Co-operative Housing Ireland Members unveil out of this world street art

September 7, 2022

Lord Mayor of Dublin and Members living in East Wall welcome a Spaceman home

Pictured at the unveiling of the Spaceman, CHI Member and Island Key resident, Eamon Gill, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy, and CHI Member and Island Key resident Maria Hennessy.

CHI Members living in Island Key, an apartment complex in East Wall, Dublin, have officially unveiled a unique piece of street art developed with street artist, Shane Sutton. The street art depicts a Spaceman overlooking the apartments and was unveiled by the Members and Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy.

Speaking at the unveiling, the Lord Mayor said, “I’m delighted to be here to support the Members of Island Key in launching this wonderful piece of communal art, which was created by the talented Shane Sutton. This piece of street art is the culmination of months of planning and inspiration from the CHI community.”

Members gathered to unveil and celebrate the street art together, many of whom had watched the artist painting the image from their balconies. One such Member was Maria Hennessy.

Speaking about the painting, Ms Hennessy said, “The idea behind this is to bring a bit of life back into our apartment blocks. We wanted something to interact with the kids, so they could have a bit of joy from it as well. I think the kids are going to get great enjoyment out of it and it’s really going to brighten up the place.”

To reflect the spirit of the community, the Spaceman was developed by Shane Sutton with Members during a series of consultations.

Speaking about the process, Mr Sutton said, “It started with me doing a couple of designs. Out of these they picked the spacer one, which is the best, because they’re always good fun to paint. The main reason for [the street art] is for the kids from the apartments because they play along here.”

The image can be used with augmented reality (AR) filters, to make the Spaceman interactive for children in the locality. Shane has incorporated pictures drawn by the children in the AR filters, adding to the individuality of the piece.

Mr Sutton explains, “We wanted to include something for the kids here so with this painting we’re going to turn this into and AR [augmented reality] filter. So, when the kids look at their phones they’ll have their drawings pop up in a filter when they view the space man. It’s quite fun.”

The Spaceman project began when CHI reached out to its Members in Island Key to develop something to engage the community there. It started with the local CHI Housing officer Dara Sheehy, and Member Engagement Manager Anthony Burrowes asking people what changes they wanted to see in their community and the idea flourished into a collaborative piece of street art.

Speaking about that journey, Member Engagement Manager of CHI, Anthony Burrowes said, “We’re so pleased to have supported the process. Shane helped the Members come up with the ideas of what could be put on the wall, and that idea evolved from a landscape of deer in a forest, to this fantastic Spaceman. An idea that appeals to all generations.”  

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