LIMERICK’S newest piece of street art, on the facade of the old fire station on Thomas Street, has officially been unveiled this Thursday.
A collaboration between well-known Dublin street artist Maser and Team Limerick Clean-up, the mural is a celebration of the success of TLC4.
For Maser, the piece was a continuation on a body of work that he has created around both Dublin and indeed Limerick.
And TLC’s aim with the bright piece is to encourage civic pride in the city, and to serve as a reminder of the responsibility everyone has to keep Limerick looking beautiful.
“Plans are afoot already for TLC 2019, and this is a reminder for everybody that it isn’t just Good Friday, we’ve got to take part in our communities all year round,” said former rugby international Paul O’Connell, who is the TLC ambassador.
“Maser has done loads of work in the city in the past. He’s pretty cool, he’s worked with U2, he’s worked with Damien Dempsey, he’s worked in America, in Europe. I think everyone is going to love it, I don’t think anybody is going to hate it - they might have an opinion on it, but the whole thing is to get engagement in the city centre, get people talking, and reusing old spaces.
“We have plenty of unused beautiful buildings in the city centre and this gets people talking about it. I was having coffee here this morning and loads of people were stopping, getting photos taken beside it. We’re very lucky to have someone like Maser coming to the city and doing work like this,” added Paul.
Our previous home has been given a STUNNING makeover! We may have moved from Thomas St in 1985 but it always has a special place in the long history of @LimerickFire. Well done to all at @TLC_Limerick https://t.co/LJK6g4MtKI— Limerick Fire (@LimerickFire) May 16, 2018
Dubliner Maser has links in Limerick, and spent summers in his childhood visiting family in the county. “Yeah, it’s through my mother’s side, the Browns in Newcastle West,” he said.
“I used to be down there quite a lot, to my grandad and my uncles… We used to go down working on the farm for a few weeks - well more so messing around! I learned to drive a tractor down there, when I was a kid! It’s a special place,” added the artist.
Street artist @MaserArt and Paul O'Connell at Limerick's latest colourful piece on Thomas Street. It's been created in celebration of Split Leap Lichen Green Deep Shoes Zakti YC7qdwC @TLC_Limerick pic.twitter.com/z66w1vmKyI— Maria Flannery (@mariaflan) May 17, 2018
Maser has a unique approach to his work, in that he reinvents space, transforming often derelict sites into an oasis of colour.
A lot of his work focuses on empathy and responsiveness of social conditions, the qualities that allow for public art to be both provocative and transformative. Maser uses strong geometric prints and patterns to cut through space, lines offsetting each other in repetition, and bold colours.
But about this mural: it’s a continuation on a body of work he’s been creating for quite some time, and each piece is a response to the previous, he explained.
“So with this, I was doing a lot of minimalistic work, abstract work, and there’s a lot of colour theory behind the piece, as well as scale and how (those elements) are important in a public space,” Maser told the Limerick Leader.
“Over the last two years I’ve introduced botanics, different types of botanics that would have different purposes for, let’s say, mental health, sleep deprivation, anxiety, and whatnot. So I introduced those into this work, and then mixing those with the hardline work that I do for that graphic look. And then, I just build a composition based on the space.”
Getting the design onto the wall took just under three full days, an endeavour helped by the glorious dry weather and sunshine.
“They showed me photos of the building and I got the measurements, and then I just sketched a piece. We came down on Sunday night, and then we started painting Monday morning, we had a great day on Monday painting. Then all day Tuesday, and we were thinking we might have to paint today (Thursday) but the weather was on our side, so we wrapped up yesterday (Wednesday) late afternoon,” he said.
The finished mural is now available to view on Thomas Street at the disused old fire station, beside the ‘Old Fire Station’ restaurant.