4 Days in May

a pigeon sat on a branch reflecting on existenceA Pigeon sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is quite simply unclassifiable moviemaking. Winner of the Golden Lion for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival it is a rare thing indeed. The film’s title refers, so the film’s Swedish director Roy Andersson says, to the imagined thoughts of the birds sitting on a branch in Pieter Breughel’s famous painting The Hunters in the Snow.

Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_-_Hunters_in_the_Snow_(Winter)This painting was the first popular depiction of a winter scene in Western art and still provokes enquiry and mystery to this day. Anderrsson’s film is the third part of an extraordinary filmic ‘living’ trilogy following on from Songs from the Second Floor and You, the Living.

Now showing in selected cinemas.


Ruth-McHugh-ModulorAlice-Maher-Goddess-After-CanovaJoe-Caslin-YesequalityRoyal Hibernian Academy Annual Summer Exhibition 2015 You could never describe the large annual RHA Summer Show as unimportant. Sprawling and often predictable but always displaying some stand out pieces it should not be ignored. Not designed to be mould breaking or offensive nevertheless the high quality is guaranteed and it is still possible to acquire excellent work with a reasonable outlay.

Opens from 26th May – Free Admission.

Japanese woodprintAn Evening of Japanese Culture, Food and Music

If the previous standard of lectures and events organized by the Heritage Department of the DLRCOCO is anything to go by then this cultural evening focusing principally on Japanese printmaking should be well worth attending. To add to the cultural atmosphere there will be Japanese themed food on offer and accompanying music. It is all part of a programme to highlight the friendship agreement between Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and the Izumo district in Tokyo, Japan.

Thursday 28th May – Cabinteely House, Cabinteely, Dublin 18.

Tickets available at www.paviliontheatre.ie

Dave Dineen - Kim Haughton


In Plain Sight – Kim Haughton

In Plain Sight is an important and timely exhibition at The Gallery of Photography in Dublin about the devastating effects of child abuse and it’s continued legacy. Using recorded testimonies, survivors own photographs, portraiture and landscape photographs Kim Haughton presents a disturbing sense of the pain caused by these crimes committed in plain sight. Views of ordinary, banal suburban landscapes harbour far darker acts and are also crime scenes with society as a whole very much complicit.

Opens 14th May and runs until the 31st May.


The past is a foreign place



The violent and lamentable implosion of fabricated nations continues apace. Artificial borders incised by western imperialism on non-historical entities are unravelling. Syria and Iraq are undergoing violent disintegration.

Sadly this is nothing new. The recent past has seen the same fate befall those countries existing on the European fault line between Soviet and Western spheres of influence. In some cases the recalibration of nations was benign and to the benefit of all inhabitants and new states emerged. In others it led to catastrophe. To lose your country, to see it cease to exist, is in a sense to lose your identity. This is what the photographer Dragana Jurisic, as a former citizen of what was once known as Yugoslavia, has experienced.

In an attempt to recapture some of that loss she returned on a photographic journey to the land of her parents – her mother was Serbian, her father Croatian. The result though was a sense of exclusion. Her Yugoslav past is an unwanted anachronism on census forms. Revisiting a lost-land requires a guide or aide memoire. In this case the photographer structures her own journey around a seminal account of life in Yugoslavia, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, A Journey Through Yugoslavia. Written by travel author Rebecca West, herself a rootless inhabitant of a disappearing Anglo-Irish world, the narrative vividly depicts the conglomeration that was Yugoslavia before all hell broke loose in 1941.










The resulting photographs by Dragana Jurisic’s are cleverly mounted in a form of verse and chorus – call and recall – between textual extracts and contemporary scenes. An image of life today followed by accounts from a narrated past. Jurisic is caught between a foreign past and a contemporary, globalised but anachronistic present. The photographs are of lost people and places, of those that survived and the displaced that will never witness the same country again.

The images display a sense of the calm after the storm of war but with a palpable mood of melancholic and poignant sadness. There are some things painting can’t do and for which photography is best placed.

This is outsider art. View it before it gets put back into archive boxes.

Photos: Dragana Jurisic. (diver) Dragana Jurisic, YU 18, 2013, C-Print, 100 x 100 cm; (polling booth) Dragana Jurisic, YU 37, 2013, C-Print, 100 x 100 cm; (lion) Dragana Jurisic, YU 19, 2013, C-Print, 50 x 50 cm

Dragana Jurisic – YU: The Lost Country

Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin


This is the Sea

Dorothy Cross Exhibition 14/3/2014


When Daniel Defoe created the archetypal shipwrecked castaway in Robinson Crusoe his fictional character was in a battle for survival. He grasped whatever he could salvage from the flotsam and jetsam washed up from his stricken ship to eke out a life.

But what if he had also possessed the inherent eye of an artist? Whilst struggling to live he also took time to consider the hidden meanings in the wildness of his new world.

The artist Dorothy Cross possesses that unique insightful eye. She applies it to create weird and wonderful objects and encounters at her new exhibition in the RHA Gallery in Dublin. Cross is an explorer of the littoral zones between those of the human and the worlds of animals and sea creatures. As a scavenger collector and beachcomber she gathers up the detritus washed up to her in Connemara and invests her finds with shamanic qualities.

She goes down to the seashore with the eye of an artist, scours and collects, and imbues the skins, carcasses, carapaces and skeletal remains to create re-assemblages with vivid new meanings.

Dorothy Cross Exhibition 14/3/2014Dorothy Cross Exhibition 14/3/2014An enormous suspended whale carcass assumes a totemic quality as its skull floats above a pail set on a marble base. The large centrepiece of the exhibition formed from an upturned currach has the sensation of being inside a small church. It is a shrine and evokes a submariner quality as you sit within it on old wooden benches sailing silently in the faint light. Looped films from inside sea caves and eerie shell encrusted rooms add to the sense of entering a water world.

Dorothy Cross Exhibition 14/3/2014

There is a constant call and response between the shapes of man and those of the sea and its creatures. So an upturned boat with the stretched skin of a basking shark mirrors the floating shape of an island on the horizon. The flexing shape of a shark is cast in perpetuity in bronze. The heart of a whale is bottled and secreted inside the sleek gold covered model of a modern submarine balanced on a 19th century artists easel.

Dorothy Cross Exhibition 14/3/2014Dorothy Cross Exhibition 14/3/2014





There is reverence in these exhibits for the life-force that inhabited all these creatures. The fatigued, rubber shoes and lost flippers from humans are presented as latter-day memento morii. There is an awareness of the essence of life in all the pieces and the need for protection of animal and human self.

This exhibition was first seen in Turner Contemporary Margate but the addition of the subdued lighting in the large space at the RHA adds an air of adventure and mystery.



Take a walk on this imaginary shoreline and experience the wonder of beasts.

Dorothy Cross, Connemara, continues at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin until April 27th.

All images courtesy of The Kerlin Gallery, Dublin.

RHA install photos by Bryan Meade.