Respecting the architects of 1916 – updated


Archive image of P. H. Pearse in 1916. Inspiration for the street art on Moore Street.

In the centenary year of the 1916 Rising, a piece of street art has appeared on plywood hoarding surrounding a terrace of red brick buildings used by rebels during the rising on Moore Street, just around the corner from Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

Some of the houses are in immediate danger of demolition and a Save Moore Street campaign was born out of the government’s lack of vision in preserving such a historically significant landmark in its entirety.

The piece is a re-imagining a famous photograph from the era. It depicts Patrick Pearse surrendering to two figures (originally British soldiers) dressed in high viz jackets and hard hats (now representing developers). It is a clever concept with a strong message and up to this point I like it.

But, and here’s the thing, look to the right of the image and it is signed Banksy. It is not a Banksy (I contacted his PR agent Jo Brooks who confirmed this to me categorically), therefore, with the Banksy tag the image becomes a forgery. It immediately disappoints. I love and have a reverence for the arts on par with the love I have for my culture.

Without the Banksy tag, the piece would simply be regarded as ‘in the style of’ Banksy. Therefore respecting Banksy and his amazing body of work and also respecting the actual artist of the piece.

But would the media have picked up on it? Probably not.

The Save Moore Street campaign is getting attention in the media today (with the ‘is it or is it not a Banksy’ narrative).

But I believe, long term, it is to the detriment of the artists involved; who I believe, deserve a little bit more respect.

Save Moore Street Campaign  1

Artists                                            0


Irish Times article with Jo Brooks confirmation that the piece is NOT by Banksy. 

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