May 17, 2012

General Practice – Gallery of Photography

Tuesday was jam packed in a good way! First stop was Rathmines to run a couple of errands, followed by a zip across to Ranelagh for lunch. I had a lovely munch in Cinnamon, a sprawling New York style deli cafe on the main drag. My charming Yankee waiter brought me a yumsters goats cheese and Portobello mushies sandwich on rye bread. This buzzy place is clearly a hit with the locals.

Since I’d managed to keep out of The 3rd Policeman and Green With Envy in Rathmines (self imposed retail embargo), a little window shopping satisfied my fashion tooth. Cup Cakes gave me a nice frill – a gorgeous lingerie boutique which stocks delicate European labels. Bow And Pearl allowed me to channel my inner French girl – filmy dresses, capri pants and chic tops. Delicieux!

A quick pit stop chez moi for tea and cake, and I was off out again to meet a mate for the opening of “General Practice” at the Gallery of Photography. The exhibition is about patients and their GPs in Ireland today and is part of a celebration of Trinity College Medical School’s tercentenary. It illustrates the day to day work of GPs and the relationship with their communities.

The Gallery of Photography hosted a packed house for the exhibition of Fionn McCann’s work. Vino in hand we listened to words from TCD Professor of General Practice Tom O’Dowd and Minister Leo Varadkar, himself an alumni of the Medical School. McCann’s mostly black and white shots capture the confessional quality of the patient / GP encounter with great sensitivity.

Favourite pictures of mine included – a six week baby check, the patient’s first visit to the doctor, a man testing out his two new hip joints and a little girl being examined for meningitis. Happily, she was fine. I also liked a shot of a doctor fixing an old lady’s eye, her ease at his expertise the essence of the exercise. And a woman taking 19 different medications left me intrigued…

“General Practice” is interesting in that we get a glimpse into a world that’s usually a closed door. A GP visit is often an anxious part of life and McCann’s pictures highlight the reassurance, understanding and trust a doctor offers their patient. Particularly touching are the situations of the elderly, many of whom have known their GP a long time or live alone and take home visits.

The place eventually filtered out and we had worked up an appetite, so Ukiyo it was. A couple of bento boxes, helped down with Asahi beer, and we were ready to meet the gang for some school night action. The Blind Pig Speakeasy. This pop up bar was at a secret location for a couple of nights only. Cocktails were the real deal, with top mixer Paul Lambert behind the bar. Nightcap deluxe. / Gallery of Photography, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

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