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Reopening celebrated in Stoneybatter mural

French artist Juliette Viode has painted a new mural in Stoneybatter to celebrate the reopening of the city.

The mural is located on Prussia Street, Image: Aoife Daly

The process for the mural began with an open call from Dublin County Council (DCC) who wanted to commission five murals around the city in different locations, all with the common theme of celebrating the reopening and a return to normality.

Viode came to Ireland many years ago to study animation and illustration in Ballyfermot College and has been working on public art in Dublin ever since.

So how did this commission happen?

“I applied with my design and chose this location. It was originally supposed to happen in the summer, but it was delayed. I think this was a good thing because now that we are fully open and returning to normality, the message behind the mural is even more relevant,” she said.

Viode said the idea behind the mural was to show how vaccines have helped us regain a sense of normality.

“For celebrating the reopening of the city, I wanted to show how vaccines have helped this happen. However, I didn’t want it to be too obviously linked to vaccines, so it is just a little plaster on her arm,” she said.

“I have really wanted to revisit the iconic “We can do it!” poster from the WW2 era for ages, and it felt like the right time and place to merge the two ideas together,” she added.

The woman in the mural is painted to look like she could be in scrubs, a nod to healthcare workers’ contribution throughout the pandemic.

“I wanted to let people interpret the mural the way they want, so the character is wearing a blue/green top that is like the uniform of healthcare workers. I wanted to incorporate the message of solidarity with frontline workers but not in an in-your-face kind of way, so I made it a subtle feature,” said Viode.

“I chose this particular site because I live in the area, and I liked the shape of the wall. Previously, it was a big ugly grey wall with lots of construction signage. It was a perfect spot to put a mural because of its high visibility. It’s nice because it brings a bit of colour to the area,” she added.

This area is becoming much more colourful and vibrant, with the Grangegorman Development Agency also commissioning artists to paint the hoardings – tall boards that surround construction sites all around Grangegorman and Stoneybatter area, including around the TU Dublin grounds.

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