Friday, June 29, 2012

Grace McCleen's Christian sect novel wins Desmond Elliott prize

Grace McCleen.    
Grace McCleen  has won the £10,000 Desmond Elliott prize for her first novel, The Land of Decoration, which draws on her own upbringing in a fundamentalist Christian sect.
The debut, which beat titles including Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson and Patrick McGuinness's The Last Hundred Days to win the award, is narrated by 10-year-old Judith McPherson, a member of the Christian Brotherhood of the Last Days. Bullied at school, Judith finds solace in the model world she creates in her bedroom: "An acorn cup becomes a bowl, toothpaste caps funnels for ocean liners, twigs knees for an ostrich." When she makes it snow in her Land of Decoration, and it snows in reality, she starts to believe she can work miracles.
Like Judith, McCleen grew up in a Christian sect in Wales. "There were happy moment and very difficult moments. I drew on the difficult parts to write The Land of Decoration," she said.
The author was removed from school at the age of 10, and when she returned, a teacher advised her to apply for university. She read English literature at Oxford and did an MA at York. "When I left university I had a breakdown and couldn't stay in the cult any more, and that was my doorway out, but I stayed in religion through university," she said.
When she was 27 she wrote a long novel that "didn't work", so she developed a passage that began "In the beginning there was an empty room..." into The Land of Decoration. She landed an agent within a week.

Pianos in Paris streets

I love this story from :
An invasion of pianos in Paris
"After Bristol, Londres, Sao Paulo, New-York... the Play Me, I'm Yours project is now in town. The idea : 40 freely available pianos, made-over by artists and set up in the streets of Paris." Projet Play Me, I'm Yours, June 22nd to July 8th
Aperçu de la photo

Thursday, June 28, 2012

PhotoIreland Festival 2012

PhotoIreland Festival 2012 – Migrations: Diaspora & Cultural Identity
1-31 July 2012 | Celebrating its 3rd edition in 2012, PhotoIreland Festival will explore the theme ‘Migrations: Diaspora & Cultural Identity’, showcasing some of the finest national and international contemporary photography in and around Dublin city from 1–31 July, highlighting the importance of Photography & Image Culture in Ireland.

The main exhibitions are:
On Migration Opening day: 6pm Fri 13 Jul-22 Jul, 12-5pm,
Moxie Studios, Lad Lane, off Baggot Street, Dublin 2
On Migration     Magazines on the Wall: 10 projects on Migration

Living - Leaving Opening day: 6pm Thu 5 Jul-22 Jul, Mon to Sat 10am-5pm Sun 12-5pm
National Photographic Archive, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
David Monahan & Maurice Gunning - Living - Leaving

The Other Side of the Soul Opening day: 6pm Thu 5 Jul-30 Aug, Mon-Thu: 2-7pm,Fri: 10am-2pm
Closed Sat, Sun
Instituto Cervantes, exhibition room,Lincoln Place, Dublin 2
El otro lado del alma / The Other Side of the Soul

Unsettled Opening day: 6pm Wed 4 Jul-12 Jul, Mon to Fri 10am-6pm Sat 12-4pm
The Copper House Gallery, St Kevin’s Cottages, Synge Street, Dublin 8
Isabelle Pateer, Unsettled

Sarah on the Bridge Opening day: 8pm Sat 14 Jul-4 Aug, Mon to Fri 10am-6pm Sat 12-4pm
The Copper House Gallery, St Kevin’s Cottages, Synge Street, Dublin 8
Jean Revillard, Sarah on the Bridge

There are 50+ other smaller exhibitions so catch at least one.

Homeless Gallery

What a great idea!

