Stepping out with Open Eyes

I’m a sucker for public writing of all kinds. I’m the person who reads the names carved in the sand; graffiti on toilet doors; notices on supermarket notice-boards; carvings on trees; paw-prints on now-set cement ….

You get the picture!

Well, the other day I was taking Puppy Stan for his constitutional down to the beach here in Tramore and nearly fell out of my standing when I saw this mural on the wall of an alley that’s within spitting distance of the beach.

Mural in Tramore, Co. Waterford.
Mural in Tramore, Co. Waterford.

It set my mind off in a million and one directions but most of all that word ‘hunger’ in relation to the sea resonated so, so much.

I can’t understand how I hadn’t seen it before ~ I think it’s probably because my eyes were always fixed on the horizon and the colour and mood of the sea.

I’d love to know about the signs, murals, graffiti , carvings that draw you in. 

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

18 thoughts on “Stepping out with Open Eyes”

  1. There’s a line in an Elbow song – “mirrorball” which goes “And my sorry name has made it to graffiti”. I always read what someone has written no matter where it’s written. It’s a form of expression, making a mark on things in life and sometimes it’s very funny or catches you a little unawares…. Nice post – Hunger is a great word for the sea/ocean.

  2. That is a fun topic Jean. Here in Canada street art is becoming more mainstream as the years go by. Graffiti is more complex with more meaning as it settles into the publc consciousness. Some is now commissioned by the gov’t and private sources. There is a high school nearby where a young teen was murdered by a killer who is now behind bars for life – and the school board set aside one whole wall of the buidling for the teens to do art to honor the fallen student. There are still a few unwanted or abusive pieces that are cleaned off when discovered, but a lot is considered desired. ( as an aside, I actually saw a van the other day that toted “Graffiti Removal Services” on the side)

    One of the growing sources of canvases for the artists are railroad cars. Cars are often parked on deserted sidings for extended periods and the large brown sides have begun to attract some interesting artists. Often long strings of railroad cars are kept together as they serve a particuar customer in round-trips. I came across the most impressive mural/street art piece I have ever seen, by accident in the wee hours of the morning in nothern Canada. At the time I was delivering fuel by tanker to remote locations and had just unloaded a full load in a forestry mill town. There is a huge rail yard there as lumber, logs, particle board and other wood products are moved to southern markets. To exit the town after delivery, i had to cross the main rail line from the yards and there was a long, slow, loaded train just leaving the siding so I had to stop and wait as it passed in front of me. One section of about 20 cars were box cars and there was a beautiful mural of mountians and plains painted over the sides in one continuous scene. I was astounded at the quality and detail of the scene as it passed in front of my headlights. It must have taken a team of painters many weeks to paint it . It was so riveting it felt like i was drawn into the mural. And then the train was gone into the darkness and it was time for me to come home. The effort and time that went into that mural when it will seldom be seen by anyone and always has the risk of being broken into sections – was mind blowing.

    Anyway, great post Jean – Thank You for the memories.

    1. Sarah, thanks for the great link. Love the art.
      We have a gorgeous mural here in Tramore at the old railway station house – a commissioned piece. It’s here on the blog somewhere.

  3. I love it when I find graffiti that says something profound whether it means to or not. There were some hoardings on the coast with a photo of the nearby lighthouse, which you would see in real life if you looked in the opposite direction to the hoarding. Someone had spray painted onto it ‘You’re looking the wrong way’. It may have just been a passing joke, but every time I passed it, it spoke to me – there was something meaningful about it reminding me to pay attention and not miss the beauty that is there. I always intended to write a post about it but then they demolished the building behind it and it’s no longer there – a missed opportunity!

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