January is a depressing month, even more so when it’s at the beginning of a recession. This city and it’s people need something to smile about again and we need you to help make it happen.
Free Art Friday is a relatively new art movement that’s rapidly gaining in popularity around the World. Artists create a painting, sketch, sculpture or installation and leave it on the street. The piece can then be picked up by anyone and claim it as their own. Finders are encouraged to email the artist and tell them how and where they found it. We’re asking all painters, photographers, illustrators, sculptures, graffiti artists, taggers, cartoonists or any visual artist to contribute a small piece of work that will be hung/placed/or left on the streets of Dublin on Friday 23rd January for anyone to take away.
Artivism, was my first ever show. I had been working for Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment and had been itching to do creative work again after a two year break. I saved some money, bought canvases and spray paint and started to produce some stencils of the thoughts that were going through my head.
The first thing I noticed about Ireland after being away from 10 years was how much money there was about the place. People seemed to be obsessed with designer clothes, luxury brands and status. I wondered what heroes like Michael Collins or Padraig Pearse would think if they were to see how absorbed the Irish people had become in their new found (EU supplied) wealth.
Back in 1999, I was working for working for a design company in London. The people were nice, but the hours sucked. I always missed friend’s birthdays and nights out because I spent all day and night working at a Macintosh moving company logos around a computer screen till they looked vaguely interesting.
So I left. canceled my pension, moved out of my apartment, paid off my bills and took of to Thailand and India for a few months. Having never been outside of Europe before and seeing extreme poverty in India changed the way I saw the world. When I returned to London, I decided to give up design for a while and do something that would make the world a better place. I volunteered with environmental pressure group, Greenpeace and soon I was doing non-violent direct actions with them. I especially liked doing the stencils onto whatever nuclear power plant, oil rig or building we were targeting.
While working on the Save or Delete campaign, we were lucky to get Banksy to do a poster for the campaign. I lived in Old street so I saw Banksy’s work everywhere. It was the first street art that I’d seen that changed the way I thought about things and that’s what made the difference. I went out around London stenciling the ‘Save or Delete’ campaign slogan everywhere, I also realized how effective stencils are at getting a message into people’s heads.