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I am not sure what else to say about this one. Luke Kelly is probably still regarded as one of the most important folk artists to come out of Ireland in the 20th century. He had a reputation for working hard and playing hard. Forty three is too young to go, but he certainly made his mark while he was here! Some of the titles he is most associated with include Whiskey in the Jar, Rocky Road to Dublin and Scorn not his Simplicity. Call me biased but I couldn’t ignore that wild head of red hair!

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“Continuous as the stars that shine”
William Wordsworth is not an irish writer but he holds a special place in my heart.
So far as I can recall The Daffodils marked the end of nursery rhymes and the start of poetry for me. It
must have been in second or third class when we were exposed to a piece that didn’t appear in any of our text books.
That being my own experience I was amazed when my four year old came home from preschool reciting the first two verses without pausing.

Friday March 28th is Daffodil Day 2014.
For sixteen years I’ve enjoyed taking part as a street seller but unfortunately I can’t participate in that way this year. Seeing the feeling and generosity with which people give what they can to help another is really heartening. I will be buying a daff or two and I wish all sellers a warm, dry and sundrenched day!

My immediate and extended family have benefited from the services and advice of the Irish Cancer Society (and other organisations) and so this is my piece to remember those who lost their fight to cancer.

Olivia

 

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NO.2 Writers and Wordsmiths Series

The entrance area of the Crawford Gallery in Cork is home to 3 pieces by the great Louis Le Broquy. All are portraits of great irish writers- Yeats, Joyce and Samuel Beckett. Possibly some of the most famous portraits of modern times and in a style singular to Louis Le Broquy. Like all amazing art – you may see it online, in a book or hang a reproduction in your living room, but there is nothing to match standing in front of the genuine article. Next time you happen to be passing a gallery take a step inside and get up close.
This is my effort at the stupendous Samuel Beckett

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“New York is my lourdes, where I go for spiritual refreshment… a place where you’re least likely to be bitten by a wild goat”, so said Brendan Behan.
Of his many many witty remarks this must the one I can most relate to myself- more the first part and less for the goat reference!

Those who knew and admired his work gathered in Dublin in Grogans pub over the past weekend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his passing on March 20th 1964.

This is a portrait – one of a series I am working on of Irish writers and wordsmiths of every kind

Hope you like it.

These images will be available on society six in the near future.
I will keep you all posted

Enjoy
Olivia

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Forget Aristotle. Forget Kant, forget Nietzsche and Thomas Aquinas. One of the greatest philosophers of all time has to be Dr Seuss. “Oh the places you’ll go” is a handbook for life whether your 7 or 72. This is a little tribute portrait of Theodore Seuss Geisel for a upcoming illustrators ireland collaboration. I had to include some wise words too!

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Meet BB- he is a teddy bear who lives with his family in bear town. This image is one from BB sa Leabharlann (BB in the Library) and is the first in a series of books to compliment Babog Baby. Babog Baby is the first Irish speaking Teddy Bear. You will no doubt be familiar with Babog Baby as he has been adorning the shelves of major toy stockists for about 3 years now.

I was delighted to be approached by the guys in Galway to illustrate their first book and I am personally really happy with the result.  Just can’t wait to have one in my hand.

Anyone visiting an tOireachtas at the INEC in Killarney this week ( October 29th- November 3rd) will be able to see the book, I will be there at some stage on Saturday afternoon too.
The book should be available very soon. Visit Babogbaby.com for details on when it will be available.

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A few weeks ago as the summer holidays were coming to a close and my head was fizzing with back to school plans, I got a text. 

It was from a friend. 

Normally texts from friends, regardless of content, are welcome. 

I read it and found myself doing that thing where you suck air through clenched teeth while frowning and quietly shaking your head .

Not a good look! 

It was Paddy Gilley from Cork Commuinty Radio. 

Paddy is an old hand by now at the talk show having presented various shows with Cork community Radio for the best part of two and a half years.

He would be hosting a show called Open House on Sunday nights from 9-12 pm. 

The first hour or so was to be devoted to topical subjects from the point of view of women. 

So lets be clear this was NOT going to be a show about womens issues, but a show about issues, on which women would be commenting.

Paddy was recruiting contributors for the show- would I like to take part?

 

It’s been many years since I participated in anything that could be described as public speaking. In 3rd class my mother (bless her soul) seeing that I was very shy “volunteered” me for reading at Sunday mass. I did object- hugely. But like all objections at that age I knew I would not get out of it without giving it a try. 

Credit to the curate at the time who did practice sessions the Friday before curtain call. He shared a few tips with us nervous kids that were as valuable as diamonds; stand up straight, place your hands on the pulpit, pick a place to look in the crowd, don’t rush.

Success followed. I managed my fear for many’s the Sunday, stood up straight and delivered the text before me with very few stutters.

