SEEK Festival to kick off in Dundalk this Saturday
The SEEK Contemporary Urban Arts Festival will once again make a colourful return to Dundalk this weekend.
The festival is aimed at attracting some of the world’s best outdoor muralists and urban artists to Dundalk, to help promote the town both culturally and artistically. In its second year, the festival will take place in various locations in the heart of Dundalk from the 1st – 8th August.
Building on the success of the 2019 festival there will be guided walking tours, children’s and teenager’s painting workshops, and pottery workshops for all to enjoy. This year the festival is delighted to have a prolific international line up of artists who are all based on the island of Ireland. Each artist has been tasked with painting a largescale mural of a character or theme which ties in with telling Dundalk’s story. A new and innovative way of connecting people to Dundalk’s vibrant history and heritage.
Theme: Thomas “Sailor” Sharkey – Longwalk, Dundalk
Aches’ artistic practice is shared in equal balance between contemporary murals and studio artwork. Some of his notable works include the mural of Dolores O’Riordan in Limerick and the Edward the Bruce piece from SEEK 2019, which is located on Frances Street. His upcoming piece will depict Dundalk character Thomas Joseph Sharkey aka “Sailor Tom” (1871 – 1953), Ireland’s World Heavyweight Champion. Ring Magazine included Sharkey in their 100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time. Sharkey joined the United States Navy in 1892, he was then stationed in Hawaii where he began his successful professional fighting career.
Claire Prouvoust (France)
Theme – Dorothy Macardle – River Lane, Dundalk
Claire Prouvost is a French Graphic Designer and Illustrator living and working in Dublin. She will be rediscovering Dorothy Macardle in her artwork. Dorothy was a historian, journalist, novelist, playwright and activist. She was also daughter of the Chairman of the Macardle Moore Brewery. Dorothy is mainly remembered as the author of The Irish Republic, an account of the War of Independence which was published in 1937 and commissioned by Éamon de Valera.
Chule Mente (Spain)
Theme – Railway Heritage Society – Grays Lane (off Park Street), Dundalk
Chula Mente’s large murals combine styles taken from many different sources, from ancient art to contemporary, via graffiti and street art. Chula Mente was a guest artist at the SEEK 2019 festival. Her 2020 piece will be a celebration of over 150 years of railway history in Dundalk. Illustrating 77 years of engineering in the Great Northern Railway works, showcasing the architecture and industrial heritage of Dundalk.
Frizz (Northern Ireland)
Theme – Brigid of Faughart – 97/85 Bridge Street, Dundalk
Northern Ireland based artist Frizz, will be painting Brigid of Faughart. Frizz works in both traditional and digital mediums, and has a strong focus on spray painting. Her work largely revolves around the female form, so it is fitting that Frizz will be depicting Brigid in her many guises. Pre-Christian Goddess and Saint, the figure of Brigid holds a central and special place in the narrative of the northeast.
Theme – Paul Kavanagh – Bachelors Walk, Dundalk
Hailing from Dundalk, Omin is a graphic artist with a 20-year history rooted in Graffiti. Established on the international graffiti art scene, Omin works across a variety of mediums and surfaces ranging from large-scale murals, canvas and print. Omin will be celebrating Paul Kavanagh, an award-winning local press and commercial professional photographer, whose illustrious career documented the troubles along the border region throughout his career.
Paula Kavanagh, daughter of Paul Kavanagh, has commented “It’s so exciting to see our father’s photography career which largely depicted events and people around the Dundalk and border region, be acknowledged with this mural. He had a great understanding of time and history, which we see reflected in his photographs. It is such a compliment to him and his work that a professional artist will be creating a painting of him for the people of Dundalk, and visitors alike to enjoy. We can’t wait to see the final piece.”
The Festival could not go ahead without the incredible support of sponsors, Colourtrend, Creative Ireland, Dundalk Town, Creative Spark, Thinking Cap, Railway Heritage Society, Dromad Hire, Dundalk Tidy Towns, Fairways Hotel, Rocksalt, All City and Montana Paints.
Sarah Daly of Creative Spark, Dundalk’s Centre for Creativity and Innovation, has said “Dundalk is a vibrant hub for creativity, and we are honoured to welcome these talented artists to our town. Each artwork will bring Dundalk’s stories to life, and hopefully inspire people to visit and support the arts in the community.”
Scheduled guided walking tours will run throughout the festival and will visit both the 2019 and 2020 murals. The tours will allow visitors to explore the themes behind each artwork. Please see the events page on the website for details or click here for bookings.
Painting workshops for teenagers and children with artist Omin. Participants will paint a piece which will combine to form a large urban mosaic. Suitable for children 5 – 12, and teenagers from 12 – 16 years. Please see the events page on the website for details or click here for bookings.
Ceramics Workshops with ceramic artist Etaoin O’Reilly will also run on the 7th & 8th August in An Táin Arts Centre. For bookings please visit www.antain.ie