Graffiti Photo Essay: Part 2

I’ll start with examples in Limerick…

This was taken in late 2009 in a vacant lot in the Dock Road literally covered in graffiti. The next few photos were either taken of the inside walls or the external walls. I presume the lot is still there but the graffiti might have changed since!

Munster and Ireland stars, Paul O’Connell and Ronan O’Gara. This was done by All Out (; you can hire them to do murals and there are several examples around Limerick. The taxi rank in Davis Street has a few more Munster players on its walls etc.
This photo and the one below were also taken in 2009 at the skate park down in Mount Kennett, by the river. The building is Riverpoint.
This photo is more recent, March this year. Do chalk drawings even count as graffiti? There were a lot of them around earlier in the year going up Mulgrave Street (there’s one there now; another statistic on a boarded up window across from the fire station. I wonder is some artist/art student doing it as an installation or some person just drawing because they’re bored). Anyway, I took the photo because it stood out in its randomness. The text is “75 million birds die each year in road related accidents”. The wing could be a representation of a chalk outline of a dead bird…maybe!

Taken on the same day in March, down in Mallow Street. It looks like a stencil, done with a roller. I like the vivid colour on the white wall.
This is the bridge behind Ceannt Station in Galway in March 2009. The graffito word is “TRUE”. I just liked it, especially as it was right in the centre of the photo and it was gone the last time I checked. 

And now to some examples abroad…

This psychedelic shot was taken in Amsterdam last summer. I was on a moving boat at the time so it’s not as clear as I wanted.
This is the side of a building in Nantes, France in 2009. It is the birthplace the of subject, Jules Verne, who wrote the book Around the World in 80 Days. I’d say it’s a mural rather than graffiti but I can’t be sure; it’s a little spoiled by rubbish graffiti up the top left. The next few images are also from Nantes, much of it in little alleys and back streets. There are lots of graffiti around France (and Spain). I spent a good few hours on trains while travelling in both places and it’s very prevalent but not always good!
This is really cool and unfortunately some eejit has sprayed a blue tag all over it.
The words mean “Either with or without you”.
Is this defacement or tribute? This is graffiti from the grave of  famous writer, Oscar Wilde, at the most visited graveyard in the world, Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. The black writing is a famous quote of his…the white text is not *lol* Wilde’s grave is literally covered in graffiti. Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, and a load of French dignitaries are also buried here. Morrison’s grave is cordoned off. I think Oscar’s should be too, and maybe sandblasted!
This photo was taken on top of a hill in Sete, in the south of France. It’s on the bottom of a big broadcasting tower. The black stencilling seems to be done over previous colourful tags/lettering. I especially like the woman with the shopping trolley. I’m not sure what the words mean; ‘paroles’ is words or speech; ‘jamais’ is never and ‘pardonner’ is to forgive; ‘rigole’ is channel…and I still can’t speak French after five years ‘learning’ it in school!

Festival Fever: Éigse Michael Hartnett and Cúirt International Festival Of Literature

There are two festivals on this week in the mid-west and the west respectively—Éigse Michael Hartnett and the Cúirt International Festival Of Literature.

Éigse is about Munster’s “de facto poet laureate”, Michael Hartnett. It runs from April 14 to 16 in venues around Newcastle West in County Limerick. The poet was a prolific writer in both Irish and English. The theme this year is spirit and imagination and the event has everything from lectures to book launches, readings to music/drama performances.

There are many prestigious guest speakers and participants, including Fintan O’Toole, David Whyte and Peter Sirr (winner of the 2011 Michael Hartnett Annual Poetry Award) among others. Juliet Turner, Brian Kennedy and Size2shoes will make musical contributions, as will local schools and choirs. There is actually an open mic competition, the Hartnett Viva Voce, for “poetry, song and story”. Several prominent poets will do readings including Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Jo Slade and Fanny Howe. If you can catch the Theo Dorgan reading (8pm on Saturday 16), I’d advise you to go. I heard him read at the Cuisle International Poetry Festival in Limerick about three years back. The quality of his poetry speaks for itself but I thought he had a lovely voice and way of reading. If poets had groupies…

Fergus Finlay (CEO of Barnardos) will give the keynote speech, ‘Reimagining and Reinventing Ireland’ (8pm on Thursday 14). This is a special year because the poet, Paul Durcan, will officially unveil a sculpture of Michael Hartnett in Newcastle West (2pm on Saturday 16). There’s a lot on. Great work from the organising committee and Limerick county arts officer, Joan McKernan.

The full programme is available here.

Cúirt International Festival Of Literature
Cúirt runs in venues around Galway City (and county in a few cases) from April 12 to 17. Although, it’s a young festival, it attracts esteemed writers from home and abroad. Events include readings, book launches, plays, panel discussions, a poetry slam and more.

Authors visiting the City of the Tribes for the event include: Paul Murray, Dermot Healy, Carmel Winters, Anne Enright, Simon Armitage, Claire Kilroy…the list goes on! There’s a lot on but a few events stand out.

Bloodaxe Books will launch a new anthology, Being Human—a poetry anthology with “hundreds of thoughtful and passionate poems about living in the modern world” with readings by the poets, Penelope Shuttle and Denis O’Driscoll (6pm on Thursday 14). Penelope Shuttle is doing another reading (1pm on Friday 15). I heard her read at Cuisle two years ago and she was excellent.

Limerick author, Kevin Barry, will launch his debut novel City of Bohane, which has received sparkling reviews so far (5pm on Friday 15). Valerie Hemingway will do a public interview with Vincent Woods (8.30pm at April 16). An Irish native, she met Ernest Hemingway and his wife in Spain and travelled with them around Spain, France and Cuba—typing and proofing books like A Moveable Feast. She married Hemingway’s youngest son and had a very successful career in publishing and PR in New York.

I’m hoping to go up and maybe go to a few things but I really want to see two of the theatrical offerings in the course of the week—namely Autobahn by Neil LaBute and Grenades by Tara McKevitt. Autobahn takes place in an actual car and features different vignettes. I love the concept and LaBute’s work, particularly his knack for themes encapsulating human nature and punchy dialogue. Mephisto Theatre Company has gotten fantastic reviews so far for Grenades, a compelling one-woman show that won the RTÉ PJ O’Connor Award. Mephisto have gone from strength to strength since their formation around three and a half years ago. Both run throughout the festival.

The Cúirt programme is here.