Hit the North celebrates 10 years of Street Art in Belfast

Hit the North, Belfast’s spectacular street art event this year celebrated it’s 10th birthday. It was marked by a massive ‘paint jam in the cities Cathedral Quarter. An event which resulted in a complete re-painting of the area around the Sunflower Pub on Kent and Union Streets.

The Hit the North paint jam took place on 30 April 2023

International Artists

In the week prior other larger murals were created across the city. Many only finished off on the day of the festival itself. Massive works from major street artists such as Annatomix, KMG, Friz, Studio Giftig, Elena Lourens, Ed Hicks, ROA, Nol and Danny Rumbl being amongst some of the stand outs.

Annatomix was one of the big names to paint at the festival. Her giant sitting fox overlooks Kent Street

Humble Beginnings

Organised by Seedhead Arts and supported by key partner Hennessy. Hit The North is an event which has grown from humble beginnings. This year becoming the biggest street art festival across the whole of the UK and Ireland. It’s a platform whose growth has also given voice and opportunities to local artists many of whom painted at the festival.

Studio Giftig created a large wall inspired by the linen industry on James Street South. The duo are artists from the Netherlands. A mural they painted last year was recently voted the best in the world by Street Art Cities.

Contemporary Muralism

Belfast as a city is no stranger to murals. Many of the works created in the period of the Hit the North festival however have added a new dimension to muralism in the city. Street art created as part of the festival has a more contemporary feel. The work opening up conversations on a whole host of topics of importance to the artists and sometimes none at all.

Dutch artists Danny Rumbl and Nol high on cherry pickers and painting different sides of the same building

Rich Culture

Adam Turkington, Director of Seedhead Arts said Northern Ireland is fast becoming a hub for urban culture and the arts. “This year we’ve had artists travel from as far away as South Africa and Ukraine to take part in the festival. Northern Ireland has a rich cultural heritage for mural art and this really appeals to creatives who want to develop their skills while gaining inspiration from like-minded artists in a supportive space”.

The Hit the North festival in Belfast took place over the period of 27-30 April 2023. The main event and festival ‘paint jam’ took place in the area around Kent and Union Streets.

Hit the North Gallery

Festival vibes on Kent Street
London based artist Angry Dan interviewed by local news next the mural he created
Voyder high up on a cherry picker. He is known for his immense street art portraiture
Ed Hicks is an artist inspired by sublime paintings which is what he’s created on Union Street
David McMillan is an artist based in Bristol but originally from Belfast returning for the festival
Larne artist Alana McDowell is known for her typography and sign writing
Ballymena artists Sam McAleese and Carly Wright taking a step back from their work whilst visitors to the festival walk past
Belfast based street artist Friz painting one of the main festival walls
Annatomix high on a lift painting her huge mural of a sitting fox
Local artist Hannah Constance (known as HMC) with her painting of her horse ‘Lyric’. Hannah was also one of the festival organisers
From England ‘Chroma Chameleons’ and ‘Street Art Sweet Heart’ added an abstract landscape
Midlands based artist Peachzz next to her two toned portrait
Irish Singaporean artist Holly Pereira with a tribute to the etymology of Belfast
Glasgow’s Chelsea Frew adding finishing touches to her work
A fun piece of ‘Street Fart’ by local artist ‘Francois Got Buffed’
Belgian artist Nean painting giant trees on Union Street
A street art fan enjoying the festival
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