"Due to the massive success of last two year’s Homeless Gallery, we are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting the un-curated photography exhibition for a third year now! The event will be a part of the PhotoIreland Festival 2012. This year's Homeless Gallery will run from 1st – 4th July.
The whole idea of the Homeless Gallery is that there are no entry criteria. Homeless Gallery is open to all artists.
The Homeless Gallery will open to the public on Sunday 1st July. This year we will also celebrate BLOW Photo Magazine's 2nd birthday. Along with over 120 artists presenting their work, there will be a Canon portrait wall, portfolios reviews, a vintage cameras exhibition, a darkroom presentation, a special exhibition featuring the work of two of the winners of BLOW Photo magazine’s competition and finally selected DJs playing the finest tunes in Dublin.
The Homeless Gallery is a great idea to enable everybody to show their work publicly, those who for various reasons would have no chance to show their work to the world. It is for those who cannot afford a prestigious gallery, and for those who would never even think of doing so. It is a chance to be noticed for photography students, and those just entering photography. For professionals it is a chance of showing some of their more personal work that never finds its way into their commercial portfolios. For amateurs it is a chance of showing their work to people other than their nearest family and friends. For those who are shy, it is a chance to pull out those photographs hidden away in drawers.
This exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for all photography enthusiasts to congregate and collectively showcase their work without censorship.
The admission for visitors is FREE.

Dublin 1

Dark Horse

Another movie on at the IFI that sounds good is Dark Horse. With Selma Blair, Mia Farrow and Christopher Walken starring, the review courtesy of Le Cool.
"Darkhorse is the long awaited film from Todd Solandz, and with a top-class cast - Mia Farrow making a rare appearance and Selma Blair in a role that compliments her down to the ground - her character is Miranda (made for bitchface) - who marries a bit of a no-hoper because she failed in her academic pursuits. The man to her wife is Abe, unsuccessful thirty-something, gathering dust in his parents' house like baubles in the Christmas box, collecting toy horses. If the image in your mind is now a My Little Pony episode of Jerry Springer/Maury, it's not far from the premise of the film...It is charming, funny and touching, which is enhanced by its quirky, plasticky, candy coated visuals. Christopher Walken is also in it - as proof of this film's comedic quality."

Your Sister's Sister

I like the sound of this film with Emily Blunt on at the IFI at the moment.
Review from Le Cool."Lynn Shelton's low(ish) budget, partly improvised, off kilter rom-com is just the sort of film that people should see on a first date. It's intimate and charming with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments and enough poignancy to warm the heart. The female leads (Emily Blunt and Rosemarie deWitt) provide the eye-candy to balance Mark Duplass' hang-dog beer-bellied 'niche' appeal. It's a classic tale of boy meets dead brother's ex girlfriend, and her lesbian sister. Set in an isolated lakeside house in an attractively rainy north-west USA location, the action centres around the fall out from a drunken sexual encounter, a declaration of love and a possible pregnancy. The scenes featuring the sisters ring especially true, but there is an appealing sympathy between all three actors that make this a very watchable if not especially great film."
Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

J P Keating

Le Cool online mag always has really good mini interviews with current artists and photographers. Today's issue has a great photo by J P Keating.
"Tell us more about this cover
It’s a lovely German nun I met in Ballsbridge during the Eucharistic Congress a couple of weeks ago. She was talking to a monk at the time and I was waiting for my friend to finish a sandwich so I went over for a chat. I’ve always wanted to take a nun's portrait and she was a joy. She said she would pray for me but its probably too late to be honest."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Emile Zola

I have only read one of Zola's novels, Therese Raquin, which I really enjoyed even though it is a rather depressing story. The poverty and living conditions it describes in Paris are hard to believe but I'd put it in my list of favourite books.
 Zola was an interesting character, living through the second half of the 19th century, politically active, and a major player in the exoneration of the falsely convicted officer Alfred Dreyfuss. Growing up in Paris he was friends with Cezanne. He was fired from his job at the publishers Hachette after the publication of his autobiographical novel La Confession de Claude in 1865 which had attracted police notice due to its sordid nature, but Therese Raquin, his first major novel followed shortly after.
Paul Cezanne- Paul Alexis reading to Emile Zola, 1869-1870
Although writing continually and building the series of 20 books called Les Rougon Macquart, his success came in 1877 with the publication of l'Assommoir (the 7th book in the series) which made him wealthy, to be followed by the success of  Germinal , the 13th  novel, in 1885, which is often considered to be his masterpiece.
Tragically, he died of monoxide poisoning in 1902 aged 62 due to a blocked chimney and foul play was suspected by many due to his political involvement.

