Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Joint Was A-Jumpin'....

I found a flyer at the Rathmines library looking for volunteers for a performance art piece at the Irish Museum of Modern Art a few weeks ago and I asked Ian if he would join me in the adventure. We signed up, and this past Saturday was the big day. We arrived and were given white clothing, red blindfolds and toe tags. The artist, Michael Timpson, taught us arm movements and how to chant GREEEEEEEEEEED really loudly and slowly and then we waited for show time. Unfortunately the Dublin weather arrived just in time for our performance which involved lying on beds of straw in the courtyard. With our dress rehearsal canceled, we only had the evening performance and we lost half of our performers to the rain. It was an interesting experience, but 45 minutes lying on a bed of wet straw on a cool Dublin night could only be remedied by lots of free food and alcohol which were promptly provided following the show. The audience really enjoyed the event and I hope to someday see the video.

Irish Museum of Modern Art: wet straw beds

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Walls

Dublin Walls: Triple


Traveling around Ireland one sees a lot of walls, each hand built, often of local materials. I was amazed by the amazing variation in these walls. I first noticed the walls on our trip to the Burren in County Clare. This landscape is otherworldly; limestone hills as far as the eye can see with plant growth in the rock crevices. There are ancient dry stacked stone walls everywhere, breaking up the land. Each of these walls seems to have its own unique pattern and construction method. I had hoped to get back out to the Burren to do a photo series of these walls, but alas it does not look like this will happen this summer. Upon return to Dublin after seeing these walls, I realized how many walls there were just in Rathmines, so I took the camera out in search of walls and didn't have to look too far. A photo series, Dublin Walls, emerged.

The Burren

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Sidhe, Pooka and Trees

While I was at the National Gallery a few weeks back, I saw an interesting exhibit called The Fantastic in Irish Art. There were references to the magical, mystical and peculiar in everyday life and the art work was an interesting mix of drawings, paintings and stained glass. It was a small exhibit, but something there touched me, perhaps the reference to Irish as inherently spiritual people or the Harry Clarke drawings, I am not exactly sure, but I decided I would go back and look at it again with a photo series in mind. I came away with a few ideas:

1. A series depicting the Sidhe, a noble, god-like people who were forced underground and who continue to dwell in ancient archaeological sites.

2. A series showing the Pooka, a nightmarish, horse-like figure which torments drunks and carries them off on its back.

3. Although unrelated to the exhibit, while in the bookstore I came across a book called Irish Trees: Myths, Legends & Folklore, which sounded like it could lead to an interesting series.

So, I have some research and thinking to do.