Greig Houghton Photography
Landscape, Street and Travel Photography


Irish Landscape and Travel Photography Blog

Walls of Dublin

A wall is a very big weapon. It's one of the nastiest things you can hit someone with.” ― Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall

Love it or hate it, street art has its place in the art world.  It deliberately used the word art, because I have to differentiate between it and the other form of mindless vandalism where it is random tags, names or obscenities scrawled poorly across other peoples property.  Street art is at its best when making a satirical political commentary or providing some black humour normally juxtaposed against the building or location upon which it is created.  The street art in these photos are larger murals which have likely been commissioned by the buildings owners, ironically in some ways to cover up or try and deter the anti-social graffiti. In other cases, it is an unique marketing position or simply a way to colour the drab grey of the city.

For the street photographer, these art pieces become derivative art forming a canvas or stage upon which a character is a placed.  The street photographer has to sit it out and await the correct character to come along whether it is someone that is repetitive with the art work, juxtaposed with the art or simply no association, but merely careful placement of the subject to interact with the art.

For the top image taken in Smithfield in Dublin, the woman with the hat reminded me of the woman with the head scarf in the artwork.  They both carried the same air of elegance about them.  The middle photo from Temple Bar in Dublin was a play on the arrow on the sign and the arrows on the wall with the characters interacting with them and obediently following the signs. For the bottom photo also taken in Smithfield, the background was so colourful and interesting, that I needed someone quite plainly dressed to go against them.