At the age of 14 my local youth center in Darndale had provided us youths from the area an opportunity to partake in some graffiti art lessons. I myself had already fell in love with the art through the Hip-Hop culture, so of course I obliged them. These lessons thought us the basic skills needed to refine our passion for street art into something more beautiful and expressive.
My first ever community project. Old Darndale shops 1999
Our tutor Gary Maguire “Artz” who was one of the most outstanding graffiti artists in the country was called in to run a workshop with us. He spent a duration of 3 years part time teaching us the technical side of things and furthermore after the workshops had finished I became good friends with Gary and went on to paint walls all around the county with some of our crew for the next 4 years.
Fast forward another 10 years to now and the roles reverse. Now I’ve worked as a leader on a graffiti project with Brazilian graffiti artist “Brutto” and a local youth group called “The Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme” also known as the KCCP which harbors groups that take part in daily activities and creative tasks to increase their social skills and qualifications.
Our project was to tackle a mural designed by group manager Tiernan Williams, a 100th year anniversary piece dedicated to our countries independence, better known historically as the Easter Rising.
Painting with the group from the KCCP.
The lads from the group at KCCP helped us fill in most of the flat color and left the finer details to us. I really enjoyed working and getting to know these guys from the area, they are all characters and I have to say I had a good time laughing away being humored by the group whilst painting which made the day sail by smoothly. It made me think, I was just like them at that age, young, ambitious and willing to learn from others. Our youth truly are the future of this nation and the KCCP do a great job working with locals to ensure their levels of expression, confidence and qualification are up to standard in modern day society.
Working along side Brazilian graffiti artist “Brutto”.
The mural was painted onto 5 hoarding boards that were specifically cut to size to mount as a finished piece in Kilbarrack train station for all to see and enjoy. The theme was direct, simple and effective. Pearse stands in the foreground reading the proclamation whilst the children of the country stand in the background with a quote taken from the proclamation overhead as a caption which reads “Cherishing all of the children of the nation equally“.
Here is the finished 1916 Piece that stands outside the KCCP
On the day of the official reveal we were joined by the youth/staff from the KCCP and project leaders Marion Clarke & Teirnan Williams. Dublin’s G.A.A squad captain Kevin Mc Manamon was in attendance as well as some local politicians showing their support. The local priest showed his support and shared his families involvement in our fight for freedom, staff dressed in uniform with my auntie Catherine Darling and lastly the sun split the sky while my friend Damien Dempsey talked to our souls through song with the ballad James Connolly.
Performance by Damien Dempsey | Video by The Sound Feed
Special thanks to Marion Clarke, Tiernan Williams, John Connors, Damien Dempsey, The Sound Feed, Brutto & the youth of the KCCP. Together we showed what community is all about.
Video footage by: The Sound Feed