Rathoath Artist brightening up the streets of Dublin

Sorcha Rose McGroarty

Shona Beedle, a 19 year old local artist studying in the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, was hand picked to paint a traffic control box in Finglas.

Having submitted her Tir na nOg themed design to the Dublin City County Council, she was then accepted as a participant in the Dublin Canvas Scheme aimed at brightening the streets of Dublin. This scheme is to encourage conversation between passersby and also to crack down on the amount of graffiti appearing around the city.

Shona was supplied by the City County Council to create the piece of artwork and was also paid €200 as compensation.

“It’s been really interesting coming out to paint every day and seeing people’s reactions. People have been really nice about it, I’ve even been asked about commissions.” Beedle said.

While painting the box located outside the Dunnes Stores on Cardiffsbridge road, she had 3 people approach her to ask about commissions in one day.

As of the project, Shona is encouraged to add her social media handles to encourage people to visit her pages and view her other artwork.

Her Instagram account under the name @artbyshonaaa is where she takes most of her commissions, however she does also take commissions via email.

The project started back in 2013 when Dublin City County Councils beta projects began by painting 11 traffic signal boxes in the northside of Dublin City.

David Murtagh had tried a similar project in the temple bar area to great success and reached out to the Dublin City County Council to propose the Dublin Canvas project which is what we see today.

The initiative is also in place as an attempt at slowing the amount of graffiti around the city, the idea being that other artists will be unwilling to cover up someone else’s artwork.

The Dublin Canvas Instagram page is where these boxes are displayed online, and is also where the project calls for new artwork from time to time.

The most recent call for artists saw approximately 315 artists apply with designs for just 100 boxes, including Shona Beedles very own box.

Eventually after 4 years, a new artist will be picked and Shona’s artwork will be painted over, but for the time being the residence of Finglas can enjoy her Tir na nOg themed artwork, featuring Niamh Chinn Or and her horse.

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