Arts and Culture

Michael Mulcahy: Images of the Navigator

Last year's exhibition of paintings by Michael Mulcahy at the Lincoln Gallery was a patchy affair, consising of a handful of large pictures which had bold, direct magic, and others that were less penetrating. One felt that Mulcahy was not really in command of his talent, that he was a prolific painter who was occasionally seized by a spirit and moved by it. When the spirit chose to make an appearance the pictures hit their mark; when the artist himself tried to summon inspiration, the mastery was gone.

Feeney Rides Again

On Thursday May 5 1983 big ignorant John Feeney wrote a story in the Evening Herald which had no basis in fact.

Robert Ballagh: upstairs, downstairs

The reader of Joyce visiting Dublin for the first time will know what to look for: the river, the National Library, the Bailey or the tower in Sandymount. Similarly, the visitor to Robert Ballagh's house will be watching out for the key items that appear in his autobiographical paintings. There will have to be an upstairs and a downstairs in his house: the paintings say so. There will have to be a spiral staircase in his house: it runs through two of the paintings like the Liffey through "Finnegans Wake".

Brian Bourke: Paintings of J with a Basque Hat

In Brian Bourke's recent exhibition at the Taylor Galleries in Dublin there are nearly forty paintings and drawings of his wife Jay Murphy. Most of them are entitled "Portrait of J with a Basque Hat" and in these Jay Murphy is wearing this extraordinary hat. She's wearing it again and again all over the walls of two rooms of the gallery. Everywhere you look, she's wearing it. The show at first looks very funny; Brian Bourke has made her face into a caricature of itself, almost a cartoon.

Souvenirs of Survival: Making Sense - 10 Painters 1963-1983

As silent as a mirror is believed Realities plunge in silence by ...

Five days before the announcement of major cuts in education spending, Emma Hussey, Minister for Education, opened an exhibition of painting the Project Arts Centre. The exhibiion was described as representing the first tentative steps in the visual exssion of contemporary Ireland.

In Focus

Down a lane off Dublin's Pembroke Street there is a small theatre, seating seventy-one people whose contribution to Dublin theatrical life over the last fifteen years is far out of proportion to its size. Opened in August of 1967, the Focus Theatre has consistently presented productions of the great plays of turn-of-the-century drama, the output of Strindberg, Chekov and Ibsen, as well as the work of contemporary European and American writers, with an assurance and strength which are rare in Irish theatre.

Comment, not confilct

Neil Donnelly's play "The Sivler Dollar Boys" won the 1982 Harvey's Award for the Best Irish Play of the year. In this interview with Paddy Agnew, Neil Donnelly discusses some of the play's themes and preoccupations.

Up up and art

  • 31 August 1982
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The GPA exhibition, by Paddy Agnew


"What's this supposed to mean, Mister. I suppose it's about the IRA, is it?"
"Don't be stupid, Mick, how could it be about the IRA?"