The Grey Area Project

posted on 24th May 2018 by Veronica Dooley

Anyone taking a walk around Dublin recently can only be impressed by the incredible pieces of art that have been appearing on our streets. The developing vibrant street art scene is going from strength to strength with the emergence of contemporary artists that are pushing the boundaries and developing meaningful concepts that are connecting with the public.


ADW ‘Grey Area Project’

Among those leading the way are a street art collective called Subset. Twitter went wild last year when they revealed their larger than life ‘Stormzy’ mural in Smithfield days before the gig. It was timed to perfection so that when Stormzy himself arrived in Dublin he had to go and check it out himself, sending the mural viral.


Stormzy visits his mural in Smithfield

Alas, this is also when Dublin City Council got involved and issued them with a removal order as the group had not been granted the right planning permission for the project. With tongue firmly in cheek, Subset depicted a council worker partially painting back over the Stormzy mural, returning the wall to its previous dull grey state, thus raising an awareness of the order as a visual mark of protest.


Stormzy mural being partially painted over by Subset

So in response, this year the group began the Grey Area Project – a series of 25 new murals to be completed in the first six months of this year. It’s an ambitious initiative to raise public awareness and challenge the system which they say ‘is unnecessarily complex, arduous and prohibitive to the cultivation, evolution and progression of public art culture.’

Some of the artworks that have emerged as part of the Grey Area Project are simply breathtaking, with notable pieces such as Dan Leo’s ‘Swan’ painted down the road by the canal and Omin’s ‘Swings and Roundabouts’ in Grattan Street.


Dan Leo’s ‘Swan’

But the group have not been afraid either to address current conversations and political issues with well known street artist Maser’s ‘Repeal the Eighth’ mural reappearing on the wall of the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar. The mural has become a powerful emblem for the movement gaining traction amongst the public.


Maser’s ‘Repeal the Eighth’

And even though the mural had to be painted over, Cian O’ Brien, artistic director of the Project, used the event to highlight and raise awareness of both of the issues it had been highlighting. Protestors gathered as O’Brien painted over the mural with the crowds chanting “you can paint over a mural, but you can’t paint over an issue.” The Project said it would continue to support freedom of expression of the artist and that the mural ‘demonstrates the power of art to provoke debate, educate and communicate.’
You can check out the event on YouTube…

So instead of being frowned upon, these murals are being embraced by the locals who are encouraging and supporting the group to embellish the facades of their houses and properties with explosively colourful, meaningful artworks that they want to keep. It’s safe to say the collective group have produced some of the most renowned contemporary street artists working today whose voice is getting louder by the day. Head over to www.subset.ie for further info about the project and follow #greyareaproject to watch the story unfold.


Omin’s ‘Swings and Roundabouts’

 

VERONICA DOOLEY, CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER

When projects have so many moving parts you need someone who knows just how to keep track of it all. With a degree in Fine Arts from NCAD, Veronica brings an undeniable flair for the creative to her role as Client Services Manager. From the moment a job comes into the studio, right through to the final stages, Veronica’s on hand to make sure everything goes according to plan and gets done on time. She’s clients’ first point of contact to ensure their needs are met.