We were asked to join this discussion on Newstalk FM. We didn’t have the time due to preparations for the Public Art Bill - an action that will actually address this issue as opposed to paying it lip service. A few notes for anyone who has listened or intends on listening: We’re not protesting the bureaucracy of the planning system with our monochromatic public art series, although that is one of the many issues at play here. We’re addressing the exemption of “painting” within the Planning & Development Regulations. This exemption then goes on to state “except for the purposes of creating a mural”. We’re also highlighting the lack of a definition for a “mural”. Further details on this in our previous post.
The purpose of doing so is to draw attention to the fact that the existing legislation, and its implementation by local authority, is not fit for purpose and requires revision and amendment.
We don’t “paint things without asking any permission”, we just don’t ask the permission of Dublin City Council. So sue us. Oh wait..
We have the permission of the owner. To the best of our knowledge there has only ever been two objections to any of our murals (in contrast to the substantial positive feedback). Did these objections even come from the neighbourhood? We implement the necessary health & safety requirements (not just a statement).
A "quality test"? This is a whole different conversation. Define quality in the context of art. Decide who defines it. Good luck.
The “routes” referred to in the Planning & Development Act 2000 are the Planning Application Process and Section 4(1)(f). Neither of which are suitable. Are the required processes and procedures of Section 4(1)(f) or Part 8 implemented by Dublin City Council? We don’t believe so.
“You have to go through the process”. A mural (with no definition in legislation) is currently considered a “material change of use” and in this interview it is compared to “building an extension”. We used to make this comparison as a way to highlight one of the many flaws of the process. It has been used here to highlight its alleged necessity :)
What relevance does "international reputation" have in the context of legislation and its implementation?
“If we get any objections we have to investigate them, we can’t ignore them”. Is this process and procedure always implemented the same way? We don’t believe so. We’re still awaiting a response to the complaints that were made as part of the monochrome mural series.
Interesting question from Moncrieff - “Does it ever happen that a mural is painted without permission but somehow it is allowed to remain there because the community voices their approval for it?”
“The city does use its discretion, like all government officials” - allow us to translate - “we have one set of rules for you and another set of rules for ourselves.”
If there is no complaint is there still an investigation? Has the law still been broken? Will there be a prosecution? Who makes these decisions and how are the conclusions drawn?
The climate change mural that was referenced was painted on red brick. Interesting that it is okay to paint on red brick in some areas but not others.
“We’ve commissioned ourselves” - bit of a Freudian slip there. Although the Ormond Quay hoarding may not be permanent (nor are a lot of murals) it has been in situ for almost five years. You could be forgiven for thinking the scale, location and prominence of this mural would have the same supposed impact as an “unauthorised mural" on a wall.
“Checking the facts on all sides…an attempt to get around things… I’ve seen beautiful street art… and in the corner the name of a company.” Check the corner of Ormond Quay :)
To use their own words, the only people “trying to get around things” are Dublin City Council. We spent years dealing with legal proceedings for them only to be vacated on a whim and struck out because they didn’t have “their ducks in a row”. Wasters.
This rant has been sponsored by The Theoretical Tea Company. Shout out for their continued support despite the criminal prosecutions. Yuppa The Cuppa.