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SNH: Jenn Gardiner visits First Thursdays Dublin

JENN GARDINER visits First Thursdays Dublin – when a number of galleries share their open night
on the First Thursday of the month Jenn Gardner.

W:  First Thursdays Dublin P: 01 677 2255

First Thursdays Dublin –  up close and personal

‘A picture is worth a thousand words – particularly if you can’t read…’

Harry Harshfield

Ok, so little did I think my first Thursday of April would plan out the way it did. I rushed home from school to dawn my alter ego and enjoy the galleries of Temple Bar for the first time. Being told –  SCENEnotHERD members Breffni, Dearbhla and Jenn – that we would get the chance to interview the people of the galleries along the way on camera sounds nice doesn’t it, but with no preparation and little time it felt like being put in the deep end!  It was quite daunting and could only lead to a few hiccups along the way. I felt it went considerably well. (So don’t judge) I caught the end of the Uilleann pipers in No Grants Gallery and when told there were two songs left to go I was disappointed that they combined them as it was obvious people were getting in to the song, tapping away merrily. But never the less it was an enjoyable performance.

We meander around the galleries and our first stop was Project Arts Centre to meet with Tessa Giblin the curator of the ‘Things- exhibition’. We got to experience it for ourselves going through the plinths. I had heard about the exhibition, but did not understand how it worked. Each plinth had a speaker inside with music pumping out all having the word ‘Thing’ in the lyrics. I loved the idea behind it, giving the surroundings a voice? It was defiantly interesting and I went back to check it out.

Getting back to the No Grants Gallery where we had a look around at the exhibition and I got a chance to talk to Gay McKeown, CEO of Na Piobairi Uilleann, telling me all about uilleann pipes and their origin.   I didn’t know too much about them and it was nice to hear the history behind them.  I had never known that an uilleann pipe is broken down into pieces and each piece takes time to learn. After mastering each step it’s put together and its time to learn music notes.

With not enough time to hang around we squeezed in a chat with Damien Dempsey where I made a fool of myself asking how long he has been playing the uilleann pipes! Quite embarrassing but I think he took it with a pinch of salt or at least I hope so.  There was some sandwiches floating around, me and Dearbla made sure to get our hands on some.

When we got outside we got talking to Leo Enright- 50 year’s space organiser, chatting about Yuri night events on Tuesday. It sounded interesting and Breffini was asked to film the action.

Sauntering down to The Exchange where it was packed we squeezed our way through to take a glimpse.  Aíne (another SCENEnotHERD member) was helping out, keeping busy and over all doing a good job!   The exhibit was interesting and it was nice to see what the work involved.

We left for Clyne Gallery next door and where we had to wait around (awkwardly) to be let in while being filmed. When we did get in it was so quaint and small. There didn’t seem to be much of a buzz but there was an interesting piece – I wish I knew the name of it but basically it was rats stuck in traps growing in size. Personally I loved it but it wasn’t exactly Dearbhlas cup of tea. :S ha

Down to Monster Truck we went  but unfortunately it was jammers so we went next door to the Temple Bar Gallery & Studios instead.  Getting in was not too much of a struggle so we had a look at the exhibition which proved to be interesting. It wasn’t your typical experience with a lot of unusual art work – but it was fascinating. The alien and paper stack were my favourites they contrasted nicely.  We spoke to Rayne Booth, the curator there, you’ll see more on the film to be posted by Breffni shortly!

The Graphic Studio Gallery was hidden away. Upon getting there it looked as if it were closed but after a while we were let in as it was locked because of rif-raf going around, welcomed in there was  some small eggs kept aside for visitors. I loved the prints in their stands and there was a wide range to browse through. We said our goodbyes and were on our way to the Gallery of Photography where we stood at reception talking to Darragh there about the exhibition.

All in all it was a great night out and can’t wait for the next.

Jenn Gardner


Next First Thursdays Dublin takes place May 5th, 6 – 8pm.

See here for all participating galleries.

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