(Just thought I'd add a link to this excellent site about Zola )

Paris-Shakespeare and co.

I've never made it to Shakespeare and Co, that famous bookshop in Paris, but I saw this photo today and have resolved that on my next trip it must be top of  my list.
Books about France and English translations of French classics

Dublin to host pre-Olympics meeting next month

This caught my eye this morning. Don't know if you just turn up on the day but a reallt great way to see olympic contenders right here on our doorstep.
Ciaran O’Lionaird who the mile last year in under four minutes for the first time at Morton Stadium.
Morton Stadium in Santry, Co. Dublin, will host a pre-Olympic Games International track and Field Meet on Wednesday 25 July. It follows the recent news that Athletics Ireland’s bid to host the European Team Track and Field Championship in 2013 has been successful.

Minister for Sport, Michael Ring said: "The event will be the premier track and field meet in Dublin this year and will provide a great opportunity for the Irish public to see some of our Olympians and Paralympians in action. It’s also an excellent send-off for everyone competing at the London Games. "

The Morton Pre-Games is expected to attract upwards of 150 athletes for a full programme of track and field. In addition to the Morton Mile, events include men and women’s 100m, men’s 400m hurdles, top class 800m races for men and women, the Albie Thomas 3,000m, pole vault, long jump and more.

The event organisers have already received expressions of interest to take part from athletes from countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Latvia, Jamaica, the UK as well as Ireland. Last year’s feature Morton Mile resulted in seven athletes running the mile under the four minute barrier, led by US athlete Jordan McNamara and including Cork’s Ciaran O’Lionaird who went sub-four for the first time.

Ciaran O’Lionaird will compete for Ireland in this year’s London Olympics in the 1500m.

Apple dappy (!)

Made these last night. Another great recipe from that really cool kid's cooking programme 'I Can Cook'. 5-10 mins to knock together, makes 6, double recipe to make a batch of 12.

Apple Dappy
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp (60ml) single cream
  • 1 dessert apple peeled and cored (get an adult to help you)
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2 heaped tsp demerara sugar
Oven 200/gas 7
Rub flour and butter together, stir in caster sugar.Add some of the cream and mix until you get a soft dough. (You may not need all the cream).
Grate the apple and stir in a pinch of cinnamon and a heaped teaspoon of demerara sugar.
Roll dough out on floured surface to about ½ cm thick rectangle. 
Spread the apple mix on top then roll up along the long side. Cut into 6 thick rings. Place one in the centre of the baking paper and the remaining five around the outside almost touching each other.
Sprinkle the top with the rest of the demerara sugar.
Bake 20-25 mins.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nigella (lemon) limeade

I made this last night and it could not be easier!Nigella's recipe called for lemons and sparkling water- I had limes and soda water.

2 limes + 4 tablespoons sugar
750ml-1 litre soda/sparkling water

Cut each lime into eight pieces. In two batches blend 1 of the limes(8pieces) + 2 tblsp sugar + half the water. Sieve into a jug to filter out peel & pith. pour and serve with ice.

It's so quick and easy and can be adapted to cocktali recipes with a a splash of rum + mint, or gin.

Dublin and Other Portraits

I love photographt and the Gallery of Photography in temple Bar has some great little exhibitions which change regularly which is just what you wnat if you are in town a lot.
The current exhibition Dublin and Other Portraits is on until the end of August, which is great if you have holidays planned and won't be in the city at weekends as often as normal.

