This Thursday, we had the great pleasure of attending Subset's Grey Area Exhibition launch...and boy what a night! But first thing's first, for those of you unfamiliar with Subset- lets explain a little bit about the great work these guys do. Subset is an Irish art collective made up of some of Ireland's finest street artists- Aches, Vents, Monk and Zues to name just a few!

The exhibition launch at Odeon Point Village (opposite the 3 Arena) was a fantastic night full of art, free whiskey (yeeeeeow!) and a fabulous preview film screening of Subset's Grey Area project documentary. The documentary draws light on the difficulties and complexities attached to the licensing and authorization of public art work, and aims to revolutionize the current system.  You can check out the full film below for some seriously inspiring street art and a more in-depth look at the Grey Area movement. 

 We are huge supporters of Subset here at Siopaella, and had the great honour of showcasing their incredible artwork outside our Cecelia street store...Unfortunately it's beauty was short lived as we were forced to remove it by Dublin City Council soon after it was created. It was replaced instead by drab, dull, uninspiring grey walls. You can read our official statement on the matter below;

"It is with sadness and frustration that we had to say goodbye to the incredible art work @subsetdublin had installed on our Cecilia Street walls last month. We received a letter from Dublin City Council that stated: “it is alleged that a mural and awnings have been provided on the above premises <Cecilia Street> without the relevant grant of planning permission” and that “a person who is guilty of an offence under section 151 and or 154 shall be liable to a fine or term of imprisonment or both”. Basically the planning laws in Ireland make it incredibly difficult for artists and small businesses alike and this is just an example of how these laws ruined what was both a great tourist draw in Dublin’s Temple Bar, and a deterrent for unwanted vomiting, defecating, urination, and illegal graffiti work. Before @subsetdublin, every week we were forced to clean up vomit, faeces, and illegal graffiti tagging on our walls. It was only when @subsetdublin installed art work that the other issues we had nearly disappeared and were greatly minimised. Yes, can you believe that by having our President’s portrait deterred people from using our wall as a toilet? We couldn’t either! No doubt we will again need to deal with the inherent problems any small business owner in Temple Bar faces as our walls again will attract illegal unwanted activity instead of being respected - this is precisely the goodness that @subsetdublincreated - Respect. Beautiful Artwork creates respect - this is what we learned in this short month. It is unfortunate that Dublin City Council has taken this approach when it could instead be fostering creativity and adding to our city’s culture by encouraging such art works. We sincerely hope that Dublin City Council will review its current policy on Street Art in the near future."

 The Grey Area Exhibition runs until the 28th June (1pm-10pm daily) for all the street art enthusiasts out there who'd like to check it out! Artists prints are also available to buy from Subset's website, with all proceeds going to ICHH

Most importantly, if you support Subset's mission and would like to see the back of Dublin's grey walls forever- sign the petition here! As Mrs. Doyle would say "Ahhhhhh go on, go on, go on!!"

Ailbhe Conboy