The Icon Factory is an artist’s cooperative, not-for-profit collective based in the Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland, run entirely by artists and volunteers.It is dedicated to celebrating Ireland’s cultural heritage through the artistic creation of Icons and through displaying these on their sister project, The Icon Walk. Members of the artist’s cooperative produce images of icons of Irish culture for display on The Icon Walk. These artworks representing rock stars, sporting heroes, writers, television stars are reproduced and available in various forms in The Icon Factory. Fine art prints, t-shirts, posters and other items bearing the reproduced iconic art are available for sale to support the Icon Walk mission.
These activities have functioned to revitalize a depressed urban area and to significantly reduce the crime rate therein. The Icon Walk become Ireland’s largest open air art-installation. Stroll past original images of individuals, many famous and some infamous, who have made significant contributions to Irish culture in the last century. Set out along the walls of the cobbled laneways on Temple Bar has attracted many tourists, locals, student groups and photographers to this area and has effectively reclaimed what was an unsightly and unsafe section of Temple Bar.
Raison d’ etre
The driving force behind this co-operative effort grew from the realisation that the culture had changed and for many of us that meant that we were on our own.
It seemed to us that a seismic systemic failure across the entire landscape had occurred and that our former leaders, those who had taken us to this place were the last ones likely to get us out of the mess. No point in waiting for things to get better, they won’t, so have some fun.
We were without funds but we still had our wits, so we pooled our treasure, our energy, and embraced our future rather than wait for the past to resurrect itself. Was it not an illusion anyway?
We are the post modern Irish, so we redesign the elements of our heritage to our own image. We present the writers, the musicians, the sports figures, the disparate elements which never disappointed us during THE GREAT DELUSION
Believing that art civilizes, that it can be an educational tool, that it can function to instill a new civic regard for public spaces – we saw our opportunity to put our 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 also knew that Ireland’s economic slump had depressed many of us and we sought to remind people of the riches of our cultural heritage – how we had riches aplenty across our cultural spectrum.
The Celtic Tiger turned out to be a pussy cat so now its time for Gaelic Lions to roar, to roam the midland boglands and the sidewalks of Temple Bar. We will honor you if we love you and mock those whom we disrespect.
Artists, young or old, Irish or from afar are invited to exhibit their artwork here for free.
The Icon Factory gallery is a non-commission exhibition space. Artists donating an original work depicting an icon from Irish culture are given a solo exhibit opportunity in the Icon Factory Gallery located in a hub area of downtown Dublin. The Icon Factory is committed to promoting artists, to providing training and experience to artists, and to promoting Ireland’s cultural heritage at home and abroad.
The Icon Factory fund The Icon Walk through their activities. The Icon Walk is further supported by donations from local businesses, individuals, and artists who support this mission.