Dublin artist appeals for people to ‘stick it out’ during lockdown

A Dublin artist has appealed for people to stick out the coronavirus restrictions.

Emmalene Blake from Tallaght in the south of the city has just completed a series of murals on walls around her estate using pop culture to highlight social distancing measures.

She has won acclaim for her creative approach, with chart stars such as Cardi B and Lizzo sharing her images with their millions of online followers.

Coronavirus – Sun Apr 26, 2020
Emmalene Blake said it remained important to stay at home (Brian Lawless/PA)

She said it remained important to stay at home after noticing quite a few people out walking.

“It is going to happen, when it has been so long that people are getting fed up at this stage but I think we just need to remember why we are doing this and remember that we need to just stick it out for now and eventually we will get back to normal,” she said.

Earlier this month, Cardi B shared one of Blake’s murals of her shouting her “coronavirus” catchphrase on social media and the post was liked more than three million times.

While Blake’s work has featured on the city’s walls, lockdown restrictions mean she has had to keep it within her local area.

She said her work mixes figures from pop culture – such as Tia and Tamera from TV sitcom Sister, Sister and singers like Robyn and Dua Lipa – to get the message about coronavirus to a younger audience.

A recent mural of Dua Lipa advises people to stay at home with her song lyrics “Don’t show up, don’t come out”.

Coronavirus – Sun Apr 26, 2020
She finished her Police mural on Saturday night (Brian Lawless/PA)

She finished more painting on Saturday night aimed towards the older generation.

“We have gone all the way old-school back to 1980, catering for all demographics now with The Police,” she said.

The English rock band led by songwriter Sting was globally popular in the 1980s.

Blake said her murals had attracted attention locally and she wanted to expand their relevance to an older demographic.

“I felt like I was only catering to a certain age group maybe, all the younger ones with Dua Lipa and Cardi B and maybe up to 20s and 30s with Sister, Sister.”

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