Love loves to love love…

'Paris Syndrome' (2007) by Jun Yang

In advance of what is billed as the most romantic day of the year, everyone is aaaaaaall about the love…

So my blog post title may be a little deceptive (ha!) but who doesn’t love (wink, wink) to feel clever by quoting Joyce once in a while! If you are a little sick of sappy season ahead of Feb 14th, I cannot recommend highly enough the exhibition still running at IMMA at the moment:  “What We Call Love – From Surrealism to Now” for a very different, visual take on the whole feeling, idea and concept. Move fast though – it’s finishing up tomorrow Sunday February 7th!

According to the accompanying book published by IMMA – What We Call Love – the collection has drawn from Surrealism’s idea of love as “amour fou” (mad love) and new concepts of love from the sixties onwards.

Clock Tower at IMMA
Clock Tower at IMMA

I visited recently (having meant to take a look for several months now) and really enjoyed the range of viewpoints and art forms. Photographs, paintings, sculptures, exhibits, films, documentaries – they are all included. The exhibition features work from greats like Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Damien Hurst, Yoko Ono – to name just a few – as well as many other artists that wouldn’t be as well-known. You don’t just have to take my word for it though – Aidan Dunne of the Irish Times recommends it too 🙂

I took a few photos while I was there (IMMA always makes me want to take more photographs…) so I have included a few here for those of you that may not make it along before it ends. Let me know what you think! 🙂

'Couple With Their Head Full of Clouds' (1936) Salvador Dali
‘Couple With Their Head Full of Clouds’ (1936) Salvador Dali
I love this one. The colours, the gilt framing, the slight incline of heads towards one another.
Les Amoureux Titre by Victor Brauner
Les Amoureux Titre by Victor Brauner
'High Moon' (1991) by Rebecca Horn
‘High Moon’ (1991) by Rebecca Horn This was the piece that initially intrigued me most before coming to this exhibit. Obviously incredibly visual, it was also a very different take on the subject of love…..!
1969 Yoko Ono and John Lennon
1969 Yoko Ono and John Lennon.
Another one of my favourites from this exhibition. The first photo is ‘Bed In For Peace’ by Ivor Sharpe, and the second photo is from their wedding day in Gibraltar.
'Paris Syndrome' (2007) by Jun Yang
‘Paris Syndrome’ (2007) by Jun Yang.
This was easily one of my favourites from this exhibition. I love the strange angles, the awkward posture, their expressionless faces.
Central Nervous System (2013) by Wolfgang Tillmans
Central Nervous System (2013) by Wolfgang Tillmans
From 'Hot 100s' by Jeremy Shaw
From ‘Hot 100s’ by Jeremy Shaw
Watercolour by Michele Ciacciofera
Watercolour by Michele Ciacciofera
The Couple (2003) by Louise Bourgeouis
The Couple (2003) by Louise Bourgeouis

 

'Passion Bed' (1993) by Dorothy Cross
‘Passion Bed’ (1993) by Dorothy Cross

 

‘Make Love’ (2005) by Attila Csörgő
‘Make Love’ (2005) by Attila Csörgő
Seaweed Dress
Seaweed Dress
A still from Seamus Nolan's film, screening at IMMA as part of "F**k IMMA"
A still from Seamus Nolan’s film, screening at IMMA as part of “F**k IMMA”
A still from Seamus Nolan's film, screening at IMMA as part of "F**k IMMA"
A still from Seamus Nolan’s film, screening at IMMA as part of “F**k IMMA”

 

 

 

 

 

 

And also, if you have already been – let me know what you think!

Tickets are still available, and priced from €5-8. Students go free.

All the best,

S

XO

Gates at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Gates at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham

 

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Street Art in Dublin

More and more pieces of street art are popping up all around Dublin at the moment. Particularly in the city centre, MURO Street Art‘s recent event left behind some wonderful works. While some on the corner of Greek Street have been sprayed over – *Boo!* – the bigger pieces are still available to see along the Luas lines near the Four Courts stop.

Street Art DublinStreet Art Dublin Street Art Dublin

I love to see that they have painted these wonderful pieces on buildings that were falling into disrepair and making the area look quite derelict. Literally blank canvases!

Street Art Dublin

What I don’t agree with it is the fact that these are being looked at as graffiti that needs to be painted over…

Street Art Dublin

There are plenty of other spots around town to spy other creations. Some buildings in Templebar are quite colourful, and there are lots of other finds around town as seen by Ekaterina Smirnova here.

