ROCHDALE UPRISING

As in, Lisa Stansfield?

Yep.

The place where Gordon Brown called that woman a …..

Yep.

The team from League One that United needed a penalty shoot-out to beat in the League Cup?

Yes, that Rochdale.

Now, I’m no Michael Palin, I’m not even Michael Portillo, but I have travelled about a bit and seen Street Art in various cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Bristol, London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona. However, Rochdale isn’t somewhere that would instantly come to mind as a place to travel to in order to see Street Art.

All that changed in August this year, with the first ever Rochdale Uprising event, a collaboration between the local council and the Street Art duo Nomad Clan, as an attempt to brighten up the Town Centre.

If the name Nomad Clan sounds familiar, that’s because they have previously featured on this blog for their work around Belfast.

Usually when they are written about, they are billed as being from Manchester. They are just based in Manchester, one of them comes from Rochdale, hence their involvement with the local council in this event.

I travelled to Rochdale by tram from Manchester, having been over for a United match. I would have been better off going by train, except that there weren’t many running due to flooding, so I didn’t really have a choice.

As my tram ventured from Rochdale Train Station to Rochdale Town Centre, I could see pieces as I looked out the window, excitedly making a mental note as to their location in order to get a photo.

As soon as I got off the tram, I walked about, stumbled onto one piece, and then another, and then another,

However, not all of the artwork was outdoors, as there is an exhibition inside Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre.

To be brutally honest, there’s no other reason to visit Rochdale, there’s not much to it.

This makes any such visit worthwhile.

It’s unknown if this was a one-off event or the first of an annual event. If it is an annual event, I’ll make sure to visit to snap the new pieces that appear whenever I am over for a trip to Old Trafford.

Photo Album

MANCHESTER STREET ART – NOVEMBER 2019

This edition of Manchester Street Art actually doesn’t begin in Manchester, but in Altrincham, in Greater Manchester.

I was in Manchester for United’s match against Partizan Belgrade. When in Manchester, I like to try and take in as much of Greater Manchester and the North Of England. With a bit of spare time on my hands before checking in, I headed to Altrincham, having not been there for a while to visit Altrincham Market.

While there, I spotted a mural of Brigitte Bardot outside Everyman Theatre. Naturally, I got some photos.

I’ve no idea why it was done, there’s no particular reason for it.

Background research shows it was done late last year by an artist called Richard Wilson. Not that one. If it was, your response would be “I don’t believe it”.

Upon arrival in Manchester, there was only one place to go, Stevenson Square, Manchester’s hotbed of Street Art, to take in the latest pieces.

You may have noticed them recently on TV, as Football Focus interviewed Juan Mata there.

Stevenson Square was as far as I got on Thursday, as it was chucking it down with rain, and by mid-afternoon, my main intention was checking in to my hotel, and getting into my warm and dry room.

On the tram to my hotel, I noticed a mural of Noel Gallagher. I know it’s somewhere near Cornbrook, but I didn’t go to find it. I’ll be back in Manchester in January for another match, so I’ll look for it then, if it’s still there.

If it’s not, the number one suspect will be a certain William Gallagher.

Friday was spent walking around Ancoats and Oldham Street to look for new pieces.

On Friday morning, I headed to Rochdale in search of Street Art (a separate blog will follow after this) meaning that I didn’t have any time to get photos of Salford Quays/Pomona Whaf.

Photo Album

Manchester Street Art – May 2019

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

THE JOKE’S ON CATWOMAN

There have been two new criminals spotted in Belfast recently, but relax, there is no need to contact the PSNI.

This week, some new artwork has appeared in Belfast City Centre, a collaboration between local artist Visual Waste and Canadian artist Derkz.

It is of The Joker (not sure whose portrayal it is, sorry) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer’s portrayal).

Obviously the best to take on those roles are Cesar Romero and Julie Newmar.

The location, as you may have seen in some photos, is Stephen Street in Belfast City Centre. It is a residential street close to Royal Avenue. This mural is at the far end of the street, away from the houses.

Just to warn you, if you look up the address on Google, you may find articles about the music producer Stephen Street, famous for his work with The Smiths and Blur. That’s how I’ve always remembered how to find this location, giving me a wee chuckle.

I stumbled upon this on Instagram on Wednesday night, and made a note to see it and photograph it as soon as possible.

Tonight, I had a half day on an unrelated matter, so with some daylight still to work with, I headed out on my bike to get some photos.

There has previously been some Gotham related murals in Belfast. Not strictly the same, but the alleyway leading into Ulster Sports Club used to simply have “THE JOKER” written on the wall.

Harley Quinn was immortalised on a wall in Exchange Way in 2017. That building has sadly been demolished, and the mural now gone.

And, of course, Batman is on a wall as part of a Superheroes mural in Slaibh Dubh on the Springfield Road.

This isn’t the first time a mural of Catwoman has appeared on this blog, with a mural of Julie Newmar appearing in Manchester in late 2016.

Photo Album

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

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