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

Advertisements

2018 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

September 2018 began for me with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Ards on the first day of the month, for a match that finished 0-0.

The following day, I headed out on bike to check out the latest scribbles on the Belfast Peace Wall.

On the third day of the month, yes, three successive days of photo adventures, I headed to The Limelight to see The Kooks in concert.

The following weekend, it was a football double header, taking in Linfield’s trip to Warrenpoint Town, and then Northern Ireland’s first ever UEFA Nations League match, at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

There was more football, taking in Linfield’s matches against Dungannon Swifts and Coleraine.

Sandwiched inbetween that was a trip to The Palm House to see Kyle Falconer in concert, and then Belfast Culture Night.

In the aftermath of Culture Night, I was out getting photos of new Street Art which appeared in Belfast, as part of Hit The North.

The month ended with me taking in Linfield’s home match with Ballymena United.

Linfield v Ards

Belfast Peace Wall Art

Belfast Peace Wall Art Photo Album

The Kooks live at The Limelight

The Kooks live at The Limelight Photo Album

Warrenpoint Town v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Bosnia-Herzegovina

Northern Ireland v Bosnia-Herzegovina Photo Album

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Kyle Falconer live at The Palm House

Kyle Falconer live at The Palm House Photo Album

Culture Night Belfast 2018

Culture Night Belfast 2018 Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

North Street Art

North Street Art Work In Progress

North Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v Ballymena United

NORTH STREET (AND SURROUNDING AREAS) STREET ART – SEPTEMBER 2018

It has now become a mid September tradition for the walls of Belfast to be given a dash of paint, as Hit The North, running alongside Culture Night, sees artists from around the world visit Belfast to paint the city’s walls.

One of those countries represented was Colombia, returning the favour after artists from Belfast recently visited Colombia to take part in a Street Art Festival.

Even though the festival is advertised as taking place on Thursday and Friday, past experience has seen pieces appear earlier than that, due to the time it takes to paint it.

So it proved, as a piece started to appear in the Car Park at Smithfield, where there was a Two Ronnies mural in 2017, so I headed to get some work in progress photos.

Thursday came, so I was out getting photos on my lunch break, and then again after work.

As I had booked a half day on the Friday for Culture Night, I made the most of my early departure from work to check out the progress so far, and then again on my arrival at Culture Night at teatime.

As is tradition, I was out on my bike on the Sunday morning to get photos of the finished pieces, starting in North Street, heading to Donegall Street and the side of the Telegraph Building. Much to my frustration, there were parked cars meaning I had to shoot from some odd angles.

Worth checking out, across the road, is Buoy Park, just outside the University Of Ulster.

I also checked out pieces at Kent Street, Sunflower Pub and Winetavern Street.

I wanted to get photos of a mural in Commercial Court, but there were binbags dumped in front of it. I’ll try again later.

I also spotted some graffiti in Bank Square so took a photo. It wasn’t part of Hit The North, but it would have been rude not to get a photo.

Also not part of Hit The North but worth checking out is that some of the yellow dots designed to guide people around Belfast due to part of Royal Avenue still being closed due to the fire at Primark have been defaced to look like Pacman.

It’s good to see that some pieces from previous years are still intact, giving Belfast a wide range of art from Hit The North from throughout the years.

Wonder what will be on the city’s walls in 2019?

Work In Progress Photo Album

North Street Art Photo Album

North Street Art 2017

North Street Art 2016

North Street Art 2015

North Street Art 2014

North Street Art 2013

North Street Art 2012

2017 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

September 2017 began with a road trip, and a long one at that, to Edinburgh, to see Linfield take on Spartans in the Scottish Challenge Cup.

Two days later, it was another football match with an international feel, an actual international, as Northern Ireland took on Czech Republic at Windsor Park.

The following weekend was busy, taking in Ryan Adams at Ulster Hall and then Linfield’s match against Glentoran.

There was more football to follow, taking in Linfield’s matches against Crusaders and Ballinamallard.

The following weekend was football free but not photo free, as I was out capturing Culture Night, and Street Art painted as part of Hit The North.

The month ended with a trip to Solitude to see Linfield take on Cliftonville. The less said about which, the better.

Spartans v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Czech Republic

Northern Ireland v Czech Republic Photo Album

Ryan Adams live at Ulster Hall

Ryan Adams live at Ulster Hall

Linfield v Glentoran

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Ballinamallard United

Culture Night 2017

Culture Night 2017 Photo Album

Hit The North 2017

Hit The North 2017 Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

HIT THE NORTH MOP UP

You may remember a few weeks ago, a post showcasing some of the artwork painted as part of the Hit The North Festival.

When I went out to photograph the aftermath, I didn’t get all the photographs I wanted, as the pieces on Exchange Way were not finished, and there was a cherry picker still parked outside The Dirty Onion blocking any chance of a decent photo.

With the nights getting darker, I would have to wait until the following Sunday to get out and get some photos of the pieces I missed in my original post.

I started by getting some photos that I missed, a piece across the road from Malmaison on Victoria Street, a Kev Largey piece in Commercial Court, and an image of a mermaid and a diver on Dunbar Street.

I then headed over to Exchange Way to get pictures of the finished pieces in the EA car park, which was still being worked on when I visited the previous Sunday.

In the week inbetween, pictures emerged on Social Media of one of the finished pieces, a mural of Tyrion Lannister. That means nothing to me but apparantly it’s something if you’re into Game Of Thrones.

However, when I arrived, it was being painted over, with a mural of Harley Quinn in progress.

That meant I would have to come back the following week to get photos of the finished piece, which I did the following Saturday morning.

Some of the photos at Exchange Way aren’t the best due to it being a locked car park and having to improvise with angles. Enjoy.

Photo Album

HIT THE NORTH (AKA, NORTH STREET ART SEPTEMBER 2017)

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.

Talking of Molloy, during this week, he got a visit from one of the Three Jimmys that he painted recently, Jimmy Nesbitt.

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.

Photo Album

North Street Art 2016

North Street Art 2015

North Street Art 2014

North Street Art 2013

North Street Art 2012

NORTH STREET (AND SURROUNDING AREAS) STREET ART SEPTEMBER 2016

Culture Night is one of the highlights of the year in Belfast. I may not have been able to attend the festivities last weekend, but that didn’t stop me getting to experience it.

One of the highlights of Culture Night is Street Art being painted live, incorporating the Hit The North Festival, where the northern parts of the City Centre become an art gallery, usually around, but not exclusively, North Street, Garfield Street and Donegall Street.

Returning from Liverpool on Monday, I had some spare time on my hands in the afternoon, so naturally, I got on my bike and headed to the City Centre to get some photos.

Too many people, too many cars, too many obstacles, and crap weather. It turned out to be a frustrating trip.

So, I decided to wait until Sunday morning and head out again when things were a bit quieter to go a bit snap happy.

There was one of the murals which has suffered some structural damage. What is should look like can be found here.

Enjoy.

Photo Album

See also

North Street Art September 2015

North Street Art September 2014

North Street Art September 2013

North Street Art September 2012