Colours - TemplebarPavement Art  - Lord Edward StreetStreet Art Dublin - Kilmainham

Street art certainly seems to be more of a growing trend (not just in Ireland, Athenian street art here ) as more boomtime purchase buildings are being left untended, with increasing demand for art space, but not much of anything in the way of support for aspiring artists..

I personally like it;  I love to see all the various methods of expression. It also goes to show that you don’t need a massive budget to produce something special.

Last night’s Met Ball – My Thoughts..

Last night’s Met Ball Gala was as always, a celebrity-packed affair. Held at the Metropolitan  Museum of Art, the guests certainly made quite an effort. Some, however, took the punk theme a little more literally than others..!

I think that those that stuck closest to the theme unfortunately didn’t quite pull off their respective looks, and possibly just lacked a bit of imagination.

Miley Cyrus and Madonna were definitely top of the list in this regard!

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

What can I say? Miley looks like she has been waiting all her life to go to a punk party. The end result? She looks like a spoilt brat with a bad attitude.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

Madonna looks like, well – where do I start? Ok, first of all kudos to any 54-year-old stepping out in an outfit like this – that takes cojones..! 🙂

 

Some of my favourite outfits had elements of punk, but kept their own personal and individual styles.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

Love the slick of lipstick on Rooney Mara – makes the whole outfit so much more edgy. And that dress – wonderful.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

I’m not usually a big fan of Kristen Stewart’s style, but this colour really works on her, and her androgynous look really helps her pull off this Stella McCartney jumpsuit.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

Emmy Rossum has managed to punk up this whole ensemble with fantastic smoky-eye make-up and a great braided up-do, showing off her fantastic bone-structure in the process. Predicting great things for this girl.

 

 

Next up: a few honourable mentions go to a few who looked amazing – even if they “forgot” that there was a theme…

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

 

Emma Watson’s cut-out, cutaway black dress was just edgy enough, without going over the top. The simplicity of her hair and make-up ensured that she looked the essence of elegance.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

 

 

 

Zooey Deschanel  looked simply radiant. Veering away from her normally kooky look, this white one-shouldered design highlighted her pretty  features and great figure perfectly.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

Ashley Greene’s dress had a bit of a dress-up feel about it, but teamed with glossy locks, and incredibly slick make-up, it all just works quite well. The opulence of the gold-flake style waist really brings the dress bang up to date.

 

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least – her Honourable Fashionable Self – Sarah Jessica Parker once again quite certainly stole the show, and lets us all understand why she quite simply still remains a style icon years after SATC wrapped up.

Photo from dailymail.com
Photo from dailymail.com

Til next time folks,

Shar

XO

Great New Ideas

Great new ideas flowing this evening…

I’d like to thank.. the PortHouse, the wine they served, and… the wine.

How is it that the creative side of the brain seems to work that much better with alcohol? Why is that? It’s just giving everyone an excuse to drink in the hopes of being more.. em… artistic… yes, that’s what we’ll say.

Anyhow, ideas flowing this evening.

Every now and then, we all *try* to have that conversation of what are we doing, where are we headed to, etc., etc.

This evening, the wine spurred this on a little more than usual.

So plans are afoot!

The blog has been resurrected.

Eventually. So perhaps yes, the word resurrection is perfectly apt!

Watch. this. space! *

*I promise this time around, blogs will actually follow….

Keep Calm, (Wo)Man Cooking…

Keep Calm, (Wo)Man Cooking...

So I’ve never claimed to be a domestic goddess.

I’m no Nigella.

Thankfully, my husband doesn’t have a sweet tooth, so baking is never something I have really ever had to master.

Problem being, that I am partial to a dessert or two.

So recently I decided to try it out again; my last foray into baking and dessert-making being back in school with some butterfly cakes – anyone remember those?

Butterfly Cakes
Photo from http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au

Anyhow, I decided to start off slowly, and made a relatively inoffensive cheesecake.

It looked a little lumpy, and a little broken around the edges, but surprisingly (to me, and everyone else that tried) it tasted actually pretty good!

So it spurred me on to try a slightly more challenging recipe – chocolate  fudge brownies.

Hardly rocket science by any means, but to a rusty baker like myself, you have to walk before you can jog right?

Anyhow, tried to keep it as simple as possible for myself – as I realised that I had no scales and no square baking tin to be found….

So butter and cocoa melting in one pan, I whisked eggs and sugar up.

When both were ready, I folded them in together, and sifted in some flour – and when I say sift, I mean I dumped in slowly, whilst frantically mixing. (Note to self, sieve would be easier next time.) There was no exactness to my method, as all measurements were pretty much guestimated…

Chocolate fudge brownie mixture
Mixing bowl..Chocolate fudge brownie mix - close upLooks a little lumpy, but had a quick taste- not bad!

