SUBSET Is Simultaneously Challenging Dublin’s Public Art Laws & Helping Its Homeless Crisis
MIKE O'DONNELL / EDITOR
SUBSET is an artist collective best known for their striking murals, which have appeared all over Dublin. Founded 8 years ago and now comprised of more than 20 creatives, SUBSET has also worked on client projects for brands such as Paddy Power, Red Bull Music, Conor McGregor, BMW, Dr. Marten’s, Kendrick Lamar and the DAA. With a heated debate surrounding their home bases’s street art regulations, SUBSET has made it its mission to tackle Dublin’s public art laws, combatting the censorship of street art by “grey imaginations wearing grey suits.” Public art is predicated on an environment of “no admission fees and no social barriers.” SUBSET is accordingly challenging “the arbiters of public taste” with a simple question: Who gets to decide?
Grey Area is a protest project to demonstrate the color and life that art could bring to Dublin streets if artists and collectives like SUBSET had the support needed. “When every attempt made to elevate this great city’s culture through urban art is met with letters threatening fines or imprisonment, change is needed.” With the permission of property owners, the argument that these artists are vandals is a hollow one. Yet the most prominent murals around Dublin have been painted over with grey walls by the city. SUBSET has thus taken it upon themselves to grey out only half of two celebrated murals, asking the public which they prefer: a grey wall or the art painted on it. This is how Grey Area initially came about, and SUBSET has since joined forces with more than 150 people and companies from all over the UK and Europe to expand the its reach.
Dublin City Council has requested the artists cease and desist with the Grey Area project. They have begun to issue letters demanding the removal of artworks. A framework proposal for public art has been submitted to DCC and government ministers. To view SUBSET’s proposal and sign the petition, click the button below.
In order to change the law, SUBSET will need to work with both the Minister of Housing and Minister of Arts. And with Dublin’s ongoing housing crisis and problems fighting homelessness, SUBSET has fittingly joined forces with ICHH (Inner City Helping Homeless) for its latest Grey Area Exhibition this Friday. SUBSET will be hosting street artists from all over Ireland, the UK, and Europe to raise awareness and funds for Ireland’s homelessness crisis. The event will simultaneously build awareness around the handcuffing regulations stifling street art in Dublin.
Sign the petition below and read our rapid-fire interview with SUBSET.
Who are SUBSET?
SUBSET is a collection of artists, from various fields, exploring several mediums.
What kind of work does SUBSET do?
What we do changes almost every day but so far we have worked on multiple artistic projects, most notable being our Stormzy, Gracie and Donald Trump pieces which have been a catalyst for discussion surrounding Dublin City Council's approach to large format artwork in the public realm.
We have also worked on multiple client projects in areas such as Sponsored Art Campaigns, Visual Communication, Film, Photography and Interior Design.
What is SUBSET’s mission?
We wish to transform Dublin into an open air gallery; we have aspirations of transforming the global marketing industry but primarily we want to assist in Ireland's recognition as a cultural juggernaut.
How did Grey Area Exhibition II come about?
What are some of the challenges you've faced?
How long is a piece of string?
Why is this important to you? Why is this important right now?
It is a national issue. This is our nation. It is always important.
How can other creatives get involved?
firstname.lastname@example.org. Give us a shout.