Category Archives: Politics

SCIENCE = HEALTH

imageIn 1986,  The Silence Equals Death Collective – created the infamous SILENCE = DEATH graphic. Soon the design would be wheat pasted across New York City as a deadly virus killed people in the hundred’s of thousands.  Before the age of social media, the Pink triangle would be worn on badges, tee-shirts and painted on big banners as the symbol and motto of the generation that fought back against AIDS and Government inaction.

From 1996, medical research progressed into HIV/AIDS drugs  (thanks to relentless pressure of groups like ACT UP).  People living with HIV with access to  antiretroviral drugs began to control the virus and in the following years the number of people dying of AIDS began to decline.

In the past number of years through advancement in science – drugs like PrEP can now stop people to acquiring HIV and PEP can prevent HIV taking hold if taken with 72 hours of exposure to HIV.  In addition, a person with HIV who is on effective treatment whose is virally suppressed become will not transmit HIV to a sexual partner.

SILENCE = DEATH – was a succinct and powerful message for it’s time, but we need to move the message on.   I think that today, SCIENCE = HEALTH is a far more fitting slogan. It’s a positive message that gives hope. However, SILENCE still equals DEATH for 15 million people worldwide with no access to lifesaving medicine.  SCIENCE = HEALTH can only be achieved globally when Big Pharma reduces the cost and releases the patents of these drugs so that millions more people can access them.

SCIENCE = HEALTH

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Swift 350 & MaSamba Samba School

Over the past week I’ve been painting a large mural for MaSamba Samba School on Bow Lane West, Dublin.

Working with younger members of the school we decided to create a ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ inspired mural because the book’s author founded the hospital across from the school and this year is Jonathan Swift’s 350 anniversary.

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Syria – Now You Know

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This morning I installed a fake unexploded missle on South King Street, Dublin for GOAL global charity.

The unexploded missile has been constructed, using various salvaged materials. It was be placed in a ‘hole’ on the pavement, created using sand and pre-smashed paving stones. Special effects will be created by coal dust for blast scorch and smoke, along with a number of other elements. The charity wanted to highlight the ongoing suffering of innocent civilians in Syria, as the latest round of peace talks on the Syria crisis begin in Geneva tomorrow.

I was commissioned by GOAL to build the structure to mark the fact that rockets and missiles continue to land in civilian areas in Syria every day, killing innocent men, women and children in the process

GOAL CEO Barry Andrews attended the event with GOAL Syrian staff member, Alia Alsoud. Alia left Syria at the start of the war but still has family living in the country. She also lost family members in the violence, while other have been trapped in sieges.

Collins Rising

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‘Collins Rising’  My new, limited edition screen print will be launched Thursday 10th March at Damn Fine Print – 31 signed and numbered prints only.

I’ve teamed up with Damn Fine Print  to produce an exclusive limited edition Screenprint of #CollinsRising // launch part Thursday 10th March at their studio in 32 North Brunswick Street Stoneybatter Dublin. To buy this limited edition print click here

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Origins to ‘Duty Free State’ (Collins Rising)

For God’s sake, give me one free night to be a human being!” –  exclaimed Michael Collins to his fellow rebels in the self titled,1996 film by Neil Jordan.  These words became the starting point for my original Collins stencil entitled, ‘Duty Free State’ ten years ago.

From his early twenties, Michael Collins was involved in the struggle for Irish independence. From fighting in the Easter Rising to the negotiations table at 10 Downing street 6 years later,  Collins dedicated his life to the dream of an Irish Republic.

While much has been written about his achievements, I often wondered about what this young Corkonian had to sacrifice to achieve these goals.  Ask any committed activist and they will tell you that their cause often comes a personal price. Committed volunteers like Collins never got leisure time,  bonuses, holidays or luxury goods. They dedicated their waking hours to defeating their oppressors so others could be set free.

Our little republic is not perfect, but we are not under the dominion of unelected monarchs, we have a constitution and we are free to utilize the tools of democracy,  freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly.  Liberty should never be considered a luxury, it is a fundamental human right.

If Michael had more time after the Civil war,  he might have travelled the world, he might have got married to his sweetheart, raised a family.  We might have spotted him striding down the street, shopping bags in hand after buying something nice for himself or his girlfriend.  My screen print,  ‘Duty Free State’ is an aspirational piece of work about a man who missed so much because he cared too much.

Because of men and women like Collins, I enjoy the freedom to satirize icons like Michael without fear of restriction or the threat of imprisonment and for that I’m grateful.

Michael Collins you deserve one free night off.

Walls of Equality

The forthcoming referendum on Marriage Equality will give the people of Ireland the opportunity to end discrimination against gays and lesbians who wish to marry.

In a pluralist, fair and modern society, legal unions between consenting adults should be protected by law equally, regardless of gender. Voters will be asked to amend Article 41 of the Constitution and approve the thirty-fourth amendment contained in the Marriage Equality Act 2015. The wording of the amendment will be: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinctions to their sex.”

Being an artist and an activist I want to use my best skills to further the rights of minorities and bring about a better, brighter society for everyone to live in. Recently I’ve approached a number of business owners in Dublin with the prospect of allowing street artists in favour of Marriage Equality to paint murals on their sites. The feedback has been very positive and I would like to spread this idea nationwide. As it’s difficult to project manage each site I’m looking for artists and businesses to work together.

UPDATE:

10 artists took part in Walls of Equality, their work brighten up the city’s walls, it reinforced a positive message and acted as a counter weight to negative campaign messages coming from the Anti Equality groups.

Artsists: ADW, Sums, Rask,Niall O’Lochlainn, Morgan, Jess Tobin, Emma Blake, John O’Connor, Will St Leger

PantiBar Gallery Morgan Sums ADW NiallO

Cronyism

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It’s not the first time I’ve taken a street art swipe at Bertie Ahern, back in April 2008 I filled Molly Malone’s statue with ‘Bertie Bills‘ on the eve his his resignation as taoiseach. I felt then, what the majority of people feel now; cheated, hood-winked and angry that the person at the highest level of office in this country can lie about secret payments for planning favours. This country needs to be purged of Cronies like Ahern, Fylnn and Co. otherwise we as a nation will never be trusted by foreign investors and by the international community.

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