Saturday 24 March 2018

Art of politics adds some colour to campaign

Kevin Keane

Election posters have taken a battering during this week's gale-force wind conditions.

But now they face a threat from an unlikely source -- art.

Hundreds of artists have contributed their work to a poster campaign that's competing with election posters for the public's attention. The artworks are challenging for political real estate on lamp posts and telephone poles in Dublin in a bid to put creativity at the centre of the public consciousness during the election.

Behind the initiative is group of artists who call themselves UpStart.

The collective is a not-for-profit organisation and is not connected to any political party.

Their aim is to encourage more debate about the role of the arts in Ireland.

UpStart member Jeanne Kelly told the Irish Independent that at times like this "art goes way down the pecking order of priorities".

"It's great ideas that are going to get us out of this recession and people really need art right now," she said.

UpStart plans to erect more than 1,000 election-sized posters around the capital for the duration of the campaign.

Once the election takes place they will have to be taken down in line with legislation governing the posters belonging to political parties.

But members of the public will eventually get a chance to own a little part of election 2011 when the art works are auctioned off.

Ms Kelly said the response to the posters has been encouraging.

"There are hundreds of artists around the country that want to submit their work to UpStart; they are really creative people and that's a huge force to promote in Ireland.

"Hopefully it will cheer people up and inspire them," she added.

Irish Independent

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