ULSTER SPORTS CLUB STREET ART

Spotted some photos on Instagram of new Street Art in Belfast, so I decided to go and have a look in person.

It is at the back of Ulster Sports Club. If you want an easy tip on how to find it, look for the large mural of a man and a lobster.

Culture Night is coming up but there’ll be no Hit The North, that was in May.

I note from the programme that there is a Street Art event in The National, so i’ll check that out.

If there is something of note, you’ll see it here.

Photo Album

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BELFAST PEACE WALL ART – SEPTEMBER 2019

A few weeks back, I went to the Peace Wall at Cupar Way for my every six months visit to see if there was anything worth getting photos of. There wasn’t.

However, in the intervening two weeks, I spotted photos of a work in progress piece by Emic, so I decided to go and have another look.

One the way, I took a detour and got some bonus photos at Northumberland Street.

Eventually, I arrived at Cupar Way and got some photos of Emic’s piece, which now has some inspiring messages written on it such as “CAMBRIDGE UNITED WOZ ERE” and “UP THE DUBS – 5 IN A ROW”

Photo Album

EDINBURGH STREET ART – AUGUST 2019

During my stay in Edinburgh, I managed to get some Street Art photos, but not a lot.

The main one, was a mural in Pleasance.

There was also some Street Art in The Meadows.

Southside Murals, which had previously been covered on this blog, are still there in the south of the city.

Building works on New Street were a hotspot for Street Art, but the building works have finally been completed.

I saw some pieces when walking along Leith Walk, especially on the Police Box.

Disappointingly, one piece (thankfully, I already had a photo of it) was now covered in adverts for a gym, making it unphotographable.

Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art August 2018

Edinburgh Street Art August 2017

Edinburgh Street Art August 2015

Edinburgh Street Art August 2014

Edinburgh Street Art August 2013

DUBLIN STREET ART – JULY 2019

With the July Holidays falling that it would bring a four day weekend, I decided to head to Dublin for a few days. Naturally, I was out, camera in hand getting shots of Street Art.

For the first time in ages, I headed to Dublin by train. I thought it would be quiet at 8am, but it was a journey from hell with screaming children, aul dolls stinking of vapes and bickering couples.

I stayed at Belvedere Guesthouse, close to Connolly Station and Dublin City Centre, easy to find and just the most wonderful room. It’s a building that I would imagine living in BT9 to be like.

I checked out a few of my favourite spots, including Under The Bridge, an Antique/Vintage Shop, funnily enough, under the bridge as you approach Connolly Station.

Staying in a part of Dublin I hadn’t previously stayed in, my first spot was a mural of a skateboard in Hill Street just off Parnell Square

I headed to Smithfield and saw, to my disappointment, a building which hosted some Street Art being readied for demolition.

I spotted more and more canvas pieces, including one depicting a cramped Luas. I’ve been there, Commuter O’clock on a Friday on my way home from Waterford last year.

Next stop, was Temple Bar. The mural of Kanye West has been replaced. I also spotted a piece by Kin Mx, who has done pieces in Belfast.

When travelling on the Luas, I spotted a mural at the building site of the Children’s Hospital in Rialto, but I wasn’t able to get photos.

I did get photos of pieces in Inchicore as I headed to Richmond Park for a football match, including a canvas of Paul McGrath in a pre Jack Charlton kit on one side, and the back being his name and number in the font of the away kit from USA 94.

I also managed to make use of the better weather and daylight by getting better photos of the “Once A Saint ….” mural outside Richmond Park than on my previous visit in 2013.

On the Saturday, I went in search of the Tivoli Theatre Car Park, an iconic Street Art hotspot. I couldn’t find it and thought I was losing the plot.

That was, until I asked for directions, only to be told it had been demolished.

Flip Sake.

Photo Album

Dublin Street Art – November 2018

Dublin Street Art – July 2018

Dublin Street Art – July 2017

Dublin Street Art – May 2016

Dublin Street Art – June 2015

Dublin Street Art – July 2014

Dublin Street Art – August 2013

ROSEMARY STREET ART (AND SOME BELFAST CANVAS)

Some new Street Art in Belfast, I spotted on Instagram, so I decided to go out on my bike and see it in person.

It is of the path beside Red Barn Gallery, which has previously featured on this blog.

As a bonus, some new pieces have appeared as part of Belfast Canvas, a project which began as part of last month’s Hit The North, aimed at covering utility boxes in the city in artwork, inspired by a similar project in Dublin.

Those three images were taken at Dunbar Link, the street where you turned left before going into Virgin Megastore (Bit of an old school reference there) and at Kelly’s Bingo, next to where Atletic Stores was once (another old school reference for you)

Another bonus was that I found out where Strange Victory is, which will be handy as i’ll be heading there in September to see Edwin Collins do an instore gig.

Between now and then, i’ll be keeping an eye out for any utility boxes being painted.

Red Barn Gallery Street Art Photo Album

Belfast Canvas Photo Album

EAST BELFAST STREET ART – JUNE 2019

AKA, Tower Street Art, a post that took two weeks.

They can’t seem to keep their paintbrushes down in East Belfast, following on from the mural along the Connswater Greenway in April.

A new spot this, and i’m frustrated that I missed this live at the start of the month.

The former BIFHE campus in Tower Street has now become an arts hub, known as Vault Studios.

If you’re looking to find it, there is still a signpost for a Belfast Metropolitan College (which BIFHE later became known as) campus if you are driving to the City Centre from East Belfast.

If you aren’t good with street signs, just keep an eye out for the Linenopolis mural painted last year, you can’t miss it.

At the beginning of June, there was an event held there called Vault Fringe, and part of it was live Street Art painting.

So, I decided to head down the following week to have a look, making a cameraless trip to check it out.

Impressed with what I saw, I returned on the Friday to get some photos.

To my frustration, one of the pieces, a series of hearts had a food van parked in front of it, so I had to go back and get photos of that at a later date.

I was starting to worry that it was going to be a repeat of the time I took two months to get a picture of a Linfield mural in 2011 because there was always a car parked in front of it when I went to get a photo.

Eventually, two weeks later, the food van moved so I made my move to get the final piece, a series of hearts, the best piece of all.

I got drenched cycling home, but it was worth it.

You may recognise some of the artists, who have featured regularly on this blog.

Photo Album

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

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