When does the dust ever settle? In the case of Joe Caslin it took a while after his epic city centre piece ‘Claddagh Embrace‘ on the end of Georges street and Dame street made it to the front pages, when it unceremoniously began to peel, not because of the weather, well maybe the wind helped from the lungs of god himself, no not that, because it was timely, it had been a long road of discovery and reason and willpower and breakfast rolls, it was near the end, sadly, which it was, because it was the second last of them epic pieces in a huge set of works ‘Our Nations Son’s’ that had found its way to fruition. What can you do next to top that, you sit down and you let it wash over you, listen to the reasons and words of congratulations and formulate that what you achieve means something more than how you feel, it means more. and then think about what to do next, keep going.
Meeting up with Frances was long overdue, I had only begun to Imagine what was in store for us on the eventual date, we had heard that she was always working and busy which made us want to meet her even more. Thankfully through Eithne in Firstfortnight we got our chance. For me personally I was hoping for some pointers on actually staying calm and we weren’t disappointed with the great insights on her performance work, the early days on Golden lane and what she does now.
Energy is a good starting word as opposed to bossy, and always constant. She didn’t leave when the rest went onto other worlds, it nearly happened mind but thankfully it didn’t. She stayed and set up shop, set up a LOT of shops and in turn reminded us of a tradition. The Dublin Flea market. Theres the previous life of geography and conservation of buildings, it was caring in disguise and you could see her sternly standing her ground saying yes I understand but no we need to restore this so that the next generations see the beauty and what it was like back then. Similarly she sees outside of the work as a small effort to create a culture, this is good for us, it’s maverick. Then theres Lola the Terrier-ish, queen of Synge street and also the Queen of Neon a party organisers group that make scarves and save your life. So much to do and so little time. How do you cope? Tea.
A couple of years ago I noticed this youngfella wandering around certain streets of Dublin looking extremely colourful and almost like a famed travel writer from San Francisco, he had just moved here to take up a desk in a brand new magazine venture run by the same people who brought you Vice. Wrong but not too far off actually.
Timi is constant with his project PictureThisDublin and anyone who has the fire about Dublin like he does, gets my vote. I’ve had a couple of quick chats with him but always wanted to see if there was something extra, maybe there was a chink in the armour, was it all a big setup for the impending TV career hosting some crazy game show, no such luck. He comes across caring, caring about that he was ‘Made in Dublin’ but yet born in the big city of Lagos. Theres the BMX, the promoting of anything that he deems interesting in our little city and thats a lot in 3 years, the infectious laugh, a winner on all counts. We eventually talked about setting up the blog, and because we were mid piece for FirstFortnight on No More Secrets I asked about being a creative and was it therapeutic, weening off FIFA and being remembered for something special.
Timi in Temple bar whilst we get ready to finish the No More Secrets piece and thats Wissame Cherfi in the reflection of his glasses.
David has been a close friend for many years, gave me work when I had none and is as mental about music as I am. He ‘does’ when lots of others talk about doing, Heavily involved in Limerick city for at least ten years, running events and interactions so to speak, but he’s a bigger influence than that without knowing it. We talked about The Frames, Dineen and finding a way to make sense of realising that there could be something else. And there was coffee.
Conor Creighton is a writer, an artist, he’s worked for Vice, Cara and Totally Dublin amongst many others but has just landed a book deal with the same publishers of Bertolt Brecht about how he sees Germany and Berlin but through his own eyes, worldly but essentially an Irishman with a large view on the world. I went to Berlin to see him for the start of this new series of informal chats to see if I could learn something new from him, Whats it like to live his way, always an interesting man to talk to.
Only recently a friend commissioned a piece from the series on the handwriting angle and after there was a split with her bloke, she thought it better not to get the same piece as before, [they’d gotten a shared christmas gift of ‘Right place for you and me’] especially when it turned out the ex wasn’t handing the previous photo over too quickly, theres no point in looking back in that situation, move on, start again. So I tried to come up with some brand new ideas for her which coincidently fit right into the ongoing script of the Thisplace series. These shots all taken on Baggot street Dublin are near enough to the ladies new apartment near Merrion square, I had not shot this area before with its mix of old Georgian buildings and the newer seventies banking offices, a lot of the shots have also made their way into the Little White Lies series too, they are perfect as backgrounds to paint directly onto, they have space but as they were taken at night they have an erie atmosphere, maybe like a walk at night when you’re hungry and can’t sleep.
Cheeky that she went for Hello…you’re breaking up, working with DMC has helped make the background photos less complicated because we can add sprayed ideas later and that changes the tone of the work completely at the initial photographic stage, I can take more outtakes, photos that most of the time you might think don’t work but now they’re subtle and that means i can look out for a whole other set that can be used differently.
I would be unhappily aware of the shadow I cast,
The dark colours I pick do nothing for my stance.
I have ideas I said one night thinking that made up for the spit,
My father’s hands try stop the sea.
I would be unhappily aware of the eyes that stare,
The uneasy arrival of that man again, who he be.
Yes I wore my shoes down to get to this place, the other,
Not the side of the desk you seem keen to use, to work.
I don’t sit easy in the worn out pretend edge of things,
Don’t you collect people and make them yours, that’s still work.
My work is not saying yes to work but saying no to following. You.
The water in the eyes from laughing.