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Brightening our streets with art

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Aideen Rogers and Michelly Goia

Aideen Rogers and Michelly Goia

One of their wheat pasting prints

One of their wheat pasting prints

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Aideen Rogers and Michelly Goia

You may have noticed the streets and buildings in Drogheda have been brightened up during the lockdown by a series of colourful posters, many sharing a message to 'stay safe' whilst the pandemic pervades.

Well, the project is the work of Drogheda couple Aideen Rogers and Michelly Goia, who have both designed and executed the street art in recent months.

The pair collectively call themselves Kontorno Art and the method is called wheat pasting, where the design is created on a small screen, printed out and pasted onto the surface.

'We wanted to make something pretty, whilst getting an important message out at this time,' explains Michelly, who is originally from Brazil. 'Graffiti is very permanent and this is getting the message across quietly, with no tagging, which can look ugly.'

Aideen is a proud Drogheda lass from Marley's Lane, and whilst not formally trained, has been an artist for most of her young life.

'I've been drawing since I was a child, and we both have always loved art,' says Aideen. 'As far as we can remember, we have a connection with the art world, even if it was only by doing some drawings as children, being creative, or studying about art. Besides enjoying it, we were discovering more about it and we knew that we had to do what we love, but we were feeling lost about what to do exactly'.

Michelly had initially come to Ireland in 2011 as an exchange student, and really liked the country so renewed for another year, and that's when she met Aideen.

'So, around 2013, we went back to Brazil and spent three years in São Paulo,' she explains. 'We were inspired by a lot of amazing street art as there are so many different and beautiful artworks around the streets which makes the city more colourful and bright.'

Paste-up art is very popular in South America, but hasn't really become as popular here yet.

Kontorno is a small art studio based in Drogheda, Ireland and the designs are digitally created, and the women say they want people to see the beauty and positivity in their everyday lives!

'We make the glue ourselves, using just water, flour and sugar, and the thinner the paper you use the better,' adds Aideen. 'We both do the designs, and we've been working on a lot a colourful hearts for Pride Month, as we are members of the LGBTQ community.'

Not only can you enjoy the public street art, but you can also own a little piece of it too, with Kontorno selling stickers and prints via Etsy on their Instagram page - Kontorno.

Drogheda Independent