Tuesday, June 27, 2017


The Rope of Life - South Docks Dublin
Photo by Larry O'Toole
Click on any image for a larger version

There's no end to what goes on in the Donaghmede Shopping Centre. Regular readers will know that I follow Michael Edwards's annual photo competition, and it is while I was up there yesterday checking that out that I noticed another exhibition.

This is an art exhibition staged by the Coolock Library Art Group. The Group normally meets in the Coolock library and they were offered this exhibition space by Donaghmede Shopping Centre. This was initially for the month of June but Peter Coyne, in the picture above, tells me that the offer has now been extended till the end of July. So you've plenty of time to go and have a look.

I'm told all of the paintings are for sale. There must be close on a hundred paintings on display at present and I've just included a few below that took my fancy.

Ballet Dancer by Margaret Hollywood €75 ono

This is not just any old ballet dancer. It is Monica Loughman who trained in Russia, formed her own Irish ballet company and is now teaching in Dublin. She is doing fabulous work - check out Big Ballet.

Ballet Dancer by Margaret Hollywood €120

Genoese Tower Corsica by Gwen O'Byrne €60

Dún Laoghaire by Peter Coyne

Bather by Peter Coyne

Scene by Lucy Curran - not for sale

Update 28/9/2017: I finally got to meet Immanuel Godson who is sort of artist in residence at the exhibition, except he isn't always in residence, so it was my lucky day.

Immanuel has been painting large canvasses in the exhibition space and today he was working on touching up his Caravaggio of the Entombment of Christ.

I have directions to get to his portraits of Enda Kenny and Brian Cowen, which are currently stashed in the Bell Centre in Darndale, and I will report back after the visit.

Update 28/6/2018: I wandered into the Donaghmede pop-up art gallery today and what did I see. Immanuel is now engaged in a massive painting of the last supper populated by local characters. It is destined to be hung in the Bell centre in Darndale and it's his way of saying thank you to a lot of the folks there.

I'm not going to spoil it for you. You can go and see it when it's hung. But I will say he's in it twice himself. There are three women in it. There is money on the table.

and that's Larry O'Toole on the right.

Update 28/7/2018: I wandered into the gallery again today and found Immanuel three quarters of the way through his current pass over the Last Supper. I gather he'll probably need yet another pass before he's satisfied with it.

Jesus is certainly putting it up to us here. Time maybe to examine our lifestyle and our dress code.

Immanuel is paying great attention to detail as he brings out the individual characters.

That's Peter Coyne who originally introduced me to the gallery and I wonder who is that disreputable character with him. Looks sort of familiar.

Click on image for a readable version

This is the piece in the Northside People that Immanuel told me to look out for.

Update 17/8/2018: It really pays to drop in to this pop up art centre. So far I have met Peter, Margaret and Immanuel.

Today I met Rachael Keogh. Rachael is amazing. She has been through the mill, bigtime, and now she is bringing her experience and street cred to bear in mobilising support for those caught up in the treadmill of addiction.

Rachael did a lot of work with schools a while back raising pupils' awareness of the dangers of the drug scene. Nowadays her talks are directed at drug services.

She wrote a book, Dying to Survive, about her experience, which has been praised for its searing honesty and she has made three documentaries with Sky news. The first of these helped her in her recovery, won lots of awards, and was then there to enhance her talks with graphic illustrations of the horrors of addiction.

Since 2013 herself and Grace Dyas have been looking at creative ways to get people thinking/talking about decriminalisation and they have an ongoing petition to Government to de-criminalise small time drug addicts and shift spending from prisons to rehab.

She co-wrote a play, Heroin, encapsulating the drug scene which she has now updated with Grace and Barry O'Connor. It will be going on national tour, to venues and prisons, and on to London and to an invitation tour in Finland.

She is also into art and is donating this picture to Casadh to hang in their new premises in Cork Street. She sought suggestions for a title from the public and got a big response. The one chosen by Casadh was "Rise from the Struggle" which was submitted by Sarah Kidney.

Rachael's 2014 interview on NearFM with Leslie Murphy about her petition is worth a listen.

And I can let you in on a secret. The above pictures are watercolours but her next one will be in oils. Best of luck Rachael.

Sadly the pop up gallery will be closing at the end of the month.


Viv said...

She is indeed amazing. I stand before her in awe and admiration.

I wish her the very best for the future. She is a role model for those confronted with adversity.

Karen - Nihil Obstat said...

A strong woman. I love the art.