Series of Street Art: Belfast, Northern Ireland

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Belfast & Coleraine, N.I., 2013

Much of my passion for art comes from growing up in the enriching communities of New York City, but traveling has taught me to recognize the quality of life it brings to any community. I think integrating visual art into our daily commutes is one of those simple things that allows people to connect without judgments or prejudice. Any form of art is meant to be a shared, subjective experience, to invoke emotions and challenge observers’ perceptions, whether in the form of music, stick figures or performance arts.

My dad and I planned an adventure in Northern Ireland in ’13 and within a few short hours unexpectedly ran into a very friendly (and tipsy) couple who guided us to some colorful public art in a city once known to be the most unsafe and extremely dangerous due to religious and political conflicts. Yet today, Belfast and Coleraine are home to some beautifully integrated public murals.

Their murals describe what has evolved from their civil war, painting the pictures of how their society once lived, as farmers and skilled tradesmen. And, like all the other cool art, the artists’ visions add a little dimension to our daily lives.

Coleraine is a quaint little town north, the home of the Giant’s Causeway, complete with their history, culture, and folklore. Exploring the town and getting to know the locals, we learned the causeway is a result of a volcanic eruption centuries ago, but legend says otherwise. A war of giants ensued: Finn McCool, an Irish giant protecting his emerald isle, vs. Benandonner, a Celtic god of combat. Finn McCool was a smaller giant than Benandonner and in an effort to defeat the god of combat, McCool’s wife dressed him as a baby (which Benandonner was terribly phobic of) to scare him off. The illusion was meant to show if the babies were that big, what did the parents look like and did Benandonner want to take them on? Their fights prior to that including throwing boulders across the sea, causing the area’s natural beauty.

Crazy stories are what make our histories interesting. What are some of your favorite fairytales and folklores related to your families’ backgrounds?

#NorthernIreland #StreetArt #PublicArt #Belfast #Coleraine #StGeorgeMarket #DunluceCastle #GlobeTrot #Step #Causeway #GiantsCauseway #WarAndPeace #ArtAllDay #WeAreOne #vedheadPhotography

If ever in Northern Ireland: highly recommend visiting the St. George’s Market and Giant’s Causeway.

http://visitbelfast.com/things-to-do/member/st-georges-market

Saunders, Chas, and Peter J. Allen, eds. “BENANDONNER – the Celtic God of Combat (Celtic mythology).” Godchecker. Godchecker.com / CID, 15 Aug. 2014. Web. 6 March 2018.

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About Author

Kelly M. Coffey

Kelly's life trek started out in New York City. With a handful of luck, she's been mini globe-trotting, explored new landscapes, met extraordinary people, and has joyously lived in scenic spots like Puerto Rico and Salt Lake City. Her time is spent learning as much as possible about craft beer production, all things food, wine, coffee & tea, writing about personal experiences in fitness, music & travel, photographing some of NYC's infinite street art and interesting spaces, and celebrating life daily. To reach Kelly directly, drop her a line at vedhead@gmail.com!

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