Browsing articles tagged with "First Thursdays Dublin Archives - I Love Saturday"
Aug 6, 2012

First Thursdays Dublin – Art of Summer

It was another day in paradise on Thursday and I decided to enjoy the sunshine by joining in First Thursdays art gallery tour. With half an hour to spare before showtime I had a mini mooch in Le Shops and a suck on a Zumo smoothie – banana and peanut butter, yumsters! Then I met a pair of cohorts at Gallery @ No. Six on Anne Street South for the kick off. There was a good gang of people there already.

Gallery @ No. Six is a contemporary space tucked in beside Empty Pockets. Opened last year, its purpose is to give Irish artists a city centre showcase and a place to sell works and meet clients. Featuring paintings and sculptures by twenty seven emerging and established artists, the gallery is spread over two floors and there’s a New York-y feeling with the mezzanine level and steel staircase.

We had a talk about some of the exhibitors and were introduced to up and coming sculptor Eric Liddell who is showing for the first time. Gallery @ No. Six aims to make art accessible and says prices have come down since their 2005 high, making art less of a luxury but something to enjoy in anyones home. My fave artist here is James Mongey, who paints the Dublin I know and love in bold technicolour.

Next it was follow the leader with Temple Bar Cultural Trust’s Aine O’Hara, a lovely guide indeed, taking us to Dawson Street and the Sol Art Gallery. It was the launch of their Summer show and gallery director Martin Davis was on hand with vino to welcome us warmly. The building’s impressive rooms and high ceilings make an excellent home for the eclectic mix of work on display by international artists.

Aidan Harte’s bronze “Minotaur” is an eye catching centrepiece, as are Franz Joseph Rittmannsberger’s smooth sculptures made from a beautiful green marble. The mix of disciplines and materials at the Sol Art Gallery create a great talking point for the group and it’s nice to share my thoughts aside from appreciating works of my own taste. An Elaine Hoey light box had me intrigued, its clean lines just so.

Our next port of call was The Doorway Gallery on South Frederick Street, a quirky building housing many alcoves of painting and sculpture. The colourful work of Lucy Doyle dominates the front room, with girly pinks and purples imprinted into vivid floral scenes. Denise Donnelly, who runs the gallery, told me that Doyle’s paintings are always uplifting and that one buyer designed her interior around a piece.

The basement houses more work from “A Summer Selection” with Chris McMorrow’s atmospheric city scapes and Mark Ryan’s almost photographic painting being popular with the gang. My top piece here is William Stevens’ “Las Palmas” a graphic town depiction with a pleasing order to it, bathed in sunshine and exotic wanting. I escaped to the secret garden out back, with my Mediterranean dreams.

All three galleries were delighted with the First Thursdays turn out, as it’s a great way of getting word of exhibitions out there. While one might be intimidated by roving a gallery alone, or simply unaware of the city’s hidden artistic gems, it’s nice to go as part of a tour. I must say it was highly enjoyable and informative. Thirsty work indeed, as me and my amigos retired to the Bull and Castle for a round of ales.

www.templebar.ie / Gallery @ No. Six, 6 Anne Street South, Dublin 2 / Sol Art Gallery, 8 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 / The Doorway Gallery, 24 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2

Mar 5, 2012

First Thursdays Dublin – Temple Bar

First Thursdays is a great idea! On the first Thursday(geddit?) of every month Dublin opens up it’s cultural doors for an evening of arts. A bit like a mini Culture Night, it’s a great way of encouraging folk to check out what the city has to offer. I strolled into Temple Bar, ’twas a lovely night and straight into the Brick Alley Cafe on Essex Street East.

With a Wu Tang Killa Headache threatening to wreck my buzz I knew this was just the place to chill out before hooking up with my pals. I pointed to a virgin deep dish apple pie I’d spied in the window cake stand and ordered up a hot slice with cream. And a cuppa, obviously! Pulling up a wooden bistro chair I settled in at the central communal table of this cosy caff.

One bite and I was feeling better already. Crunchy shortcrust, fresh apples – not too sugary and with a big pot of whipped double cream. ‘Nuff said… The Brick Alley Cafe is dark and romantic like an old hideaway tabac you might find in French village. Wine bottles line the wall behind the counter, which is the focal point of the room, with fresh ice creams out front. La vie en rose…

Ready to rock ‘n’ roll I made my way to Meeting House Square, home of the Gallery of Photography to meet the chaps. It was the opening night of “Amazon”, an exhibition with pictures by award winning photographers Sebastiao Salgado and Per-Anders Pettersson. In Aid of Sky Rainforest Rescue, the exhibition highlights the devastating effects of deforestation in Brazil.

Salgado’s work, in black and white, portrays stunning natural habitat, despite human destruction, and the communities living within them. The stark contrast of how these tribal people live, so close to nature, and how we operate in the Western world is amazing. Pettersson’s photos pick up the colour of rural Brazil with sharp insight into family life on the edge of rainforests.

Next up was the Project Arts Centre, a well known hub of weird and wonderful creativity in Temple Bar. We experienced “Panto Collapsar” and “We Sell Soul”. The former is an art installation by contemporary Australian artist Mikala Dwyer. The main spectacle of the piece is a hovering canopy of silver floating O shapes, moving in harmony with the room, calling our attention to a spiritual world.

Our lovely guide, Ian, talked us through the concepts of both art works explaining the latter, by Liverpool’s Richard Proffitt, as the first in the Project Arts Centre’s new experimental portal, The Grotto. It features a collection of hippy memorabilia and counterculture paraphernalia, evoking the reality of commercialised ideological icons. An interesting observation indeed.

All art-ied out, our next stop was Ukiyo for a bit of bento action. The Japanese bar and restaurant on Exchequer Street is a fave of mine, combining tasty food and good value as I so like. We tucked into the day’s offering of salted mackerel, kimchi pork, and vegetable pasties which came with miso, mixed salad and sticky rice. You can’t go wrong for 10 euro.

A dessert bento was made for sharing as we spooned hazelnut cheesecake, rum and raisin brownie, ice cream and a wonderful milky goo. Don’t know what it was but we loved! All washed down with Asahi beer and a refreshing Tom Collins. As more people make a date with their sofa nowadays, due to financial woes, First Thursdays is a great free night out with something new to do every time.

www.templebar.ie