The exhibition isn't up on their website yet but The Irish Times had a goodarticle at the weekend 

"In 1966, ‘Harper’s Bazaar’ photographer EVELYN HOFER captured scenes of everyday life in Dublin – an upcoming exhibition offers a chance to recognise friends and family in pictures of a bygone Ireland
IRISH LIFE HAS changed irrevocably in 45 years, as you can see in the work of German-American portrait photographer Evelyn Hofer. The snapper worked as a fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar magazine in New York and in 1966 visited Dublin to capture scenes of everyday life. These pictures became a book that was part of a series of literary portraits of cities by Hofer, who collaborated with the author VS Pritchett, master of the short story and also an evocative travel writer.
Dublin: A Portrait, published in 1967, looks at Dublin’s past, its politics and people, its grand mansions and curious corners. These photographs form part of the exhibition of 40 shots, which opens in the Gallery of Photography on Meeting House Square in Dublin 2 on July 6th.
The carefully composed pictures are in black and white and colour. “The colour photographs are particularly beautiful,” says Tanya Kiang, director of the Gallery of Photography.
Kiang wants to find out who the Irish people in these pictures are. One photograph depicts a football team playing in the Phoenix Park, each member bedecked in a mauve hand-knit jersey, visibly frayed at the cuffs and with crests – presumably sewed lovingly by faithful Irish mammies. Another captures a small girl in the Coombe, astride a high nellie bicycle.
If you can identify anyone in the pictures tel: 01-671 4654 or see The works are for sale, with prices starting at €3,500. Dublin and Other Portraits runs until August 31st and will be launched by Susanne Breidenbach, director of German Galerie M Bochum, who is credited with rediscovering Hofer and edited a monograph of the artist’s work with art publisher Steidl"

Bewley's cafe Theatre 'The candidate'

I'm a great fan of Bewley's cafe theatre- how can you go wrong for €12 and only €8 on a Monday (if you have the day off!). July's play is 'The Candidate' by Gina Moxley. The blurb on the website tells us;
A New Play by Gina Moxley
Starring Frances Healy
The Candidate is a lively, light and satirical take on the holiday romance:

Myra, a thirty-something Irish woman, in search of love, mistakenly books herself into a honeymoon resort and finds herself surrounded by couples.
Her luck changes when... in he walks, with a livid sunburnt vee on his chest, as good as sticking a harp on his forehead. He's Irish and he’s single! Their attraction is immediate and primal. Myra feels hot in places she'd forgotten about.
It’s all love (and gymnastics) under the mosquito nets, until he casually reveals he's a backbencher - a T.D. on a junket.
Is Myra destined for the Dáil? Well, would you trust an Irish politician?

The Candidate is a tropical cocktail of sex, sun and politics and the perfect antidote to the Irish summer.
July 02 - 21, 2012
Time: 1pm (doors open 12.50)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

OMG Black Forest

Tell me your mouth isn't drooling as you look at this photo. This is defo my next dinner party dessert! I know it's nothing new but revisiting the old is all the thang these days and I for one am not gonna object to revisiting Black Forest Gateau. from
Black Forest gâteau
  • 175g salted butter , plus extra for greasing
  • 200g bar dark chocolate
  • 300g plain flour
  • 375g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 200g buttermilk or natural yoghurt
  • 425g can pitted cherries , 2 tbsp juice reserved, rest drained
  • 100g morello cherry jam
  • 4 tbsp kirsch (or more juice from a can if you want it to be non-alcoholic)
  • 500ml tub double cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 small punnet fresh cherries
  1. Oven 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line base of 3 x 20cm cake tins. Boil the kettle. Put butter and 75g chocolate in chunks in small pan and heat until melted.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarb with a pinch of salt in bowl. Whisk eggs and buttermilk/yogurt together. Scrape melted chocolate mix and egg mix into dry ingredients, add 100ml boiling water and whisk until the cake batter is lump free.
  3. Divide mixture between 3 tins and bake 25 mins(swapping tins round after 20 mins if on different shelves.)
  4. Prick cakes a few times with a skewer. Mix reserved cherry juice and kirsch and drizzle over the cakes then cool.
  5. Mix remaining drained cherries and jam. Tip 200ml of the cream into small pan and heat until just below simmering point. Chop remaining chocolate and put in a bowl, pour over hot cream and stir until melted. Set aside until spreadable.
  6. When the cakes are cool whisk remaining cream and icing sugar together until softly whipped. Spread over two of the cakes, then spoon over the jammy cherries. Stack the cakes together. Spread the chocolate cream over the third cake and sit on top of the other cakes. Pile the fresh cherries in and around the cake and serve

Dame Lane


Dali Painting stolen in New York

"1959 painting Cartel Des Don Juan Tenorio swiped from the recently opened venus Over Manhattan Gallery"

Thursday, June 21, 2012


This sounds so cool and if you are in Dublin this evening you can hear this performance between 9-9.25pm, (it is recommended that the listening location for the sound work is between the two cathedrals on Nicholas Street).

