80ft mural for Derry’s Graffiti Fest

Artists Karl, Donal, Adam and Glenn display their talent on a graffiti mural advertising 'Release the Pressure'
Artists Karl, Donal, Adam and Glenn display their talent on a graffiti mural advertising 'Release the Pressure'
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Artists Karl, Donal, Adam and Glenn display their talent on a graffiti mural.

Derry will host ‘Release the Pressure’, a graffiti and mural arts festival running on Friday and Saturday this week, with renowned graffiti artists travelling to the city from all over the world.

The free event is hosted by local social economy enterprise, UV Arts and will involve kids from Derry and Strabane.

Around Ebrington Square, UV Arts will host several visual art demonstrations including the painting of a double decker bus, minecraft workshops with CultureTech at Eighty81 Creative Hub.

With other sites across the city, Derry will be transformed by vibrant, urban graphic designs imagined by some of the world’s most talented graffiti artists.

They include Mark Bodé (San Francisco), Bonzai (London), Vyal One (Los Angeles), Yesbee (London), Erin Yoshi (Hawaii), Drax (London), Rask (Dublin), MSC (Scotland), DLA One (France), BTS (Finland) plus many more.

Young people from Tullyally and Currynierin put the finishing touches to their murals.

Young people from Tullyally and Currynierin put the finishing touches to their murals.

On Thursday night the spotlight will be on 50 young artists from Tullyally and Curryneirin, Strathfoyle, the Bogside, Strabane and Ballymagroarty who have engaged in a collaborative project of an 80ft mural, funded by the Housing Executive.

The teenagers are putting the finishing touches to the murals, which will be showcased at Ebrington during the festival and throughout the month of August.

Their project is aimed at building positive relationships among youth culture and addressing current issues, including hate crime, sectarianism, youth engagement, community cohesion and urban regeneration.

During the festival, which is supported by Ilex, the young people will have the opportunity to work with and meet the international artists. After the festival, they will return to their areas to plan for a permanent mural, in consultation with their own community.

Jennifer Hawthorne, Head of the Housing Executive’s Cohesion Unit, said:“We are delighted to support such a cutting edge festival, ensuring that young people from all communities can take part. Some of these communities are on the fringes of the city and can at times feel excluded.

“It is our hope that not only will good relations be established but that all communities will feel part of this. This project aims to reduce hate crime, encourage shared environments and create a sense of belonging by the changing of space and place around our communities.”

The event is open to local people to witness live art demonstrations throughout the weekend. There will also be chances to meet the artists.