Then due to not having  a square baking tin, I figured that this brioche pan would have to do.

Popped it into the oven to warm it up, and greased it with some of the finest butter – Kerrygold.

Another note to self, pastry brush would have made the greasing a little easier….

So in it all went.

Brioche Pan - not designed for brownies...
Brioche Pan – not designed for brownies…
Keep Calm, (Wo)Man Cooking...
Keep Calm, (Wo)Man Cooking…

So then with oven at 160, I just had to wait … and wait a bit more … and take a peek … and wait a bit more..

Nervously awaiting...!
Nervously awaiting…!       Chocolate brownie mix raising nicely..Chocolate brownie mix raising nicely..

And eventually, I couldn’t wait any longer.

I figured – what’s the worst that can happen? And immediately thought of both Dr. Pepper AND Murphy’s Law simultaneously..

But as it turned out – against all odds, it wasn’t so bad.

Letting it rest a little, while I decided how best to go about this..
Letting it rest a little, while I decided how best to go about this..

I knew that these were never going to be your typical square or rectangular “homecoming queen” style brownies, but I reckon they did ok… 🙂

Chocolate fudge brownies (from a brioche pan!) with some delicious seasonal cherries.
Chocolate fudge brownies (from a brioche pan!) with some delicious seasonal cherries.
I heart my brownies... :)
I heart my brownies… 🙂

Catch you another time…

Hopefully any other baking related posts won’t be quite so dramatic…. 😉

Shar XO

Shopping – the most dangerous addiction of all…

I love shopping.

I’ll be the first to admit it – I have a sinful amount of clothes sitting in my closet, in my drawers, on shelves, on the floor.

Yet for some reason, every time I’m in town, I still find myself shopping.

Sometimes browsing, sometimes just having a look – but always on the lookout for THAT elusive piece of clothing that will spin my whole wardrobe on its head, and change everything. I will then be that fashionista. I will finally feel like the glamourous persona I have always wanted to be.

Image
Quite the fashionista..ahem, or not. No amount of attitude was going to get me to pull this one off..!
Image
Me, ridiculously excited at Louis Vuitton store in Singapore.

This, of course, is absolute codswallop. Codswallop is not a word I use lightly, or at all for that matter, as it’s a word that seems absolutely ridiculous to me, much like the mindset that we con ourselves into every time we traipse around the high street.

That blazer is going to completely transform all my trousers/skirts/dresses/t-shirts/blouses

Doubtful, my dear – if it did, it would be a snip for €90, and sure, wouldn’t we all have one!

This all came to mind for me today, as I led my fashion-conscious-yet-challenged younger brother around the shops, trying to dress him up to make the most of himself, whilst still trying to stay within his student budget. A tough job, but a cinch for a seasoned fashpert such as myself. As we walked around, I told him the old chestnuts of “don’t just buy those shoes just because they’re a bargain, because if you never wear them then they’re not such a bargain after all” and the other one: “decide what you’re looking for before you hit the shops”. In the meantime, I ended up buying two tops, a dress and a pair of trousers for myself. Which I did not need.

Where do we get this constant compulsion? Is it a female thing? Do the likes of Penneys, Matalan, Forever 21 actually know us better than we know ourselves? Is it the physical act of buying that gives us the adrenaline rush, or is that slinky top really the thing that keeps us going back?

The fact that I am probably subscribed to at least thirty fashion websites that send me daily updates on all of the bargains that I am missing probably isn’t helping any compulsions that may otherwise be content to lay dormant.

I really enjoyed myself today. Not because I went on a spree – it was only a little one… – but because I was helping others buy for themselves.

Which reminds me – I should be on commission in Zara, for the amount of business I’ve accummulated for them at this stage.

Either way.

I will be starting a clearout this evening in my wardrobe.

Not a job that I relish – it’s one of my pet hates, and I feel so guilty every time for having let the state of it get so bad.

I will be rubbishing all that cannot be salvaged, donating what cannot be sold, and the small remainder shall go on eBay – one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure and all that.

I shall also, forthwith*, be under a self-imposed clothes^ shopping ban.

I shall check and report any withdrawal symptoms – fever, shakes, etc.

Wish me luck.

Til next time, sayonara.

Shar XO

*For future reference, fancy words such as forthwith, show that I am at this moment, very determined to do as I say.

^ When I say clothes, I do have to remind myself that included in this ban are bags, shoes, accessories. Any loopholes and I’ll be back to square one.