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.
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.
Then back to sleeping.
She’s worn down, I always remember fresh paint in the summer but nowadays rarely does the step ladder leave the shed. Brushes got soaked again, he would smile that I hated these summer jobs, walls needed a new coat. ‘Get the silver paint out for the gate, and sand paper’ I had despise for glass paper, I’d rather stare at the rose bushes, the local team in a final up at St Pauls and any kind of sunshine would glint and pass the minutes away closer to bed time.
What would I give for one more day cleaning those steps on the ladder.
The sound of the man’s bark to hold on, not let go, the fear of heights.
The old hardshaws are long gone, like the emulsion broken like Porter pint glasses and horses buried with their gold cups.
Gone are the cute girls at mass on Sunday and school ceili on Fridays. I wish for youth but the rain and the bus come instead. Go home son sleep it off.
Because the cathedral is further,
We don’t hear the bell fade.
Instead we have seagulls,
Who wake us early at the weekends.
People who don’t live near the sea
love this, visitors and those renting.
I couldn’t get a good photo of a seagull.
I thought about you a lot today.
More on my mind than before,
Eyes and lights, pretend tears,
You seem to be gone again.
I grew up dreaming of girls like you,
I meet the dream, the real thing slips.
From my hands and onto the bed,
Some flicker, a sunny glimpse alone
You knew all this was coming,
I let the secret out.
You knew the parts of me were seen,
Used them to get your way.