Seven new pieces of street art are being created in Derry as a festival dedicated to street art and contemporary murals returns this weekend.
UV Arts, a local not-for-profit creative social enterprise and the team behind the Derry Girls, Factory Girls and Dalai Lama murals, is bringing back the event, renamed and rebranded as Roots Street Art.
A host of internationally renowned artists will take to the streets for the festival, which will celebrate Derry’s deep-rooted Irish connections around the world.
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The new pieces of street art aim to connect with the seven gates of the Derry walls, offering a colourful juxtaposition with the city’s historic buildings.
Explaining the Roots Street Art Festival 2021 theme, Karl Porter Director at UV Arts said: “As a nation, Ireland & its diaspora spans continents, with our roots running deep within the creative scene on an international level.
“The festival will seek to highlight those roots, featuring some of the most famous and most recognised street artists from around the world. All of which descend from Celtic origins, with some even tracing their lineage back to the North West.”
The festival’s return coincides with the launch of a brand new urban arts gallery this month.
The UV Arts Urban Arts Gallery will open within the Garden of Reflection on Bishop Street.
The gallery will host a series of urban art exhibitions, classes and be the base for a brand new street art podcast with interviews from some of the country’s most well-known artists.
Karl said: “Over the last year, we have been using our city’s outside spaces more and taking advantage of walking routes and greenways within the local area.
We have noticed large numbers of local and international tourists in the city, so what better way to engage them than by providing a free open air art gallery in the streets of the city.
“The potential economic impact of our event will help aid the regeneration in a post-Covid city centre encouraging the public to dander around our beautiful streets while taking in the abundance of creativity and art.”.
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Covid rules mean international artists are unable to attend due to strict lockdown measures in Australia and travel restrictions from the USA.
It is hoped they can attend in 2022, while a number of celebrated UK artists will be joining the festival this weekend.
The festival is taking place from Thursday (September 2) until Sunday (September 5).
UV Arts will also be hosting a free street art tour on Sunday. The tour will meet at 12noon at the Derry Girls Mural on Orchard Street, on the side of Badger’s Bar and Restaurant.
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