Renowned Irish graffiti artist Maser has sprinkled his magic all over a derelict petrol station in Parnell Street as part of a transformative urban art project which took him 14 days to complete. The Draw Out – Urban Exhibitionists project is a collaboration between Limerick City Council – who own the site – and Catherine O’Halloran, a senior youth worker in the Northside family resource centre in Ballynanty. The ambitious initiative will roll out a number of creative urban art projects as part of City of Culture and Ms O’Halloran explained that the Parnell Street project followed a model of urban regeneration “that uses the most creative resources to reinvent space both visually and functionally”. The youth worker has collaborated with Paul Foley of Limerick City Council to identify derelict sites in the city and following an assessment will establish a brief that can then be matched to an urban artist who is already addressing some of these aspects within their work.
As a result of this particular process, Maser was selected for the Parnell Street project, as, Catherine explained, “his work often boldly juxtaposes old and new, past and present in the architectural elements, the visual grammar and his choice of pallet”. “He was the obvious choice from the outset,” explained Catherine. “It was a natural fit and it is a true gift to city when an artist can re-imagine a space so that its very existence can provoke and inspire us as we engage with it,” she added. Maser titled the installation “No.27, A nod to Ed Ruscha” – after an American artist of the pop art movement who published a collection of photographs titled “Twenty-six Gasoline Stations”. Ms O’Halloran said the project was a “defining piece” in the initiative, which has been ongoing for nearly two years. Those interested in viewing the project, which has dynamically altered the site, including two cars within it, will have to be satisfied with viewing from the street level, as access to it is not part of the project. It will be lit up at night but people will have to look in from the footpath. The enigmatic Maser whose work has been exhibited around the world said that he “‘creates work that surprises people and questions their relationship with the familiar and the norm, also how dissociated we are from the space around us”. Go to www.facebook.com/drawoutlimerick for more info.