HAPPY clouds with big smiley faces, created by an artist who has collaborated with Lady Gaga, soared over Dublin city centre.
They are made from a combination of vegetable dye, soap and helium, and were released at Grafton Street to mark the First Fortnight arts festival, which challenges mental health prejudice through the creative arts.
The clouds are the work of British-based artist Stuart Semple who has publicly described his own battles with panic attacks, anxiety and depression.
RTE broadcaster Marian Finucane, athlete David Gillick, filmmakers Peter Sheridan and Lenny Abrahamson, and singers The Heathers and Gavin James will take part in the two-week gala. The clouds are just part of 39 festival events which will take place in 14 venues.
First Fortnight was given HSE funding for the first time in 2013 and provided two art therapists who worked with 30 homeless people throughout the year. Full details are available at www.firstfortnight.ie.