving JMK, DMC, Verz, Friz, KVLR and Emic, whose artwork has previously appeared on this blog.

Those attended could take advantage of wine that was provided, or if they wanted to go upmarket there were various flavours of Tayto provided.

This event was listed as starting at 7pm and finishing at 9pm. I didn’t want to appear too eager, so I turned up around 7.15pm.

I have a suspicion that some of the work might have started earlier, as they were well progressed when I arrived. Either that, or they are very quick workers.

If the event happens again, I might head straight from work to be there earlier.

I stayed and observed pieces being painted, staying until just before 9pm and getting photos of the final pieces.

Those final pieces will be staying in Island Arts Centre as part of an exhibition, which also includes other framed work by the artists featured, which can be purchased if you wish.

You may remember last month that I covered some new Street Art in East Belfast.

If you’re interested, there’s a write-up about it in a free newspaper called Shankill and East Belfast Extra. It’s usually found at Tesco, but there’s a stall in Connswater where you can just lift one.

They’ve also got the story on their website, so to save you the effort of searching for a copy, here’s the online version of the story – here.

A very nice warm-up for Hit The North, which will be taking place earlier this year, over the May Bank Holiday Weekend rather than September.

Naturally, i’ll be out with my camera documenting it.

Photo Album

EAST BELFAST STREET ART – APRIL 2019

Some new Street Art to report in Belfast, my first such blog this year, having previously reported on Street Art in Manchester and Sheffield.

As the title of this blog suggests, it’s in the East of the city, as you turn left after entering CS Lewis Square and head towards Dee Street.

It is of a bird on one side, and then a colourful piece along the other side, done by Irony, Artista, Friz and KVLR, in association with Eastside Partnership.

You can see a before and after here.

In recent years, the wallspace in East Belfast has been brightened up by Hit The East (unknown if this will take place in 2019) and a mural in Tower Street.

You may remember last May, Wardrobe Jam in East Belfast. It’s unknown if it will be returning, hope so.

There will be Street Art hopefully appearing on here over the next few weeks.

I’m intending to go to an event at the end of April in Island Arts Centre with some live pieces being painted.

Meanwhile, Hit The North 2019 is going to be four months earlier than scheduled, taking place over the May Bank Holiday Weekend as part of Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

I’ll be heading along to that, and then there’ll be a trip to Old Trafford later in May, which will mean a detour to the Northern Quarter.

Photo Album

 

 

SALFORD QUAYS STREET ART – JANUARY 2019

Yes, yes, I know, Pomona Wharf.

There’s a big walkway from Salford Quays to Cornbrook Metrolink Station, and it’s covered with Street Art. You can usually see it from afar when you travel to and from Manchester City Centre on the Eccles/Media City Line.

As it had only been two months since my last visit, there wasn’t a lot of new pieces to cover. Again, as I said in my last visit, the area could do with a clean up, and Street Art can play a part in it.

Photo Album

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

SHEFFIELD STREET ART

It has been twenty-five and a half years since my first visit to Old Trafford and over those years, I’ve started to use those trips to explore Manchester and Greater Manchester more in recent years.

Going Tuesday to Thursday for a midweek game, if the game was on a Tuesday night, it would mean i’d have a free day on the Wednesday. As the game I was going to was confirmed as a Tuesday night, I planned to go somewhere for a day trip on the Wednesday.

I had three options – Hadfield (The League Of Gentlemen is filmed there), York or Sheffield. I decided to go with Sheffield as it was only 45 minutes away and my train tickets cost £10.60.

It wasn’t intentional, but taking in a day trip to Sheffield when i’m in England for a football match, what day do I go to Sheffield? On a Wednesday, of course.

I had been to Sheffield before, spending a day there as part of a mini tour of the North of England in April 2010, taking in a James concert.

My trip to Sheffield wasn’t with the intention of spotting Street Art, but it would have been rude not to.

