Street art all the fashion for graffiti festival's 18th year
THE LONGEST-RUNNING graffiti festival in Europe concludes in Drogheda this afternoon.
“Many think it is a mad gang culture thing; it is a gang of people, but they are far more likely to paint you than beat you up,” joked artist “Beta” (37), who comes each year from Liverpool to take part.
Known as the Bridge Jam, the festival has some 40 artists participating, and today is the third and final day. The art spans the abutments of the Bridge of Peace, used by tens of thousands of people to cross the river Boyne each day before the M1 motorway was built.
The murals will remain in place until next year’s festival.
Regular festival-goer Lars Pedersen (36), who travelled from the Netherlands, said: “I hope people can appreciate that we do these two artworks for free. I think the art beautifies Drogheda, and that Drogheda is more beautiful with it than without.”
On the southern side of the bridge, the centrepiece is a large sinister figure who, according to its creator Asger Vigen Jorgensen (27), is “a mad rabbit with rabies”. It was created spontaneously, said the Copenhagen native, adding: “I never do the same thing twice.”
Some of the artists at the Drogheda festival have been commissioned to do pieces for the UN and international charities.
The festival was started by local man Darrin Finnegan (40), who said: “It is our 18th year – it is adulthood now for the bridge.” A self-taught artist, he spent his childhood years doodling and “went from doing it at home to doing it out on the streets. Now I do corporate work.
“Graffiti is more fashionable now than in years gone by; the advertising and design agencies see it as a way of reaching the youth market.
“There are 20 to 30 teenagers doing graffiti in Drogheda at the moment and they are doing tags everywhere. I was one of them once,” he added.