Posted by: susanjcaldwell28 | May 20, 2011

THE ICON FACTORY, ASTON PLACE, TEMPLE BAR, (down by the side of The Hard Rock Cafe).

I happened opon a place, space or initiative, dont quite know how to describe it, today, that I must tell you about.  It was called the Icon Factory, but before I actually hit the shop/studio that was the Icon Factory, I saw a few derelict lanes around the area of Temple Bar that were actually covered with art, paintings, drawings, illustrations and posters  that were pinned to the walls, an outdoor exhibition in an obselete part of Temple Bar that I had never been down before.  The paintings were of famous Irish people generally, everyone from Dermot Morgan to Rory Gallagher to Phil Lynnott.  There were humorous posters and notes as well.  After we viewed these lanes, we came upon the Icon Factory itself.  A tiny space that contained so much interesting art.  There were two artists behind the counter and they informed us that they had recently opened the space and they were responsible for the art on the outside walls, getting other artists in to assist them.  What I found particularly interesting was the fact that they allow artists to exhibit in the space free of charge in return for one or two images.  This was particularly pertinent to me because I had been talking to a very talented artist during the week who was telling me about the cost of exhibiting in galleries and the waiting lists etc. Most artists have to try and make a living out of their art whilst a few very lucky ones can just do their art to indulge themselves without the worry or mortgages, childcare etc.. and I always think its a shame when people cannot exhibit their art due to lack of funds and understand the dilemna involved therein.

On two levels, I wanted to talk about this place.  On one level, so that artists could engage with it and maybe have work exhibited etc. and on the other level the people who are looking for unusual gifts and want to support artists could actually go there and buy some products or photographers could look at the space and photograph same.  We bought a couple of coasters today a set of 4 for 12 euro, which had  illustrations of Sinead O’Connor, Bob Geldof, Rory Gallagher and Phil Lynnott on them. There were also place mats, mouse mats, brillantly illustrated t shirts for 10 euro, jewellery etc.

I would urge anyone to go down to have a look at the walls around these lanes, hitherto bare and uninteresting walls that are alive with art and pop into the Icon Factory and if you like anything to maybe make a purchase.  Have fun.



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  2. Hi Susan,
    My name is Kevin and I’m one of the many artists involved in the Icon Factory / Icon Walk. I just wanted to say a big thank you for your glowing review.
    Aga, Barney, Dave and Regine who run the Icon Factory have put a lot of time, effort and money into keeping the Factory running and setting up the Icon Walk which I am very proud to be part of.
    It’s when people like yourself who enjoyed it so much and spread the word that makes it all worthwhile.
    Thanks again,

    • You are very welcome, I was genuinely blown away by what I saw. I have spread the word to all the artists I know and told the people with money to go down there and buy loada stuff!!. Looking forward to bringing my daughters in soon, they are both very good at art and were very interested in the factory. Keep the faith.

      Susan J

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