We disagree “The obedience of the citizens produces a happy city”. We believe engagement with our cities creates independent citizens. We define our counties, cities, towns & villages through shared values and common goals. We must raise questions of civic importance, engage in conversations to seek solutions and take action to ensure our voices are heard. The Public Art Mural (Exempted Development) Bill 2022 is an opportunity to explore that.
Public art is a visible and visceral medium for people from various disciplines to express themselves. It enhances individual empowerment, skills development, social integration & inclusion. Murals are an integral part of public art and can greatly improve our cities visual environment, as well as greatly supporting placemaking.
We believe the committee mediated method to public art can be overly proscriptive. An organic and grassroots approach is more often a truer representation of the public’s values, whilst at the same time protecting the position of public art as a driver for change.
As it currently stands planning permission is required to paint a mural as per the Planning & Development Regulations and the Planning & Development Act (further details on this are available through the News tab). We believe this legislation and the associated process and procedures are questionable at best, and in our opinion require scrutiny and subsequent revision. The framework is outdated. The unofficial policies are ill-conceived and ill-equipped to support the progress and development of the art form and its associated activities.
Murals are an integral part of a healthy, cultural and democratic society. They create avenues for discourse and important conversations which can take place and shape outside of the political polarisation of different areas. They provide a platform for diversity and inclusivity and showcase imagination at scale and prominence. They inspire children and adults alike. They shine a light on our past and place a spotlight on our future. They open our eyes and minds. They give rise to change, something sorely needed in Dublin and throughout Ireland.
The Bill will be introduced in Dáil Éireann on the 2nd of February 2023 to address this issue. The proposition is based on a combination of national experience and international precedent. If you wish to support the bill you can do so by downloading the letter of support below. This can be shared with your local TD by email, post or by posting it and tagging them on social media. All relevant contact details for TDs from all constituencies are also included below:
The Bill will be introduced to the Dáil as a Private Member’s Bill. It will then undergo the following stages: First Stage (Initiated), Second Stage (Debated), Third Stage (Committee), Fourth Stage (Report), Fifth Stage (Final) and Enactment. Full details are available on the Oireachtas website. The more support in advance of Second Stage the greater the possibility that the Bill will pass to the Third Stage. Please make your voice heard.
We see public art as art for the public by the public. Local Government seem to see it as art for the city as a bureaucratic function. This co-optation by local authority ultimately works to subvert the medium for its own ends. Through not engaging with this system, and everything that has come with that, our aim has been to highlight the underlying and overarching matter at play here - control. We believe art, craft and creation are keys to freedom of expression.
If you agree with the contents of the Bill please show your support, if you disagree please engage in the conversation. A special thanks to Eoin Ó’Broin for his role in making this happen.
This page of our website will be periodically updated with information relating to public art in Ireland.