Paint for Peace

Danny Devenny and Mark Ervine are two muralists from opposite sides of the political divide, together they are crossing the sectarian boundaries of Northern Ireland bringing with them a positive outlook for the future with the murals they paint.

Danny Devenny began to make protest art posters whilst imprisoned during the 1980s. He had volunteered for the IRA at 15, in 1970. In 1973, along with Jim Ferris and Seanna Walsh, he was sentenced to three years in prison for robbing a bank. Fellow inmates at Long Kesh included Gerry Adams, Martin Meehan and Danny Morrison.

Since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Danny has been committed to the peace process. The subject of his art now includes other conflicts in the world like the ones in Palestine, Iraq, Guantánamo, but also draws attention to other themes of social issues such as injustice and unemployment. Danny painted the iconic mural of hunger striker Bobby Sands and a portrait of Niall Ó Donnghaile, Lord Mayor of Belfast.

Mark Ervine is the son of the late David Ervine, who was head of the Progressive Unionist party, the political wing of the Ulster Volunteer Force. Mark painted his first mural when he was 6 years old. He uses murals to highlight issues that are not discussed in mainstream media. They are used to inform the community about their history and culture or social issues such as drugs, alcoholism, racism and suicide. Issues that young people are faced with as they are growing up in working class communities.

He met Danny Devenny by chance at a photo shoot. They both completed a mural of Picasso’s Guernica together as well as other projects that promote peace and tolerance between the divided communities.

peace process