Joe Caslin is demonstrably not ‘just another brick in the wall’ as witnessed by his Dublin mural The Claddagh Embrace of summer 2015, when he captured the mood in favour (62.1%) of the Marriage Equality Referendum. Earlier this year he unveiled a large-scale art installation ahead of Belfast Pride 2016. The work showed a couple from Belfast who travelled to America to marry. Caslin remarked; ‘For me, family is simply a group of people who love and help each other. Through the project I wanted to delve deeper into what togetherness means in today’s society while also celebrating partnership, friendship and community.’
For Waterford, Caslin continues to progress an important strand of his activism by raising awareness of mental health in a striking image on the wall of the abandoned Ard Rí Hotel, overlooking the Suir. Entitled Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine, ‘we live protected under each other’s shadow’ succinctly captures the ideals of humanism showing the interconnectedness of mankind. The project is a collaborative venture with A Lust For Life organisation. It also marks the opening of the new Pieta House centre in the city.
For more on Joe Caslin see ‘Love in the city’ Arts Comment, Irish Arts Review, Summer 2015, page 158.