Leitrim artist Jackie McKenna has created some of Ireland's best-loved public art pieces, including Dublin's Meeting Place bronze sculpture, aka 'the Hags with the Bags'; the sculpture of a young man at WB Yeats's grave (stolen in 2018) and the bronze cow opposite Jervis Street shopping centre. She's team lead on Diarmuid and Grainne, a large-scale outdoor sand sculpture project taking place on Streedagh Beach, Sligo on Sunday, August 9 - presented by Blue Raincoat Theatre Company and Tread Softly Festival Sligo: www.blueraincoat.com; www.treadsoftly.ie
I just finished Colum McCann's novel Apeirogon, and it is a masterpiece. It tells the story of two fathers, one Palestinian, the other Israeli, who have both lost their daughters. The men become the best of friends. For those interested in the political situation in Israel and Palestine, this is a must-read.
Art: Janet Mullarney
Over the past 36 years I have had the privilege of knowing and working with many wonderful artists in Ireland and abroad. Janet Mullarney was one such artist. From her early beautifully crafted wood figures to her powerfully emotive and often playful works, her love of materials is self-evident. She had the ability to reflect the emotional, physical and artistic difficulties - alongside the joys - of her life at any given time. A truly remarkable Renaissance woman.
Theatre: At the Black Pig's Dyke
At the Black Pig's Dyke by Vincent Woods is one of my favourite Irish plays. It is set on the Leitrim-Fermanagh border and is a story of murder, mystery, fairytale and magic love. First performed by Druid Theatre in 1992, it is still an important commentary on the despair and loss suffered for generations in Ireland's north and border regions.
Design & Fashion
I love clothes, but have issues with the fashion industry and fashion consumption which is responsible for the making, use and disposal of millions of tonnes of textiles each year. Recycling, upcycling and repurposing of clothes is central to my wardrobe. In Manorhamilton each year, we organise a couple of clothes-swap parties, which allow me to economically re-tailor my image on a regular basis.
Film & TV: Even the Rain
Political thrillers and issues-based films and TV draw my attention and interest. During the lockdown I rewatched the entire series of Homeland. A film I have watched a number of times is Even the Rain, a political drama set in Bolivia, which deals with subjugation of the native people from colonial times to current economic globalisation and the privatisation of water. The screenplay is written by Paul Laverty, best known for his writing for Ken Loach, whose work is always on my radar. His films such as I, Daniel Blake are often a vital commentary on social justice issues that need to be highlighted in the creative arts.
Sunday Indo Living