‘Earth’ without ‘Art’ is just ‘Eh’

A mural of the late Carrie Fisher appeared overnight in Francis Street on the side wall of the Old Barley Mow pub.

A mural of the late Carrie Fisher appeared overnight in Francis Street on the side wall of the Old Barley Mow pub.

Known for the tight-knit community of hardworking people, and its ability to shine and inspire on every street and at every corner, the Liberties is home to some of the most amazing street art in Dublin.


Recently, a mural of respect to the late Carrie Fisher appeared overnight in Francis Street on the side wall of the Old Barley Mow pub. The artist behind the beautiful tribute of the Star Wars actress goes by the name of FiNK.


FiNK isn’t new to the scene; if you look opposite the Princess Leia mural you will find Yoda staring back at you on yet another Star Wars mural.


“The unfortunate passing of Carrie Fisher in late December and a celebration of her incredible life on and off screen was the inspiration for this tribute piece and also the fact that i am a devoted Star Wars fan,” FiNK says.

“When I first saw Star Wars in 1977 my life changed forever positively and that was mainly as a result of seeing and witnessing the iconic, legendary and inspirational role and character of Princess Leia,” he adds.


Before you make up your mind on whether graffiti is vandalism or art, take a trip to see The Tivoli Theatre car park just off Francis Street. Every inch of the walls is covered with intricate, brilliant graffiti.


From soulful paintings on Richmond Street, to the incredible script and graffiti on Francis Street, and even the little painting of a dog behind Whelans, The Liberties oozes with hidden talent and great art. You have just got to know where to look for it.


It comes as no surprise then that one of the most prestigious art colleges in Ireland, the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), is located on Thomas Street. I sat down with aspiring artist Niamh Kavanagh to discover what NCAD had to offer.


Why art? Tell me what art means to you?

I’ve always loved art. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I have problems with anxiety and tend to overthink a lot, and art kind of gets me out of my head. People had been telling me for years that I should do something with art but I was always so wrapped up in the future that I wasn’t thinking about what would really make me happy. I think art kind of makes me who I am.


Has your work ever been viewed in the NCAD Gallery?

I’m in the Print department and we’re currently working on an exhibition that’s coming up in March/April, so no my work has never been on view to the public. There are always great exhibitions on in the NCAD gallery, you can pop in at anything and have a look.


What happens in the print department?

I actually wasn’t interested in print at all, I was pushing towards something in design, but in first year we got to go to different departments and try everything out and I just fell in love with it. There’s a lot of resources available and different styles and techniques you learn. My style is more illustrative and it suits perfectly with what I’m into.


What are you currently working on?  

Right now I’m focusing on the beauty of the human body. I’m looking at natural bodies and how they’re depicted in the media. I’ve been taking photographs of natural skin and using them in my art. I’m basically trying to get people to feel confident about their own bodies.


How has NCAD allowed you to grow creatively?   

The tutors are encouraging and the students are great. Being around people who are so creative is really inspiring. There’s constant feedback and encouragement and it really helps you grow as an artist. I think that art flourishes not just here but everywhere around the Liberties because it’s such a huge part of people’s lives.

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