Wednesday 12 December 2018

My cultural life: Hugo Jellett

Hugo Jellett
Hugo Jellett
Young Offenders
Withnail and I

Hugo Jellett is chief executive at Jack & Jill Children's Foundation, and has previously worked in the arts, including The Lilliput Press, Gaiety theatre, Irish Film Institute and Irish Museum of Modern Art. He is bringing his passion for the arts to Incognito, a public arts project supported by William Fry and featuring over 1,600 works from more than 1,000 artists, which will be exhibited in the Solomon Gallery from this Wednesday. Each piece will be sold for €50 to the first buyer on Friday. All works are anonymous, so you do not know if you have purchased work by Tracey Emin or Richard Gorman, or the scribble of a talented 12-year-old... until you have bought it. Every euro raised goes to The Jack and Jill Children's Foundation. You can view all the work at www.incognito.ie.

TV: The Young Offenders

Young Offenders

Current favourites are Derry Girls and The Young Offenders (above) - bad boys and bad girls both make me clutch my sides laughing. The idea of poking fun at the foolish rulebook that is adulthood is a right-of-passage for kids - rebellion at school, at the law, at society, at parents... I have two young children about to enter their teen years and I am girding myself to try see the humour ahead, instead of going bald. I am not sure how successful I will be, but at least they'll find it funny.

Podcast: The High Low

I love Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes's The High Low, because the art of conversation is about the pendulum from toenail clippings to Putin's revisionism. They do both, and they show academics and politicians, and even Piers Morgan, how to enjoy unravelling the confusions that present themselves to us every day.

Film: Withnail & I

Withnail and I

My favourite films are all about dialogue, and generally about those struggling on the fringes of society - Withnail & I (above) (Bruce Robinson), Fargo (Coen Brothers), Adam and Paul (Mark O'Halloran), though I love the reckless abandon of the gypsy grifters in Black Cat, White Cat the most. Farce is so often a bedfellow of tragedy.

Designer: Sasha Sykes


The screens of Carlow designer Sasha Sykes - clear resin tableaux of mosses, lichens, seaweeds, rose petals or even snooker chalks (example above) - are simply so original, as is her way of seeing everything. When I worked in IMMA, she came to see Eileen Gray's architectural cabinet from the 1920s, and she sat in front of it for four or five hours, happy as a lamb...

Book: Winter Pages

I've worked in Lilliput Press in Dublin, Random House in London and Harper Collins in New York: I'm a book person. I co-founded the Borris Festival of Writing & Ideas, which is seven years old now and keeps me reading in my spare time. The emergence of Winter Pages (assembled by Olivia Smith and Kevin Barry) captures something of the golden age of literature in Ireland we are in right now.


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