Aga Szot - Cocreator & Manager
How can art be an educational tool and promote culture? What artistic practices and media can be used to communicate and encourage citizens to think differently about their environments?
The Icon Walk
The Greatest Story Ever Strolled!
Believing that art civilizes, that it can be an educational tool, that it can function to instill a new civic regard for public spaces – the opportunity was there, to put ideas to the test in the neglected lanes and alleyways immediately behind Fleet Street, the main thoroughfare in Dublin’s Temple, the city’s cultural area.
We created The Icon Walk, a registered Charity, to rescue an area in City Center abandoned to petty criminality. We opened a gallery for unknown artists but the lack of safety made it unusable. Operating on the belief that Art Civilises we created an outdoor installation, filling the bleak dangerous back streets with images
of Irish Icons. In doing, we have transformed the area, enhanced tourism, appreciation of Irish culture, reduced crime, encouraged and identified a new dynamic role for artists in urban life, a civilizing influence.
Nobody walking through this area today could fail to notice the change in quality. It was a national scandal that the center of a European Capital City was allowed to become so derelict. We are working to win our battle here in the lanes of Temple Bar.
The Icon Walk Dublin is a multi-street public art installation which showcases original artwork by many different local artists of Irish icons from many disciplines including: writers and playwrights, sports icons, musicians, and actors from the performing arts. The Icon Walk Dublin is accessible and relevant, collaborative and inclusive, efficient and adaptable. It is a sustainable and economical model for public art projects, that is truly iconic and inspirational.
The Icon Walk has been credited with reducing crime in the area, increasing visitor satisfaction and has been praised as offering a new educational tool to the many student groups that visit the city. As several of its larger art works feature Irish writers, of all genres, The Icon Walk has been endorsed by the city’s UNESCO City of Literature office as an important site for the celebration of Irish literary talent and culture.