We all know Grand Canal as the home of Google but unbeknownst to many, tucked among the tech giants is a building where ancient crafts are still practised, THE DESIGN TOWER. The Tower’s seven stories of studios play host to jewellers, fashion designers, conservationists and more. After meeting Violinmaker, Michiel De Hoog Dublin.ie revisited the Tower and met Dressmaker Anne O’ Mahony. Anne O’ Mahony creates made-to-measure pieces as well as costumes for film and theatre, including The Gate’s recent pr
Whether you’re into music, theatre, art, literature, history and heritage or comedy, you’ll find some cultural happening to suit your taste.
The afternoon is full of orange light and autumn leaves when I make my way down the path into IMMA. Not that all this gentle nature would have been of much artistic concern to Lucian Freud, the new star of the show around these parts. Freud was a visceral painter of the flesh, fascinated by the heft of a belly or the sag of the skin. Every good painting requires a little bit of poison, he said. IMMA’s new collection, The Freud Project, is comprised of fifty paintings and etchings on loan from private collections. The IMMA Garden Galleries are now the Freud Centre and there I meet Patricia Brennan of the Visitor Engagement Team who is happy to share some of her knowledge of the modern master.
A series of colourful traffic signal boxes has added art to the streets of Dublin city as part of the Dublin Canvas project. It’s probably the first time most of us have even noticed these boxes; their old dull appearance was nothing to admire. Now works of art, they showcase the artistic talents of people across Dublin. Dublin Canvas is a community street art project, its main goal to make the city more beautiful, and it has definitely achieved it. David Murtagh, the project coordinator has given us some background on the project. Dublin.ie: When did the project start? David: The project started in 2013.
We’re proud of our vampire writers in Dublin. And we’re right to be. If you were selecting an all-time first XI of authors in this, well, vein, then Bram Stoker and Sheridan Le Fanu would be first and second on your list. Stoker, creator of the world’s most important male vampire in the world (Dracula) was born in Clontarf. Sheridan Le Fanu, creator of the pre-eminent female vampire (Carmilla), was born on Dominick Street. But then what happened? Was the city of their birth so thick with inspiration (Marsh’s Library, St Michan’s church, etc) that when they came to write fiction (mostly in England), vampires naturally suggested themselves as subjects. Or was there
Dubliners know where to find Armageddon, The Whore of Babylon and The Seven Headed Beast. They’re in the Book of Revelations. But where would you find the actual book? Well it so happens that most probably the earliest copy in existence (it’s called Papyrus 47) is right here in Dublin, at the Chester Beatty Library. It’s just one of the myriad treasures of this museum (it’s way more than just a library, folks). There are Egyptian Books of the Dead, Japanese picture scrolls, Art Deco French book bindings: the range and depth of the collection is extraordinary. Chester Beatty himself – the man who made this collection – was a
Do the vaults really contain the restless spirits of the dead? St. Michan’s Church is situated behind Dublin’s Four Courts on Church Street. It was originally founded in 1095 and is the oldest parish church on the north side of Dublin. The church was rebuilt in 1685 and contains a large pipe organ which Handel is said to have played during the first ever performance of his ‘Messiah’. The church is still a fully functioning church with mass every second Sunday. The interior is little changed since Victorian times but what lies beneath is even more fascinating. Under the church, through large metal chained doors and down a narrow stone stairway, are burial vaults con
Croke Park. It’s not just a stadium. As Tim Carey, author of Croke Park: A History says, ‘More than perhaps any other sporting venue, Croke Park represents something that is beyond sport’. The place has always had another agenda – one that’s intimately connected with the birth and evolution of a nation. ‘It is freighted with historical significance’, says Carey, ‘from the naming of the stands after various figures associated with the GAA to the momentous historical event of Bloody Sunday. Perhaps no other stadium in the worl
We asked two theatremakers, Louise Lowe & Owen Boss, to talk about their work and how it’s shaped by Dublin and its inhabitants LL: Together, we run a company called Anu Productions. We cross-pollinate between theatre and visual arts to create experiences – artworks, really – that will ask people to question themselves within the work. And the work that we make is about the history of contemporary life, in lots of ways. A lot of the time, we’re asking people to re-engage with a space, or a place or a community. And then to make up their own minds. We never tell people w
Being in The Dubliners always made you feel like a bit of an ambassador for the city. I mean we were all instantly recognisable, and I think people felt at one with us. There’s a nice feeling of unity about being a Dub. And Dubliners in general never made any great fuss of their own sons and daughters who became well known (laughs). When The Dubliners celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012, I had been with the band for 48 of those 50 years. I served an apprenticeship as an electrician in the ESB, and worked there as a draftsman for a few years. But the music was always a hobby, and at a certain point I had to give it up and join the lads. It was precarious in the early days, but there was always a great sense of adventure about the whole thing. We were doing it for the craic as much as anything else, and gradually it became a living. I think anybody who can extend their hobby to the extent that it becomes their livelihood, that’s a real privilege. Especially anyone who’s making music.
In my dream, the Blessington Street Basin fills with the Liffey’s stout-bottle waters, but still the swimmers come, in droves, on the stray sovereign of an Irish summer’s day. The river courses through the city, turning concrete roadways to canal banks that shrug their shoulders into dark water; a man rises, seal-like, in his caul of silt, to wave. At the sluice gate, where the river bends out of sight between toppling buildings, a black dog jumps, again and again, into the water. And there, at the edge of vision, my parents, ready to join the swimmers, gesture their cheerful farewells.
I’m a burlesque performer, bellydancer, producer, stylist and maker. I make a lot of my costumes from scratch; you might take an item, say a pair of shoes, and completely reimagine them. My sitting room is my studio, so half the time everything’s covered in sequens and glitter. I describe Dublin as a little powerful nugget of genius; there been an incredible influx of people from so many different cultures, we’re able to take those influences and put our own spin on it. It’s very important, especially in this centenary year, that people get out and engage with everything Dublin has to offer. There’s art, music, theatre, comedy, and it’s all very accessible. That’s the brilliant thing with the burlesque scene here, there’s such a diverse pool of performers from all walks of life. I’m very much about cross-pollination.
There is unfortunately no blueprint for happiness, but a maxim to think about is ‘create, don’t consume’. Fighting Words is where Dublin’s children and young teens can learn to express themselves, but also get to grips with the tools that make that expression possible. Numerous studies have indicated that it’s our experiences that give us the most satisfaction and not the things we accumulate. That’s not always easy to remember when faced with the new car purchase that will change our lives, or the dress that makes you look like a better, slimmer version of ourselves but in our hearts we know it’s true.