Operation Motorman mural in Derry

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Mural painted by ‘the Bogside Artists’. The mural was completed in July 2001 and is situated on Rossville Street in the Bogside area of Derry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. The mural depicts some of the events that occured during ‘Operation Motorman’ on 31 July 1972.

The Bogside Artists are a trio of mural painters from Derry, Northern Ireland, consisting of Tom Kelly, his brother William Kelly, and Kevin Hasson (b. 8 January 1958). Their most famous work, a series of outdoor murals called the People’s Gallery, is located in the Bogside neighbourhood of Derry and depicts the events surrounding sectarian violence and civil rights protests in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

Operation Motorman was a large operation carried out by the British Army (HQ Northern Ireland) in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The operation took place in the early hours of 31 July 1972 with the aim of retaking the “no-go areas” (areas controlled by residents, usually Irish republican paramilitaries) that had been established in Belfast, Derry and other large towns. During the operation, the British Army shot four people in Derry, killing a civilian and an unarmed IRA member.

The Bogside is a neighbourhood outside the city walls of Derry, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The large gable-wall murals by the Bogside Artists, Free Derry Corner and the Gasyard Féile (an annual music and arts festival held in a former gasyard) are popular tourist attractions. The Bogside is a majority Catholic/Irish republican area, and shares a border with the Protestant/Ulster loyalist enclave of the Fountain.

The area has been a focus point for many of the events of the Troubles; in 1969, a fierce three-day battle against the RUC and local Protestants, known as the Battle of the Bogside, became a starting point of the Troubles.

Between 1969 and 1972, the area along with the Creggan and other Catholic areas became a no-go area for the British Army and police. Both the Official and Provisional IRA openly patrolled the area and local residents often paid subscriptions to both.

On the 30 January 1972, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association organised a march against internment that was put into effect the year before turned into a blood bath known as Bloody Sunday. The British Parachute Regiment shot dead 14 unarmed protesters and injured 14 more; this resulted in a large surge of recruitment for both wings of the IRA in the city.

After Operation Motorman and the end of Free Derry and other no-go areas in Northern Ireland, the Bogside along with the majority of the city experienced frequent street riots and sectarian conflict lasting all the way to the early 1990s.

In 1974, the Official IRA declared an end to their armed campaign, and with volunteers on the ground already mad about the ceasefire in mid 1972, that crossed the line to hardliners. In result, Seamus Costello and other socialist militants formed the Irish Republican Socialist Movement. This new movement included the Irish National Liberation Army the paramilitary wing of the IRSM.

Derry and particularly the Bogside became one of many strongholds for the INLA; in fact all three volunteers who died in the 1981 Irish hunger strike were from Derry or County Londonderry. The Irish People’s Liberation Organisation, a breakaway group of the INLA, made a small but effective presence in Derry engaged in a feud with the INLA in the city along with other areas in Ireland from 1987 to 1992. The feud ended with the Provisionals stepping in and killing the main Belfast leadership while letting the rest of the organisation dissolve in the rest of Ireland. Throughout the rest of the 1990s, the Bogside became relatively peaceful compared to other localities of Northern Ireland at that time such as Belfast, even though street riots were still frequent. (Description from Wikipedia)

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Ramesses II In Battle

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Wall Painting of Temple of Beit El-Wali, which Ramses II constructed in Nubia during a period of the New Kingdom (1550 B.C. to 1069 B.C.) when the ancient Egyptians controlled the area. This Plaster Cast is in the British Museum, London, United Kingdom.
The Beit el-Wali temple is located in the area south of Egypt known to the Egyptians as Wawat, and to us as ancient ‘Nubia’. It supposed to remind the local people of the power of the Egyptian pharaoh, and to promote the worship of Egyptian gods.
There is a courtyard, decorated with scenes showing the pharaoh Ramesses II in battle against the enemies of Egypt. The southern wall of the courtyard has reliefs showing a battle between the Egyptians and their enemies to the south, the Nubians.
The plaster cast of the wall reliefs from the Beit el-Wali temple is on display in the ‘Egypt and Africa’ room (Room 65) of the British Museum in London.

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Love what you do

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

“Ama lo que haces” (“Love that you do”), mural paint by Boa Mistura. In Madrid, Spain.

Boa Mistura is a multidisciplinary team with roots in graffiti art, born in late 2001, Madrid, Spain. Boa Mistura develops his work mainly in the public space. They have carried out projects in South Africa, USA, UK, Brazil, Mexico, Georgia, Algeria, Norway, Serbia and Panamá.

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Pro-palestinian slogan in Derry

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© RicardMN Photography

Detail of a pro-Palestinian slogan painted on the iconic landmark, Free Derry Corner, in the nationalist Bogside, Derry (Londonderry), Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. July 2014.

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Big Pun

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Graffiti memorial to rapper Big Pun in The Bronx, New York, USA. 

Christopher Lee Rios (November 10, 1971 – February 7, 2000), better known by his stage name Big Pun (short for Big Punisher), was an American rapper and actor of Puerto Rican background. Big Pun emerged from the underground hip hop scene in The Bronx borough of New York City, in the late 1990s. He first appeared on albums from The Beatnuts, on the track “Off the Books” in 1997, and on Fat Joe’s second album Jealous One’s Envy in 1995, prior to signing to Loud Records as a solo artist. Pun’s lyrics are notable for technical efficiency, having minimal pauses to take a breath, heavy use of alliteration as well as internal and multi-syllabic rhyming schemes. 

About.com ranked him #25 on its list of the 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), while MTV2 ranked him #11 on its list of the “22 Greatest MCs.” In 2012, The Source ranked him #19 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. An article from The Rolling Stones Magazine states, “Pun embodied all of the traits of a master wordsmith: melody, a unique flow, an unforgettable voice, humor, and lyrics that made other MCs go back to their black and white composition notebooks.” 

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Hong Hing Mural Detail

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Detail of the Hong Hing Waterfront Store mural, Chemainus, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. It was painted by Paul Marcano.

The Hong Hing text panel says: “Hong Hing was actually the name of his store, his real name being Fong Yen Lew. After a half-century career as a shopkeeper, second-hand dealer, bootlegger, gambling house, and general busboy he returned to China, presumably to die. Instead, he married a woman forty years his junior, who presented him with an heir before old Hong joined his ancestors.”

Chemainus is a community on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Founded as a logging town in 1858, the town is now famous for its 39 outdoor murals. This outdoor gallery has given birth to many businesses, including a theatre, antiques dealers, and eateries. The tourist industry stemming from the murals helped rejuvenate the town after its large sawmill closed in the early 1980s and was replaced by a smaller but far more efficient mill.

The name “Chemainus” comes from the native shaman and prophet “Tsa-meeun-is” (Broken Chest). Legend says that the man survived a massive wound in his chest to become a powerful chief. His people took his name to identify their community, the Stz’uminus First Nation, formerly the Chemainus Indian Band.

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