"NEW FAITH LOVE SONG by Garrett Phelan comprises an ambitious off-site live performance sound work which will culminate into an exhibition of sound, photography, drawing, sculpture and animation in the New Galleries at IMMA.

The live performance sound work involves the bell-ringers of both Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin city centre, which can be heard from 9.00 to 9.25pm on Thursday, 21 June. It is recommended that the listening location for the sound work is between the two cathedrals on Nicholas Street.
Garrett Phelan, NEW FAITH LOVE SONG 4, Collage Drawing, Ink/Glitter Paint/Collage,  21CM X 29.5CM, FEB 2012, Courtesy of the Artist
For the sound piece, Phelan will work with the bells of the cathedrals to create a live conversation between these two iconic religious monuments.  The bell-ringing dialogue will act as a declaration pronouncing the arrival of ‘New Faith’.  This proclamation of ‘New Faith’ is inspired by a loss of faith and the consequential intermediary period of faithlessness, leading to the reconstruction and manifestation of ‘New Faith’.  This new work symbolises the realisation of ‘New Faith’ and culminates in a ‘bell-ringing’ celebration that evokes the optimism that can stem from the inexplicable."

Failing attendance at that (me included) there is an exhibition accompanying
the event 22 June to 23 September 2012 Exhibition

Amelia Stein

The Big Sky and The Palm House

21 June 2012 - 27 July 2012 at Oliver Sears gallery,29 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2,
This exhibition looks lovely - I love photography.
The gallery site tells us; " The Big Sky images were made over recent months in the epic landscape of Co. Mayo. Here, visiting locations that have become increasingly familiar to her. Working with traditional film, the large format, hand held Mamaiya, translates truthfully the drama of light, weather and isolation that descends on this corner of Ireland. In each composition the sky envelopes the presence of man, a shed, a ruined cottage, a half-open gate. The narrative may seem familiar but the technique feels almost painterly. Amelia Stein speaks about waiting for the photograph to find her rather than chasing the elusive image. The fluency of the Big Sky images shows that her patience has been rewarded.

The Palm House photographs were made in 2001 in the Great Palm House in the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin. It took two years to complete this series allowing time to record seasonal changes in the lives of the tropical planting , the unique pot and tub culture and all the nuances of light refract through the glass of this great Victorian building prior to its restoration . This year a publication entitled the Palm House was released by Lilliput Press with an introduction by John Banville and botanical text by Brendan Sayers. A limited edition copy with a single print included is also available.
Amelia Stein is a member of the RHA and of Aosdána. Her work can be found in private and public collections in Ireland and abroad"

Stephen Morris Graham (2)

Stephen Morris Graham : "When I was in Dublin last weekend I noticed that the Liffey was called An Life in Irish and it gave me this strange image of literally living in the river, surrounded by furniture.  I had also popped into the National Gallery and saw a small show of artwork which was relating to James Joyce which in turn made me think on Ulysses and along with Bloomsday that weekend it gave rise to the Grecian cyclops figure steering her way through her belongings!"

Hummingbird cinnamon and raisin loaf

This is my final recipe from Cake Days. This recipe calls for raisins but I am leaving those out.
(image from asensibleheart)
190g/7oz softened unsalted butter
190g/7oz caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
190g/7oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt
25ml/1fl oz soured cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven, 170c/160c fan/gas 3. Grease/line a 2lb loaf tin.

Cream butter and sugar until pale, beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift and fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in the soured cream and vanilla. Into a smaller bowl spoon in about 200g/7oz of the mixture, then you fold the cinnamon into this.
Using a tablespoon pour in the vanilla mixture first then the cinnamon and then you swirl it with a skewer.

Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once baked, take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes on a cooling rack, then remove from the tin and place on the rack again.

Coffee and Chocolate Loaf

Another recipe from Hummingbird (I picked my four favourites). This is on a theme I have made before but I like the idea of the small amount of strong coffee to bring out the chocolate flavour. Also it's the type of cake where you always have all the ingredients in the baking cupboard.
(image from diaryofabakeaholic)

7oz each butter, and  light brown sugar
41/2 oz plain flour
3 eggs
2oz cocoa
1tsp baking powder
3/4 fl oz milk
1 tbsp strong brewed and coolede strong coffee
8.5x17.5 cm loaf tin
oven 170/mark 3
cream butter, sugar till pale, add eggs  one at time. Sift flour cocoa & baking powder. Pour milk into jug and mix with coffee. add dry ingredients to cake batter in two batches alternating with coffee-milk mix. Mix well to smooth batter and pour into greased and floured loaf tin. bake 1 hour.

Orange, Almond and Yogurt Loaf

 (Image from
Perfect with a cup of tea, I love plain loaf cakes and the addition of yogurt helps to keep the cake moist.

190g/7oz unsalted butter plus extra for greasing
190g/7oz plain flour plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
190g/7oz caster sugar
3 large eggs
60g/2oz ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
25g/1oz plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
10g/1/3oz flaked almonds
(8.5 x 17.5cm loaf tin with 7.5cm sides)

Pre-heat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.
Grease tin with butter and dust with flour.
Cream together the butter, sugar and orange zest in a mixer until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and keep whisking.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture in two batches, beat together until combined and then beat in the yogurt and vanilla.
Pour into the loaf tin, sprinkle the flaked almonds on top and bake in the oven for about 50-60 mins, until the top if firm and a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool on a wire rack

Vanilla cupcakes

I had always thought that American cupcakes were the same recipe as the fairy cakes; (4oz each butter, sugar, flour+ 2 eggs), but the recipe is completely different. heavy on the sugar and low on the fat plus a load of milk, the method is different as well.

(recipe amounts halved from book)
Makes 12
4½oz/120g plain flour
5oz/140g caster sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
1½oz/40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
4½floz/120ml whole milk
1 egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 quantity vanilla frosting(9oz/250g icing sugar,3oz/80g butter1fl oz/25ml whole milk, few drops vanilla extract)
Hundreds and thousands or other edible sprinkles, to decorate
A 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3.

Put flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in mixer with a paddle  (or use a hand-held electric whisk) and beat on slow until you get a sandy consistency.Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
Whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk in a separate bowl, then pour into flour mixture and beat until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.
Spoon mixture into cases until two-thirds full and bake 20–25 minutes,until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched.
Vanilla frosting
Beat icing sugar and butter together until well mixed. Combine milk and vanilla in separate bowl, then add to butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time.  Once all the milk has been incorporated beat until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.

(From: Cake Days)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

'Took Strength To Tackle Those Hills' Photography exhibition

5th Jul 2012 (Thu) - 17th Jul 2012 (Tue) from 10:00 - 21:00
Tristan Hutchinson

Took Strength To Tackle Those Hills, 2010-2012, is a photographic portrait of a community and a landscape experiencing particular economic and social transition.

Cork Harbour's dramatic topography of steep Victorian hinterland, lush greenbelt woods and forests sits side by side with the generating stations, oil refinery and the grey geometries of multinational corporations hidden behind gently undulating hills and the waning of its curved harbour. The relics of heavy industry past lie abandoned on its shores, the landscape irrevocably transformed, leaving behind the imprint of economic and political endeavours. This suggests an uneasy and complex alliance between politics, economy and nature.

'Took Strength To Tackle Those Hills' Photography exhibitionThe project aims to look at how and why ambiguous choices take prevalence and can be made at the detriment of its natural surroundings and human well-being. The photographs present portraits of its people; explorations of the landscape and vistas offer a glimpse into the idea of community within the larger context of contemporary Ireland.

This work scrutinizes the paradoxes and contradictions arising from a myriad of personal histories, and the realities facing many Cobh residents as they strive to move forward and maintain identity in uncertain times.

