Meet Maser, the artist behind the iconic murals

Aine O'Boyle

Image credit: Simon Graham

Meet Maser, the Dublin-based artist that campaigned for Repeal of the 8th amendment and now for the reform of abortion laws in Northern Ireland.

Al Hester, the graffiti artist more commonly known as Maser, has quickly consolidated himself as a game-changer on the Irish art scene with his brightly coloured and brilliantly minimalistic murals and paintings.

His ‘Repeal the 8th’ mural became a global symbol of the campaign and is described in an article in the Irish Times as being his proudest work of art.

“To see that piece get communicated and translated into other mediums, that’s an artist’s dream,” he told the Irish Times.

The mural was removed from its home on the walls of the Project Arts Centre in the heart of the Dublin city due to its political significance, as it was deemed to breach the Charities Act 2009.

The mural, essentially a piece of graffiti, achieved its objective in highlighting the plight of the Repeal the 8th campaign with its removal sparking outrage across the nation. It successfully carried a very powerful message in very few words, acting as a symbol of the fight for bodily autonomy.

Since the vote to repeal the 8th amendment, campaigns for the reform of abortion laws in Northern Ireland have been on-going, with Maser creating another mural to symbolise the campaign.

The ‘Now for Northern Ireland’ mural has been projected onto buildings of prominence across Belfast, Dublin, London and Glasgow.

‘Now for Northern Ireland’ was projected onto the Project Arts Centre in Dublin as part of a collaboration between Maser and Amnesty International to repurpose the Repeal campaign, focusing on the issue at hand in Northern Ireland.

“Our friends in the North are now on their journey to revoke their outdated abortion laws. I am here to show my alliance. I am your defender.” said Maser.

As Brexit currently dominates the agenda of the UK government, the projection was aimed at grabbing the attention of politicians.

“These projections shine a spotlight on the unjustifiable neglect of people in Northern Ireland,” said Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International UK’s Northern Ireland Campaign Manager.

Aside from his more politically charged works of art, Maser has been developing his artistic style in the Atelier Maser, based on Charlemont Street.

Atelier Maser serves as space for the artist to create his iconic original work as well as being an incubator and gallery for up-and-coming Irish artists in which they can develop their craft and gain recognition within the industry.

The most recent artist featured in the Atelier Maser was Stephen Burke with his solo exhibition ‘Utility’. This exhibition featured a collection of tiled paintings and steel sculptures, inspired by the city landscape.

With Maser currently making waves across the globe, it is unsurprising that he is currently being hailed as one of Ireland’s most influential modern artists. As his work has been showcased in cities such as London and Los Angeles he is certainly one to watch.

Aine O’Boyle

Image Credit: Simon Graham