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Image / Editorial

Street artist Emmalene Blake’s Covid-19 murals are a breath of fresh air


By Erin Lindsay
27th Apr 2020
Street artist Emmalene Blake’s Covid-19 murals are a breath of fresh air

Since the pandemic reached Ireland, Dublin street artist Emmalene Blake has been providing comic and colourful relief in the form of murals


If there’s one thing we love in Ireland, it’s great street art. We boast an impressive line-up of street artists across the country, with murals and works receiving international attention regularly. The issue of street art has become a controversial one, especially in our built up cities, as many are taken down as quickly as they appear by the cities’ County Councils. But when times are grey, and people are feeling low, seeing a colourful new addition to a street corner or previously empty wall can lift the spirits.

It would be reasonable to assume that most street art in Ireland’s cities would be on pause at the moment, as we all make the effort to stay indoors and conserve ourselves until isolation measures are over. But one Dublin street artist has grabbed the opportunity to make something beautiful (and a bit gas) from Covid-19, and we are loving her creations so far.

Emmalene Blake, who paints under the moniker ESTR, has been honing her craft as a street artist since 2013, with many of her street murals garnering international praise over the last few years. You may recognise her work from around Dublin city centre, such as the Lizzo mural on Chatham Row and the Sister Michael mural, lamenting the addition of yet another hotel to Dublin’s bursting streets, where the landmark Bernard Shaw used to stand.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic reached Irish shores, Emmalene hasn’t slowed down – she’s taken her work local, and invested her time in a number of Covid-19-themed pieces that music and pop culture lovers will adore.

First up saw Emmalene creating a mural from pop star Dua Lipa’s most recent hit ‘Don’t Start Now’. With Dua complete in PPE facemask, the mural caught the attention of fans on social media.

What followed was the Stay at Home series – Emmalene has featured everyone from Tia and Tamera of 90’s classic sitcom Sister, Sister to Robyn to Cardi B – who shared Emmalene’s creation on her own Instagram with the caption “Ireland take quarantine serious. ”

Emmalene’s latest addition to the series comes as a classic song with very useful lyrics in the current climate – the Police’s Don’t Stand So Close to Me.

We can’t wait to see where the series goes next, but with Emmalene’s fantastic instinct for where our heads are at right now, we’re sure we won’t be disappointed.

Featured image: Emmalene Blake via Instagram


Read more: Why do we keep removing our street art?

Read more: Irish artists taking to the streets: Meet Holly Pereira and Jess Tobin

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