Harley Street has a fresh look.
The Ardú Street Art crew has been busy working on a new large-scale mural… and this one harks back to where it all began.
Shane O’Driscoll painted the first Ardú mural on Harley Street in October 2020.
“We never knew at that point the direction that Ardú would go. We certainly didn’t think that we’d be getting to a point where we would be repainting murals from our first year… that’s just the nature of street art and murals only have a certain lifespan.” he told us.
The enormous new piece is a collaboration by James Earley, Tony Byrne, and Cian Walker, who have been friends of the festival since the beginning and have been painting in Cork for over 15 years.
“When we first met to discuss potential ideas for this mural, we found that each of us had been exploring similar ideas, a positive sign from the get-go.” the artists explained.
“We had a fruitful meeting wherein we discussed ideas of industry, geography, and the ever-changing facets of Cork as a city. Given its significant history as a thriving port city, we wanted to create a work that alludes to the River Lee, its movement, and its importance to the trade of Cork, and Ireland as a whole.
“Utilising earthy tones offset by more vivid and vibrant colours we feel that the piece pays homage to the history of the county and its energy in moving forward as a city of cosmopolitan modernity.
“Hard-edged geometric shapes make reference to the urban elements of Cork City, in combination with more organic forms that suggest links to the sediment of the river and the more rural areas of the county.”
There are visual cues hidden within the composition too; abstractions on the logos of Dunlop and Ford, for example, the water from the image on the county flag, alongside less oblique references such as the use of Cork marble in the piece.
“Our aim was to create an exciting, stimulating mural that allows viewers to appreciate on a purely aesthetic level but also one that offers nuggets of reference and inspiration for those who wish to explore more deeply,” they added.