Inspite of this success I opted to work in the background for our secondary school play and not appear on stage or in the chorus. 

And so it went over the course of my life to present. Never being comfortable with what I would think of as “performing” I’ve said no to a lot of things, big and small.

But the older I get the more apparent it has become that this is your chance. Your chance to say “YES”, your chance to DO, your chance to “LIVE A LITTLE”

 

As I say my initial thought was “Gawwdd no”, this is not for me.

Then something transforming happened, there was a moment where a life worth of “Gawd no’s” flashed through my mind, carried along in a tide of disappointment and regret.

“Yes!” I replied  “would love to have a go”.

 

This show came about partly in response to the observations of the likes of Margaret E Ward that women are under represented on radio in Ireland, and partly because Paddy likes the idea of being surrounded by many beautiful women on a sunday night… Well Ok! So he didn’t say that , but surely, who wouldn’t?

 

Anyhow, three weeks in and I can actually say I am enjoying it. Enjoying meeting some new people- Niamh and Christine (so far). Enjoying exercising the ol’ grey matter and most of all so happy that I chose to say “YES”.

 

Open House is presented by Paddy Giley at 9-12pm Sunday nights on Cork Community Radio 100.5fm.

Tune in, take part, say YES.

www.corkfm.wordpress.com

 

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The Baby Grand Studio at Belfast’s Grand Opera House is now showing the new Pointe Blank collection, inspired by Birmingham Royal Ballets performances of Giselle.

This is a collection of genuinely great work.

A show like this is a great chance to admire the individuality of the artists involved.

Last night the collection was launched in Belfast in the company of contributing artists and an invited audience. It’s now open for viewing by the public.

All the artists involved are members of the Illustrators Guild of Ireland.

The show will also visit Dublin.

It will open Wednesday July 3rd at The Circle Club, Bord Gais Energy Theatre.

My own piece is based on Albrecht the nobleman who disguises himself as a peasant and assumes the name Loys to win Giselle’s heart. The story turns upon the discovery of his sword and hunting horn. These could only belong to a nobleman. His rival Hilarion takes delight in exposing this lie and so causes a split between Albrecht/Loys and Giselle. The story moves into the realm of the after-Iife where revenge and retribution are high on the agenda. Giselle must decide the fate of her one time love…..

Have a look at the Pointe Blank facebook page for more on the story- times for the Ballet and the Pointe Blank Show.

I am hoping to make it to Dublin to see the show in the flesh before it returns to Birmingham. For anyone in the Belfast/ Dublin area, be sure and pay a visit.

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The Carlow Arts festival is finishing up this Sunday 16th June. For anyone within walking or driving distance of Carlow town it’s well worth a visit.

In my last post I posted one of three images I created for the EXTINCTON exhibition. Given the interest in it I’ve decided to post up all three.

These pieces refer to verses 2, 3 and 4 .

Here is a link to the text…

http://www.poemhunter.com/best-poems/roger-mcgough/let-me-die-a-youngman-s-death/

Of course the exhibit itself is well worth a visit in person and will be running until September 8th (so no excuse!)

Running along side the EXTINCTION exhibit is Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland, curated by Stephen Brandes, and Improvisations on the Theme of an Irish Wall, curated by Terry Martin.

Beasts  of England, Beasts of Ireland, features work from Ben Long,  Polly Morgan,Stephen McKenna to mention but a few.

Improvisations on the Theme of an Irish Wall, brings 20 artists together from around the globe to make a wall of wood based on an irish dry stone wall. This is a wonderful example of what happens when many people work together. Its witty, visually and conceptually. Not to mention a tactile delight..

I love wood I do!

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“Extinction” is an exhibition curated by Derry Dillon for Visual Centre For Contemporary Art, Carlow. I had the honour to be invited to participate along with 6 other leading irish illustrators in creating work for this show. 

It opened Friday last, 7th June and runs until 8th September.

Each of the 7 illustrators have approached the subject of extinction from a their own unique perspective.

My own piece is based on the poem by Roger McGough, “Let me die a youngmans death”

This poem explains one mans wish to go out with a bang, living the high life and doing as he pleases, burning the candle at both ends as it were and happily paying the price.

It’s kind of dark but it has always made me laugh- probably says more about me than I care to know, but there you go.

The image above is one of a series of 3, this depicts the fourth verse.

Here is a link to the text 

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/let-me-die-a-youngman-s-death/

The full list of illustrators goes like this

Olivia Golden, Stephen Maurice Graham, Niamh Sharkey, Steve Simpson, Phil Mc Darby and The Project Twins.

Saturday saw a myself, Phil and The Project Twins giving a panel talk.

Our very kind audience even threw up a few questions. 

Verbalising what you do and why in that way is a really useful exercise- I wouldn’t mind doing it another time!