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William Mulhall

William Mulhall has built up a major international reputation as an innovative and dynamic artist. He is the first rock ‘n’ roll artist.” I was born within an earshot of a jukebox. I was raised on rock and roll”. He draws inspiration from the life of music bars, rock concerts and nightclubs of modern Ireland. Mulhall’s artistic world is populated with rock stars and party girls, dancing their lives away in neon drenched night town. But Mulhall is careful not to copy the lifestyle of his characters. “If I was to party like the characters in my pictures, I’d have been dead long ago. Those guys never stop.”

Mulhall uses vibrant colours in his work to depict the modern world and has found that is only recently that his palette has found acceptance.”I have been exploiting colour for more than 30 years but there was quite a big resistance to colour. However, the trend now seems to be changing.”As the real world changes to become more like Mulhall painting so the artist himself works hard to keep ahead of the trend pionerred.”My work continually surprises me. I am always trying to break boundaries and move forward in direction.”

Mulhall first came to prominence in 1971 when he was asked by Jim Aiken to design a poster for a gig at the Ulster hall by British Rock group Led Zeppelin. William’s poster depicts the band appearing in the sky above the Harland and Wolff shipyard. Their trademark Zeppelin is shown crashing through the Belfast docklands. Led Zeppelin were so impressed with his work Mulhall was invited to watch the gig on stage with the band on March 5th 1971. “When I met them, they were still shy lads. They asked me to come along and sit up on the stage.” He chatted with Led Zeppelin between numbers and saw, along with other fans at the gig, the world premiere of the now classic Led Zeppelin rock song “Stairway to Heaven”. “All of a sudden they were folky and I was there, I was on the high altar.”