Paper towns: A mural of Dublin 7

In an alley near TU Dublin Grangegorman campus various murals decorate the walls.   

The exhibition is called “Here We Are” and was created by 2nd year students from the BA Visual Communication Design Programme at TU Dublin School of Creative Arts.

The group made a collaboration wall including the Park Shopping Centre at Prussia Street, where you can see their different murals. 

There are murals ranging from Street Art for Kids, Student Life, Cow Markets and many more.

Art and design student Lauren Tarpey created a mural named “Paper Towns”, which can be seen in the small indoor alley just before the shopping centre. The students were told to create a piece of street art inspired by Dublin 7.

“My thought process behind this work was actually based around maps. When I began to think about Dublin 7,  I started to research maps of the local area, and then I started to get interested in the shapes of maps and how they fold,” she said.

“The accordion style of some maps reminded me of the lines of terraced houses and shops that you see in Stoneybatter, so I decided to make a small paper town using this style of map. The idea of ‘Paper Towns’ emerged from there,” she added.

Tarpey explained how she first made an actual paper town sculpture, then afterwards she took a photograph and then vectorized in illustrator to add colours.

Tarpey has always been drawn to and fascinated by architecture. 

“Especially the historical architecture of Stoneybatter, which I walked through everyday in college, and the concept emerged naturally from my research,” she said.

The mural is filled with brighter colours and it is not accidental.

“I wanted to inject some fun and colour into an otherwise drab area of dead space. I chose a colour for each building and used various shades of that one colour, so it wouldn’t become too childish either,” she said.

She succeeded in bringing the alley some fun and colour! Every single thing on the mural is made of her own experiences and observations. Tarpey noticed that many people were cycling in the area, so this had to be included in her mural. Another thing she found to be charismatic about the area in Dublin 7 was all the kids playing sports close by, which is why the mural also had to incorporate children playing football. 

If you go to the alley and look at the murals, you may see there has been a mix up with names on some of the pictures, Tarpey’s name is actually written on the wrong mural. Luckily it doesn’t take away from the decorative murals, the ‘Paper Town’ mural is hers, although the nameplates might say something else.

The mural that can be seen in the alley is made by a local printer in East Wall where it was printed onto metal sheets. Tarpey made her mural in 2019, and as she is informed it would stay there for five years.

If you want to see more of her illustrations, you can check out her Instagram.