The work is due to premiere at this years PhotoIreland Festival in Dublin, July 5th - 17th at Filmbase, Curved St, Temple Bar.

Open Now Belfast Photo Factory Open Submission Exhibition

20th Jun 2012 (Wed) - 1st Jul 2012 (Sun) from 11:00 - 18:00
Group Show

Gallery of Photography is delighted to host Open Now – an open submission exhibition organised by Belfast Photo Factory, a young photographic collective providing resources and opportunities for emerging photographic artists to develop and continue their practice
Open Now Belfast Photo Factory Open Submission Exhibition
Gallery of Photography,
Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, 2, Dublin.

The Big Gay Wedding Project

I love the sound of this and will try to get in to see it during its short run.
Starting from 22nd Jun 2012 (Fri) from 20:00 - 22:00
23rd Jun 2012 (Sat) - 30th Jun 2012 (Sat) from 12:00 - 22:00
An Exhibition for the Benefit of Marriage Equality
Photographer Shawna Scott is proud to announce her fundraising photographic exhibition, The Big Gay Wedding Project. The exhibition will be held the week of Dublin Pride (June 22-30, 2012) at Exchange Dublin, with proceeds in aid of Marriage Equality.

The Big Gay Wedding Project

Nevan Lahart Solo Exhibition at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin

Image: Nevan Lahart, 'Won-Nil', 2012, courtesy of the artist. 
"Temple Bar Gallery + Studios is pleased to present Won-Nil, a solo exhibition of newly commissioned work by Irish artist Nevan Lahart. Lahart makes irreverent social commentaries in his work, often highly politically charged and full of humour. However this use of wit and irony is always matched with a profound investigation into the history of art and contemporary art’s position within the ‘real’ world.
About fifteen years ago, Nevan Lahart submitted a proposal for a ‘percent for art’ public art commission. The proposed piece was to be situated on a motorway roundabout in Co. Cork. His proposal was an attempt to commemorate a collective national experience which could be seen to have symbolically kick started the 15 good years in Ireland, known universally as the Celtic Tiger. The proposal was rejected.
Over the intervening period, he stuck to the idea as one that was still worth doing, even as the opportunities to present public art works – ostensibly under the Irish per cent for art scheme – faded with the recession. In this time, Lahart has also come to the realisation that public art projects are a ‘pain in the arse’. With this in mind he will make a 1/3 scale maquette of the roundabout sculpture, serving as a memorial to more heady days when people came home as opposed to leaving home.
Lahart will also show a scale model of a more recent failed public art proposal for Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. It involves two of Ireland’s most prominent public figures, one of whom is on record as a self declared Hero. He will also unveil the first installment of his new ‘Value for Money Paintings that Won’t Get You Far’ series."
(Other of Lahart's work)

Artists Books and Posters at the National Print Museum, Dublin

It's hard to see exactly what will be on display here, but from the look of these images it might be worth a visit.
"A selection of Artists Books and Posters from the collections at NIVAL will be on exhibition at the National Print Museum, Beggars Bush, Dublin 4, 13th June - 26 August 2012.
Selected by the Curatorial Committee of the NPM, the items on view display just some of the quality and diversity of printing methods and materials applied in the production of advertising and book-making."
The Book of Night Prayer by Mary Plunkett

Dublin Zoo New Baby Tapir

A yet un-named Brazilian tapir has been born to Rio in Dublin Zoo.

Bon Iver

Bon Iver have just announced that they will play the O2 on November 12th. Tickets go on sale this Friday 22nd June and are €36.50 and €39.50(plus credit card charges)

Monday, June 18, 2012

La Cocotte at Alliance Francais, Kildare Street Dublin

This little cafe/bistro in Alliance Francais is a well-kept secret. It's a great place for a morning espresso and croissant before starting shopping or a fab place for lunch. Each week they have a different special menu from a French region plus the usual desserts made fresh. Afternoon deals are coffee and dessert for €4.90 or 'cafe gourmand' which is 3 dessert nibbles plus coffee for €4.25.