It wasn’t hard to spot pieces, immediately spotting a trail of Street Art in the University Area which is right beside the Train Station, and then stumbling onto some pieces elsewhere in the City Centre, except that Sheffield doesn’t have a City Centre, it’s simply called “The Heart Of The City”

Despite being less than an hour away from snowy Manchester, it was sunshine and daylight in Sheffield, which made it easier for taking photos.

I explored a lot of the city (Over 40,000 steps if you care about that type of thing), my favourite places were Sheffield Winter Gardens, Devonshire Quarter and The Moor.

There is a free guide book produced by Sheffield BID (offices right beside Winter Gardens) of independent shops and businesses in Sheffield, and it has a feature on the Street Art in Sheffield, most notably by Pete McKee, whose Penguin mural in the Northern Quarter in Manchester has previously featured on this blog.

There is also a website called Street Art Sheffield, which obviously covers Street Art in Sheffield.

Believe it or not, my trip to Sheffield came when I was in an internet blackout. I had no data on my phone and my Apple account was locked meaning I couldn’t access my ipad. It was strange, having no internet access whatsoever was both wonderful and horrific.

It meant that I couldn’t cheat and refer to the website, meaning I was blindly exploring Sheffield’s Street Art.

If I had another day, I might have used this website and made a plan of attack to see more pieces that I missed.

I would definitely recommend Sheffield for a visit. Even if you get bored, you’re less than an hour away from Nottingham and Manchester. Not that you would get bored.

Photo Album

MANCHESTER STREET ART – JANUARY 2019

I headed to Manchester to see United take on Burnley and, as is now tradition when I visit Manchester, I travel accompanied with my camera in search of Street Art.

One of the first places I head to is the Northern Quarter and Stevenson Square. This time, I knew I would be hitting the jackpot, as the weekend before, local journalist Sarah Walters posted on Twitter that there was new works in progress at Stevenson Square.

One of the pieces by Nomad Clan in the Northern Quarter has some work being done on the building, so i’m not sure what the future of that piece is.

There was a pub near Picadilly Train Station which has a “And on the sixth day …..” mural om a wall at the side, but the area was blocked off making it hard to get a decent photo.

When I was last in Manchester in November, there was a work in progress of a mural of The 1975. Turns out it was an advertising mural for their new album, which is a bit rubbish.

It has now been replaced by another advertising mural, this time for a bank. I didn’t even bother to get a photo of it.

Most of the photos were take on the Tuesday, but I headed out on the Thursday to do a mop-up and get some better photos of the ones I had already taken due to having daylight to work with.

While I was in the city, I picked up a local guide/magazine (which is free) called Manchester’s Finest, and when I read through it, there was an article about Street Art in the city, so keep an eye out for that if you are visiting.

Photo Album

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

2018 IN PICTURES – NOVEMBER

November 2018 began for me with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield scrape a late draw at home to Warrenpoint Town.

From Warrenpoint to Waterford, as the following week I spent a few days in Waterford seeing Waterford Walls, with a brief stop-off in Dublin.

The day after my return to Belfast, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield lose to Coleraine.

The following weekend, a new ground for me to visit for the first time, as I headed to The Brandywell to see Linfield take on Institute.

The day after, it was a return to Windsor Park, and another bad home result, as Northern Ireland lost to Austria in the UEFA Nations League.

On the following weekend, I headed to The Limelight to see Cast in concert.

That was then followed by a good home result at Windsor Park, as Linfield beat Cliftonville 4-2.

I then headed to Manchester for a few days, to see United take on BSC Young Boys and get some Street Art photos.

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

Dublin Street Art

Dublin Street Art Photo Album

Waterford Walls

Waterford Walls Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Institute v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Austria

Northern Ireland v Austria Photo Album

Cast live at The Limelight

Cast live at The Limelight Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v BSC Young Boys

Manchester United v BSC Young Boys Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album