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    Part of the latest street mural in Cork, on Harley’s Street, by James Earley, Tony Byrne, and Cian Walker

    Artists James Earley, Tony Byrne, and Cian Walker have combined to produce a new street mural for Cork city on Harley’s St. It is part of the Ardu Street Project, now in its fourth year and follows the completion of a new collaborative mural commemorating Tomás MacCurtain on Coburg Street by artists Shane O’Driscoll and Peter Martin last month. On Harley’s St. the artists set out 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 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, 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. Harley’s St. runs between MacCurtain St. and Patrick’s Quay.

    Ardú Street Art was established in Cork during lockdown of October 2020, originally bringing seven of Ireland’s most renowned street artists – Deirdre Breen, Maser, James Earley, Peter Martin, Shane O’Driscoll, Aches, and Garreth Joyce – to create large scale murals at key Cork city-centre locations. Thanks to phenomenal community engagement and support, the event returned in 2021 with four more walls unveiled by Shane O’Malley, Friz, Conor Harrington, and Asbestos and again in 2022, with artists Claire Prouvost, Kitsune Jolene, and VENTS137. These fourteen inspiring pieces add greatly to the cultural landscape of the city centre. They’ve been shared widely across online platforms and praised internationally in the likes of Travel US Magazine and the Brooklyn Street Art website.

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