Work has started on a stunning new landmark mural on the University of Limerick City Centre Campus. The mural by the internationally renowned artist Digo Diego will cover the entire façade of the Honan’s Quay side of the campus when complete.
The ambitious project, which boasts an eye catching and innovative design, is being developed on the site in tandem with local artist collective Draw Out and through a partnership agreement with Limerick City and County Council.
Digo Diego is an urban artist and muralist from Spain who is heavily influenced by the environment and social issues and considers his murals a canvas to enhance, revitalise and educate, saying, “I am very excited to start the project. I like how the University and the city of Limerick and Draw Out and everybody involved are facilitating us. I hope that this mural and the people that walk past and live here are going to stay (to watch). It is very interesting to me to create a piece that is going to be a part of something bigger.”
UL President Professor Kerstin Mey said, “it is exciting to see the mural by Digo coming into being as it signals both the ongoing commitment of UL to its city centre campus and the future transformation of this landmark site at the banks of the River Shannon. The dynamic and vibrant mural design articulates the interactions of the city, the river and nature in organic ways and symbolises the ethos of sustainable growth as a hallmark for the development of the campus. It intertwines urban rhythms and natural flow into an upbeat polyphony which resonates with the positive charge that emanates from the University of Limerick campus that comes to life in the heart of the city.”
Nuala Gallagher, Director of Planning, Environment & Place-Making in Limerick City and County Council, said, “the mural by Digo Diego will no doubt add fantastic colour and vibrancy to that part of the city centre. We have already seen how this area has been transformed with the artistic work carried out at Honan’s Quay and the use of the mobile urban forest to enhance this important part of the city. The council and UL have worked hard behind the scenes to bring this project to life and we, like the people of Limerick, cannot wait to see the end result.”
Limerick City Build, who run Draw Out, started enabling works for the project, which began on Monday and will take several weeks to complete.
Catherine O’Halloran, managing director of Limerick City Build, explained, “there will be a hive of activity here – the first phase of the work is the undercoat, which has been done on the whole side of the building, and then the artist will map out his grid system, which he will then be able to overlay his design onto and work in then some of the forms before we start to see colour go on over the next week or so. I would say it will take a day or two to map everything out first – and then you will start to see shape and colour work into it in the days after.”
“The first phase of the work is the external walls of the façade of the campus. And in the second we will do some more of the internal structure of the building and the higher elevated pieces. There will be a short interval in between of maybe three weeks and Digo will return then to conclude it.”
Catherine explained that Digo will “spend some time in the city getting to know and embed himself in the fabric of Limerick and then respond again back into the design with any other considerations he might have. That might mean the design changes significantly or not at all – it is leaving room for that process to take place, which is the important thing. It is exciting, it is the meeting of the two worlds with an artist that hasn’t really worked in the UK or Ireland before and a partner like the University that is open to working in this art form, which is a little bit unorthodox. That kind of edgy, dynamic meeting of those two worlds is probably going to make for one of the most landmark murals that we have ever done before.”
The mural is the first stage in improving the look of the building as UL begins work on a masterplan for the further development of the City Centre Campus in close collaboration with LCCC.
UL is fully engaged in the master planning process, with a development plan to be worked out during 2023 and a goal to lodge a planning submission by the end of next year.
Ahead of that, UL is currently considering proposals from the campus community for an interim use while the master planning for wider use takes place.
Source: Limerick City & County Council