Dublin street art is magnetic and larger than life. Part of the charm of travel for me is seeing the many ways cities use street art and public art to make their city unique. Before I took my trip to Dublin, I associated the city with pubs, literature and castles. But it’s so much more. In fact, Dublin is a dramatic contrast of youthful energy and creativity, surrounded by tradition and history. Of course the traditional architecture, history and literature are what we know the Irish city for. But Dublin also has a flirty, creative, youthful spirit on display in the streets, alleys and storefronts. It’s an extremely creative city and the use of art is intentional.
Dublin Street Art Captures the Eye and the Imagination
Dublin is such a dramatic, creative city. Old world architecture mixes with the modern world to create a vibe that is a compelling mix of old and new. And everywhere you look, you find incredible street art. Dublin street art captures both the eye and the imagination with bright, bold colors and a kinetic energy that makes the animals, literary figures, and political messages seem like they could pop off of the buildings and stone fences at any moment. The street art there is exceptional and substantial. While graffiti is a piece of that, there are many huge dramatic portraits, and abstracts as well.
Of course Ireland has its share of museums and castles and statues too. These are compelling, often historical and traditional. But tradition alone can be stale and grey if a city rests only on that as a tourism draw. Here in Dublin colour breathes life into buildings, streets and entire neighbourhoods.
Many people know that Guinness has had a huge hand in Dublin’s development, history and economy too. But in some ways they are also responsible for injecting colour into the city. No surprise that Irish people love to celebrate and enjoy a pint in the local pub. In the past, many Guinness worker’s homes looked identical and that meant confusion when coming home after a night celebrating at the pub.
Historically this is also why they ended up painting their doorways bright colours. So, even when drunk, people could find their own house. Colour had a pragmatic application in those days.
While Dublin has always been a creative city, as evidenced by it’s many giants of literature and theatre, public art was more an undercurrent of graffiti until the last few years. Ireland’s creative mandate is strong right now and it holds a vision for the future of the country. The Dublin City Culture and Creativity Plan 2017 is a smart vision for the next five years that paves the way for more creative expression in all areas of the arts.
One of the most impressive pieces of Dublin street art that you’ll ever see is Ulysses. It is the largest single street art design that I have ever seen in person. Taking up two sides of the Bloom Hotel, this incredible work of art by James Earley is full of color and movement. It draws you in with its bright blues, pinks, purples, and yellows. I had to pull myself away to keep going with the photo walk we were on one day. Ulysses towers over the city symbolically. Truly impressive, creative and thoughtful.
So many things impressed me about Dublin. The food was exceptional and dramatic and service and people were witty and theatrical at times. Everywhere we went in Ireland the setting was otherworldly really. Dublin street art is playful and sometimes ironic and edgy too. For more about the Drama of Dublin you can read this guide or check out my Video – A First Timer’s Guide to Dublin on the topic.
From Killarney to Dingle and the Ring Of Kerry back to Dublin, it’s easy to see why Dublin and Ireland have topped many lists of must see destinations this year.
Dublin street art is creative, political, colourful and personal. It is part of what makes the city so attractive for tourists and residents alike.
The streets of Dublin are colourful to say the least. #lovedublin💙 Photo walk near Temple Bar district in Dublin just two weeks ago. #tbex #tbexireland #fun #traveling #internationaltravel #ifwtwa #seetheglobe #wanderlust #travelmassive #ireland #photography #art #nature #cities #travelblogger #travelphotography #traveltheworld
Dublin Street Art is Symbolic and Intentional
We’ve all seen street art in our travels. Sometimes graffiti is random and haphazard. Brightly coloured tags. Other times the public art is dramatic and larger than life artwork. There are memorable pieces in most cities around the world now and public art has truly come into its own. If you find yourself in Dublin take a day to explore on foot and revel in Dublin street art.
I was a guest of Failte Ireland while visiting Dublin this Fall. My accommodations, food, transportation and activities were complimentary. My opinion is all my own and my stories are truthful.