Category Archives: Dublin

Dublin in the 1980’s, by Gerry Smith

(c) Gerry Smith. Screen capture from Blurb

I knew my friend, Gerry Smith, was into photography. I have seen some of his prints over the years, but not that many. We have lost touch in recent years, save for occasional contact. I knew that he was working on a Blurb book of some of his old work, and this evening he sent me a link to the book on Blurb and a youtube video of some select pieces. I have to say that I was blown away by the work, it really is excellent.

The work depicts Dublin in the 1980’s, and while I remember it murkily from my childhood, the photographs really represent a town from another time. Gerry says in his introduction

During the early 1980’s in Dublin, the inner city area was enveloped with half demolished buildings, unkempt sites and a general sense of disregard for the architectural heritage of the city. This was a manifestation of the overall depressed economic condition prevelant within Ireland at the time.

The wider richly layered social, commercial and architectural heritage represents the ‘soul’ of the inner city, which has developed over the centuries to establish the core of Dublin as unique in the qualities of scale, diversity and character of place.

The inner city on both sides of the River Liffey encompassed a rich diversity of uses and architectural quality, some of which have been regrettably lost to ‘development’ oppotunity, however the refurbishment of some areas has helped preserve and enhance much of the original quality of Dublin’s historic buildings and cultural content.

Some of the market activities that have survived to this day albeit in revised formats include the Moore Street market, the Smithfield Horsefair and the Dublin Corporation Wholesale markets on St. Michan’s Street also in the Smithfield area.

Many of the places captured in these images have become unrecognisable over the years due to redevelopment, however this collection provides a view of some of that which served us well for decades, but no longer remains.

While Gerry discusses the changing architecture of the city in his introduction, what really grabs me is the people in the photographs. The older men and women in particular, but also the children, are from another time and place – somewhere in the past, in history books, no longer present. And yet I need to remind myself that the children in the photos would have been a similar age to myself at the time – it’s not quite the ancient past!

I haven’t seen it in printed form yet, but this looks like a beautiful book that will appeal to a wide audience, not just to Dubs and the Irish.

– Rory

Link to the Blurb Book

Link to the youtube video

Link to Gerry’s website

Roseanne Lynch at the Plastic House

Untitled (o'f 16) on the wall of 'the Plastic House' at the weekend. (c) Roseanne Lynch

Cork Analogue Photographers’ friend and mentor, Roseanne Lynch,  had work on the wall at “The Plastic House” in Dublin last weekend (above). The house is an old Georgian house in Dublin’s East Wall transformed by architects. I haven’t seen the house, so the following is lifted straight from the Irish Times:

A GEORGIAN house transformed by plastic will open as an art exhibition space this weekend.

The “Plastic House”, designed by Dublin practice Architecture Republic and commended by the Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI), has invited seven artists to exhibit their work in the quirky home.

The terraced house’s original design is native to Georgian Dublin, comprising a grand parlour to the front with smaller rooms to the rear at half-levels one up and one down from the street.

The architects revamped the space in Dublin’s East Wall by adding a cruciform made from polycarbonate and steel to create the “Plastic House”.

The AAI Award’s assessment of the project posed the question of whether the “Plastic House” is an art installation or a house.

The architects have decided to reinforce this controversy, by inviting a number of Irish artists to exhibit their work in the space, further sparking the evergreen debate on the boundaries between art and architecture.

The exhibition entitled “Right Place, Right Space?” will feature works by artists John Graham, Paul Murnaghan, Aoife Desmond, Gregory Dunn, David Folan, Roseanne Lynch and Sharon McCarthy. It is open from 12pm to 6pm today and tomorrow at 26 Spencer Street North, East Wall.

– Rory

Lighting the Edges

Cork Analogue Photographer Ann O’Kelly is opening a solo exhibition of her photographs at The County Library, The Square, Tallaght, Dublin 24 on Thursday May 6th at 6.30pm. All welcome.