Culture Night in Dublin is a great night where a majority (if not all!) cultural events in Dublin are free. Musuems that might normally cost an arm and a leg to get into suddenly open their doors to the public. Although some of these open doors require booking, so as to avoid a million people turning up. Nevertheless, I booked some places in a workshop called "Artist Trading Card Workshop". The info from the Culture night brochure described it as "a tiny, original piece of art created with the intention of trading it with another artist." The artist running the event, Adrienne Geoghegan, usually runs illustration boot camps during the year, so I guess this was her equivelent of a taster of what she usually offers. It seemed a fun idea so I went ahead and booked a few from the class of us in. Places where very limited and when we arrived it was easy to see why. The event was in the artists house! Her crazy but lovable dog was roaming around with a stick in his mouth and her children were hyper with the excitement of all the strangers in their house. It was a wonderful kind of madness!
We were the second group of the night. As it was difficult to find the house (as a majority of people probably thought "this can't be right" and turned around after entering the housing estate) the first group had started late so we had to wait in the sitting room. Some of Adrienne's work was on the wall, and it was fascinating. It was quite varied so at first I wasn't sure if it was all her work. It was a nice experience to see inside an artists house. I even enjoyed looking at the collection of books she owned. I'd like to think some day I'd have a house covered in work I'm proud of, and an equally great collection of books. There was really interesting 3d pieces on the wall, as well as 2d ones. Here's some examples of work shes done.
Check out her website for more examples:
When we finally went through, we were offered tea and cake. Not just any kind of cake, Mr. Kipling french fancies! And not even just regular tea (in a way). It was served in the most fantastic crockery! Proper Alice in Wonderland tea party stuff! I was afraid I'd break mine! Even the tea pot was the most beautiful tea pot I've ever seen! I digress..
In front of us was almost every art material imaginable. Paper, scissors, paint, water-colours, water colour crayons, pastels, oil pastels, pencils, glue, stamps, ink, paint brushes of various sizes. I'm probably forgetting something.. Anyway, it was like being in a craft shop where you want to play with everything but can't. Well, I could today! She said that we could do whatever we'd like, but that if we needed a theme, the theme was "urban". She showed us a few examples of cards she'd made up and then we were away. Instantly, the word "urban" ironically made me think "country" and then I thought of the country mouse coming to town, so I painted him using water colour crayons, which I hadn't used before and will definitely be buying a set! I then used oil pastels to draw a sophisticated town pig. This was obvious by his monocle and top hat. I then felt I was being a bit too silly, so then I drew a rather nice graceful simplistic swan on some gold metallic card. I was surprised how nice it looked. I'm usually not good at "sophisticated".
Adrienne had had a special stamp made up so that when we were finished, we stamped the back of our card, which left a template for us to title the piece and write our name, which was a nice touch. I managed to trade all my cards, but unfortunately, I think because so many of us from the class went, that it resulted in us being a bit insular and not trading with many other people at the event. Never the less, I'm really happy to own some of everyone else's work, even if it is only a little card. It's odd to work along side great artists, but yet never own any of their work, which is a shame. Anyway, I best get back to work. Tomorrow I'm painting pigs in a pub in Lucan, so fingers crossed I can get a few bob out of the locals! Thanks for reading!