Since 2015, the city of Waterford has hosted an international art festival – Waterford Walls – every August. The original aim was to brighten up and rejuvenate old buildings and lesser visited parts of town. Both national and international artists paint walls belonging to local residents and businesses with their own designs.
Owners are usually so delighted with the artwork that many murals – even dating back to 2015 – are not painted over. There is definitely a huge local respect for the project with very little evidence of vandalism and tagging, even on the ground level pieces.
Usually, about 10,000 visitors attend the event over a few days. Activities include art walks, workshops, food trails, live music and the usual festival attractions.
This year has been very different needless to say! However, the organisers were able to go ahead with some elements of the festival. Many overseas artists were unable to attend but a few made it and, together with Irish artists, they’ve added to the collection which now numbers over 200 pieces, dating back the 6 years since the festival’s inauguration. They even managed to proceed with the art tours although group numbers were restricted to 5.
This year’s paintings are now complete and tours have finished but you can visit Waterford anytime and enjoy the city’s outdoor gallery!
This is a living city so you have to put up with cars, bins, wiring and road signs blocking your view!!!
There are plenty of examples close to the city centre but it’s fun to wander away and find paintings in carparks, yards and back streets..
Nothing is wasted….
….and look down
Check every alley….
Stand back and admire the whole thing…
or admire the detail….
Examine what they’ve done with old buildings…
….and keep your eyes open for potential canvases!!
Check the facades of city centre businesses…..
….but don’t forget the residential areas also….
And … most of all…. just enjoy the exhibition…
While you’re there…..
Did you know that Waterford is actually Ireland’s oldest city and dates back to Viking times. Way back then, they recognised the strategic importance of the three rivers – Barrow, Nore and Suir – that flow into Waterford harbour. The mile-long quays have always played an important role in city life. Maybe its no longer the bustling commercial quay of the past but it plays a vital part in the city’s leisure and tourism business.
Walking along the quays, we have the River Suir on our left, with an extended car park and the street running parallel to the walkway.
You’ll catch glimpses of lovely side streets and laneways leading off from the quays.
Towards one end of town, you’ll see the beginning of the Waterford Greenway, a fabulous cycle route that has brought so many visitors to the city.
Close by is Waterford Distillery – another big attraction…
Across the river, you’ll see a sign for the local BLAA!!
A BLAA is a doughy white bread bun, specifically associated with this part of the country!
The Gothic Clock Tower is a useful landmark if you are meeting someone along the quays!
The main bus station is situated on the quays which makes for easy access to the city.
There’s a nice performance venue beside the river..
The Viking Triangle is the cultural heart of the city.
Reginald’s Tower holds the record as Ireland’s oldest civic building. The first tower was built some time after 914 by the Vikings and has been added to over the centuries. Today, it houses a Viking Exhibition.
Most of Waterford’s famous Crystal is now unfortunately made outside Ireland but a new centre, opened in 2010, offers a factory tour, visitors’ centre and shop.
As you turn back and walk parallel to the quays, you’ll find the shopping district along with nice squares and open areas.