Liberties woman immortalised by Meath Street graffiti art

Greg Synnott

Local Liberties woman remembered in graffiti artist’s collection which pays homage to Irish heroes

Back in July, Maser, the prolific graffiti artist was commissioned by the Liberties Festival to bring his unique style to the Liberties in an outdoor portrait of Anne Devlin as part of his ‘Stamp Collection’ project that pays homage to a selection of Ireland’s heroes.

Anne Devlin acted as housekeeper to Robert Emmet and endured brutalisation in Kilmainham Gaol following the failed rebellion in 1803 but never once betrayed Emmet, who was subsequently hung, drawn and quartered in Thomas Street.

Anne Devlin however lived out the rest of her days in poverty in The Liberties.

When asked what made him choose Anne Devlin Maser told us “My love for Anne, knowing her bravery. I’ve been to Anne’s cell in Kilmainham Gaol, seen the conditions she was tortured in, I learnt about her struggle. She was a special woman. It was on my mind to paint her in the Liberties for a few years and when the opportunity came to paint a wall around the corner from where she lived her last days I couldn’t resist. Painting her portrait was the least I could do, so others could learn. It was my thank you to her.”

Maser is considered to be one of the most sought after graffiti artists in the country with work all over Dublin but he still has more he would like to add to the Liberties.

“The west is the best, I love old Dublin, its history and people, true character can be found there. Untouched, real trading, there is a real sense of community, not like the poor docks, character distorted by greed of developers and their associates. If the locals allow me, I’d love to contribute more to the Liberties.” He told us adding that “Meath Street is my spot.”

Like all artists, Maser is critical of his own art, forever looking to improve his style and when we asked him how he felt about finishing the portrait of Anne Devlin he stated “I’ll always find fault with everything I do. Painting is my tool to learn, these pieces are bookmarks to what I’ve learnt along the way.”

Much of Maser’s work is informed by social awareness and he uses his work to highlight social issues as well as to educate the public through his own unique style, drawing on the people of Dublin as much of his inspiration.

“I’m inspired by regular day to day things. Conversations in the streets, the boozer, my surrounding, friends and family, Dublin city centre and its beautiful people. We deal with enough shit in our lives so I try to spread a bit of positivity with my work. I’ve plenty of things and people who try to get me down but I keep reminding myself of the bigger picture, Life is good!”

Maser’s portrait can be found on the corner of Meath Street and has been there since July receiving a unanimously positive and joyful response from the community.

It would appear that if Maser were to return to add more of his art, there would be little objection.

 Image top;Jonathan Crean

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *