Corks Contemporary Street Art Project

Ardú arrived in Cork October 2020 injecting a burst of colour, vibrancy, and life into the city in lockdown. Uniting the Leeside community through art, lifting its creative and community spirit at a time when it needed it most.

Seven of Ireland’s most respected and renowned street artists were invited to create key city-centre locations, in response to a theme inspired by the 1920 Burning of Cork. Find work by Deirdre Breen at Wandesford Quay, Maser at The Kino, James Earley at Henry Street, Peter Martin at Kyle Street, Shane O’Driscoll at Harley Street, Aches at Anglesea Street, and Garreth Joyce at Liberty Street.

In 2021, Ardú returned with 4 more murals in the city centre. Local artist Conor Harrington painted a large piece in Bishop Lucey Park and Asbestos, Friz and Shane O’Malley also created amazing and thought provoking artworks for the project.

Ardú – the Irish for ‘Rise’ – bases itself on a theme of nostalgia and celebration. Cork City rose from the ashes over 100 years ago following the Burning of Cork, and now faces the challenge to rise again. Street art is the ideal medium for the times we live in. We’re delighted to present Ardú to the public, in a safe space where you can interpret the murals outdoors, and at a social distance from each other. At a time when we face shared and personal challenges, each of our artist’s murals are a rallying cry to the city – a call to remember that we have been through terrible times before and we rose up. We can do it again. Join us for a celebration of Cork city’s traditions, history, and resolution.

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Funder acknowledgement:

Ardú, is a new street arts initiative managed by Cork City Council Arts Office and supported by the Creative Ireland Jobs Stimulus Package set to begin in September 2020.

Comprising of murals on city centre walls by prominent artists living and working in the urban context of Cork, the initiative will maintain public access to the arts, link to our heritage, promote cultural tourism and support employment with the arts sector during a challenging time. The initiative may culminate in an online event such as an Artists’ Talk with those involved and other supporting programming elements.

Ardú is supported by the Cork City Council and the Creative Ireland Jobs Stimulus Package, an all-of-government five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which places creativity at the centre of public policy. Further information from creativeireland.ie. Support has also been provided by Fáilte Ireland


The objectives of Ardú include the following:

  • To stimulate jobs in the arts sector in a direct way through this initiative and to complement a programme of professional development for a broad range of artists
  • To facilitate access to culture, arts and heritage safely and in line with national guidance concerning COVID 19, particularly with regard to social distancing
  • To raise the morale of our city’s residents through inspiring, contemporary artworks sensitive the context of the locations in which they are sited and in doing so, connect people, wellbeing and creativity
  • To bolster the recovery of our city’s economy and reinforce a sense of local pride by providing an exciting offering for the domestic tourism outside of the peak tourist season
  • To model an integrated approach to place-making, support the input of our arts sector and communities into same and foster cross-sectoral collaboration within our local authority body
  • To establish a sustainable model open to development in years to come with knock-on benefits for arts, tourism, culture and heritage