Artist unveils new suicide awareness mural

Dermot McConaghy in front of his new mural for PIPS entitled 'Hope'.
Dermot McConaghy in front of his new mural for PIPS entitled 'Hope'.
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Local artist Dermot McConaghy has graced the streets of Lurgan with another of his stunning pieces of public art.

The mural, entitled ‘HOPE’, replaces ‘The Wish’, also painted by Dermot, on a gable wall in Church Place.

It was completed over four days last week by Dermot on behalf of PIPS Upper Bann.

He explained: “I’d wanted to do it for some time now but never got round to it. PIPS were all up for it but I’m not sure they ever realised I had planned to do such a large scale piece. I try use my art to do at least one or two charity pieces per year. I am a keen supporter of the charities connected to mental health.

“I painted the piece called ‘HOPE’ as I think that without hope there is not much to live for. And the families affected need hope and positivity to get through their loss. Suicide is such a sensitive issue and there has to be a careful approach in order to talk about and tackle this issue.

“Hopefully my artwork has done that and will start the conversation about mental health among people in Lurgan. Especially young men. We cant ignore it any more and I want to paint a piece for PIPS that if you’re walking through town you’re going to be faced with it. It’s there.”

He continued: “‘The Wish’ had aged quickly and I felt a little sad taking it out as I knew lots of people liked it. But I made sure I painted something bigger and better to leave no doubts that it was the right choice. With street art or public art I think it’s good to take a risk and push for better things. I’d prefer to move on and progress with my art than hang on to things just.”

Of the latest project he said: “I started on Tuesday and finished on Friday at 4pm. It was a long week but big Bruce McCrum had the wall prepped well for me so I had a good run at it.”

Dermot has been asked to paint a piece in the Camden area of London by the people from ‘The real art of street art’.

He said: “Like most of my street pieces I need to self-fund them. If I can make it over before the winter I’d be happy. We will see. It’s nice painting outside this wee country. I painted in Berlin and Brazil last year and it’d be nice to put my work out somewhere else.”

It’s been a busy 12 months for Dermot. He recalled some of the highlights: “I’ve painted a few walls here and there, ate a few sneaky burgers, painted at a few festivals, did a few group shows - one in NYC - and currently getting ready for a big show with Aidan Kelly called ‘Little White Lies’ later this year in Dublin.

“I also just finished making a small documentary with ‘A Visual Feast Productions’ about street art. It’s being sent to film festivals at the moment. I think the promo is on YouTube/Vimeo under ‘DMC PROMO’.”

He said: “I don’t have a job so to speak and I survive doing what I do by facilitating projects, large scale commissions or by people that like my art buying my work. That’s how this industry work. It’s not by any means secure or steady as an income but it allows me to live the life I want to live, doing what I love.”

Anyone interesting in finding out more about the artist known as DMC should check out his www.manchini.com website where they will be able to buy some of his prints.

To contact PIPS call 3831 0151 of email info@pipsupperbann.com