Corktown is the first of two house paintings in Brandon Steen’s ‘GORTA MÓR’ series. These two second empire row houses that reside on Percy Street. These row houses are a gem in the neighbourhood of Corktown, named after the Irish migrants that fled Ireland from the Famine primarily from County Cork . This street was developed 137 years ago by Irishman James Quinn beginning in the year 1885. The artist remembers being intrigued by them in passing by them on the 504 King streetcar going to art college.
It was important for Brandon to include paintings of the housing the early Irish would have lived in that still stand today. For both #1 and #3 Percy Street you can see from the city records the names of McMullen, Farrell, Donnelly, Hayes, Hickey and Kennedy to reflect that Irish history. Imaging those residents, Brandon painted Morrígan the Irish Wolf standing keeping watch in the doorway.