Monday 21 October 2019

Omin puts his mark on Derry

Dundalk Out & About

Omin’s mural in Derry
Omin’s mural in Derry

Local street artist Omin was invited to contribute to Derry recently to create a mural as part of the 'Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger' exhibition.

The invite came from Urban Villages (UV) Arts, the arts collective behind the Derry Girls mural which has been a huge talking point since it was painted ahead of the second series of the hit comedy show.

The mural trail forms part on an outreach project for' Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger', the acclaimed Famine-art exhibition, on show at Cultúrlann Ui Chanáin, which has travelled from Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. The show has over 50 artworks commemorating the Great Famine.

Dundalk-based Omin travelled to Derry at the end of March to work on what has been his biggest mural to date.

The idea behind the mural trail is that it is inspired by the exhibition .

Omin admitted that it was 'a tough subject for any artist to embark on but on further research I kept getting drawn back to the large Battering Rams used to evict tenants from their homes during that period.'

The result is an eye-catching mural which incorporates Omin's trademark graphics and colour blocks as well as a powerful image recalling the brutality of that period of Irish history.

Omin says he enjoyed the process of creating the mural and paid thanks to the UV arts collective 'for the invitation, hospitality and help over the weekend! There was quite a bit of work to get the wall into shape...really appreciated.'

He also thanked 'all the taxi drivers and Derry natives who interacted and had the craic with us because it was basically painted above the taxi rank! And to Joe for letting me paint his van and incorporate it into the overall piece.'

The murals created in conjunction with the Famine-art exhibition are just the addition to Derry's growing body of street art which has emerged from the traditional political murals and is now becoming an attraction for locals and tourists alike.

Omin will be very much involved in Seek, a new contemporary arts festival, which is set to take place in Dundalk from June 15 to 22.

Organised in conjunction with the BIDS office, the event will see a crew of artists producing three large scale murals in town.

Along with murals which have recently been sponsored by the BIDS Office at Park Street (artist Sean McGuill) and off Clanbrassil St (Thinking Cap Design) and Colin O'Neill's mural at Quay St for the Tidy Towns, it will help put Dundalk on the map of Irish towns and cities with a vibrant street art scene. Belfast, Dublin, Limerick and Waterford have all embraced street art as a way of rejuvenating run down areas to make them more attractive for their own citizens as well as visitors.

Omin will also be showing is work with the North Louth Artists in their annual exhibition in The Basement Gallery which this year runs from May 17 to June 1.

The Argus