Street Artists to Give East Belfast a New Paint Job

Top international names will work alongside a colourful local collective to 'radically' transform part of the city this weekend

South African street artist Falko

Some of the biggest names in street art will be bringing their spray cans to East Belfast this weekend to transform parts of the city with stunning visuals.

As part of the EastSide Arts Festival, Seedhead Arts and the Community Arts Partnership will bring the acclaimed Hit the North festival back under the guise of 'Hit the East', to illuminate and animate familiar streets and alleyways.

South Africa's Falko and London-based Dreph are amongst the international names who will be joined by colourful talent from Northern Ireland on Saturday (August 5) to give the area around Holywood Arches a dramatic new look.

Street artists such as KVLR, DMC, Emic, Verz and Tweet are set to work with members of the Belfast Bankers art collective, with organisers promising that 'beautiful things will happen'.

Ghanaian artist Neequaye 'Dreph' Dsane, who lives in London, is one of the most acclaimed names in street art. Most recently, he has been busy adorning London’s walls with large, beautifully painted images of women of African and Caribbean origin as part of his 'You Are Enough' series. Dreph aims to inspire and celebrate 'amazing women who are not given the visibility they deserve', by utilising the power of a very public art form to shine a light and empower. 'Through the paintings and subjects’ backstories, I am paying tribute to ordinary women who do extraordinary work for the betterment of their communities and society.' Dreph will be bringing that bold, passionate vision to the streets of the East.


Works from Dreph's 'You Are Enough' series

South African street art superstar Falko’s work is vividly unmistakable and internationally celebrated, with people travelling from across the globe to Cape Town to witness his work.

Over the years, graffiti has created the opportunity for Falko to tour Sweden, Germany, France, Switzerland, Kenya and Greece. Highlights include; participating in the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations, creating murals for the build-up to the Olympics 2004 in Greece, creating the backdrop for Nelson Mandela’s 79th Birthday. He was included in the Mail and Guardian’s 100 Young People in 2006 and was awarded Hype magazine’s Graffiti Artist of the Year 2010.

Organiser Adam Turkington said he was thrilled with the opportunity to 'Hit the East':

'East Belfast will literally not know what hit it! We’re delighted to be able to bring some of the most talented and biggest names into an area that perhaps is known for a different kind of street art. We invite people from across Belfast and beyond to come and check out what’s happening 'up east' on August 5. This will be a stunning and radical transformation that celebrates and enlivens this part of the city and its unique history and heritage.'

Hit the East takes place on Saturday, August 5 from 2.00-5.00pm across East Belfast. Operations will be based around The Bank artists collective on 432 Newtownards Road – drop in on the day to find out more information. Read Culture NI's full preview feature on this year's EastSide Arts Festival, which runs from August 13 to 13, here.