Harley Street has undergone some noticeable changes over the past year. What was once just a short-cut for vehicle traffic and an illegal parking spot for late night revellers, has become pedestrianised and now has a colourful future ahead. After the installation of the new Mary Elmes Bridge, Harley Street was closed to traffic and resurfaced. The Victorian Quarter committee has been working with city officials on every step of the makeover, and has had a few traders set up stalls for weekend foot-traffic with a bigger market hopeful.
Now, as part of a city-wide project, Harley Street has become a giant mural. From The Cork City Council website:
“The programme welcomes seven of Ireland’s most respected and renowned street artists: MASER, Shane O’Driscoll, Deirdre Breen, Peter Martin, James Earley, ACHES, and Garreth Joyce, to create works at key city-centre locations, in response to a theme inspired by the 1920 Burning of Cork. Ardú – the Irish for ‘Rise’ – bases itself on a theme of nostalgia and celebration. Cork City rose from the ashes 100 years ago, and now faces the challenge to rise again, and this theme of rising will be reflected through some of these artworks.”
Artists began preparing the walls during the first week of October, and over the next few days, the design layout was drawn and paint went up. Pedestrians got to stroll through the work-in-progress and were treated to a short art class. The completed mural is a great lift to the already artsy quarter and will hopefully draw in tourists and locals into the area. The mural projects are made possible with generous support from Cork City Council and the Creative Ireland Jobs Stimulus Package.
The Cork City Council have installed festive string lighting after previous meetings and plans with committee members. The addition of the lights creates a glow that not only creates a safer environment, but builds on the overall appeal of the renovated area. Passers-by have already been spotted taking pictures and one called it “Insta-worthy”. A big thanks to the council for their support of our vision.