Wednesday 23 January 2019

Artist Tom Byrne celebrates Joyce's 'Sirens' in honour of Bloomsday

Artist Tom Byrne is marking next Saturday's Bloomsday celebrations with an exhibition at Duke Street Gallery in Dublin's city centre.

Based on The Sirens in Ulysses, the works will reinterpret some of the more risque themes that crop up in that chapter, such as prostitution and sex.

Dubliner Byrne, one of the biggest stars of Irish art during the Celtic Tiger years, is renowned for his depictions of Irish literary giants.

"It's such a psychoanalytic and surreal book," Byrne says of Joyce's masterwork. "I also love the seediness of it and the truth of it. A lot of the book is based around sex or contemplating sex and death. Joyce would have mingled with Sigmund Freud at the time in Zurich and Paris, and was aware of psychoanalysis.

"I also wanted to paint the female form again as I hadn't for a long time. In these times, it's an appropriate image to celebrate."

The exhibition - entitled The Sirens - will run from Saturday as part of the gallery's annual Moments of Joyce festival. Cllr Mannix Flynn will launch the collection at Duke Street Gallery at 3pm. All are welcome. For details, see

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