Brooklyn Street Art

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Joe Caslin Carries “Our Nation’s Sons” to Trinity in Dublin

Posted on April 29, 2014

After visiting the prison Kilmainham Gaol the second most popular place for visitors in Dublin is probably Trinity College. That’s where the latest installment of ‘Our Nations Sons’ is laying as it waits to be plastered on the 400 year old institution of learning that has about 17,000 current students.


Joe Caslin “Our Nation’s Sons” Original drawing for the installation at Dublin’s Trinity College ( © Joe Caslin)

Street Artist and illustrator Joe Caslin, who has been creating and executing the huge installations of marginalized or unfairly demonized youth on the streets of Edinburgh, tells us that the series will conclude at the end of the year. The portraits are drawn by him but the installations take a small team, even if the piece looks small in Trinity’s Great Hall as it is laid out for final alterations before it goes up.

“What looks massive on the floor gets somewhat consumed by the enormity of the urban landscape; This hall was given to us for the duration of the installation. We slept there, mixed paste there and made all final adjustments to the drawings. That night it was ours and it became our studio – we felt like we owned the space,” says Caslin.


Joe Caslin “Our Nation’s Sons” Process shot. Trinity College, Dublin. April 2014. (photo © Gavin Leane)

Miguel, who is the subject of this portrait, was also part of the crew who installed it on an overnight that lasted until 5:30 am. He admits it feels kind of strange to be pasting his own image on such a scale on a wall, but also says he likes the team.

“It was tough pasting through the night, there is no denying that. But I suppose it’s not everyday you stick a 42 foot monolith of yourself on a wall in Trinity College. The crew warmly accepted me as the clueless new lad. We worked in the cold and rain, but working with such a great team of hardened workers made the laboring that bit easier. Above all I am proud to be part of such an inspiring project,” Miguel says.


Joe Caslin “Our Nation’s Sons” Process shot. Trinity College, Dublin. April 2014. (photo © Gavin Leane)

“The portraits have been interpreted as a commentary on the social isolation of young men, issues surrounding suicide, how society perceives young men as a menace and more,” says the artist who conceived ‘Our Nations Sons’. Undoubtedly the sheer scale is a helpful reminder that everybody has something valuable to offer to the conversation, and Caslin managed to be persuasive with the university to let it happen.

“I think the power of both the subject matter and the portrait made this a much easier decision for Trinity to make at the end of the day. Who knows! I’m just happy it exists within the centre of Dublin city and on such a prestigious site,” he says.


Joe Caslin “Our Nation’s Sons” Process shot. Trinity College, Dublin. April 2014. (photo © Gavin Leane)


Joe Caslin “Our Nation’s Sons” Process shot. Trinity College, Dublin. April 2014. (photo © Gavin Leane)


To read more about “Our Nation’s Sons” click HERE



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