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Thursday 19 April 2018

Kirsty at large: Artists and luvvies? What a load of rubbish...

Talking trash: Francisco de Pájaro with one of his Art is Trash sculptures
Talking trash: Francisco de Pájaro with one of his Art is Trash sculptures
Style: TV3's Laura Woods.
Former angel: Cameron Russell in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

How's this for a slap in the face? A refuse sack, an old TV set and a toilet roll managed to upstage all the renowned artistes at this year's Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF).

Yup, that's right - better than playwright Enda Walsh's latest offering or Bell X1's strumming or high-kicking cabaret acts.

Heaps of rubbish outflanked them all.

Francisco de Pájaro's Art is Trash exhibition, where bits of rubbish are transformed into garish tableaux, was my highlight.

I never knew bins could be so fanciful.

Having spent the day running around the city, I made my way to the official festival club in St Joseph's College Rowing Club for a well-deserved drink and to hear actors and playwrights chat about their next projects.

A lot of performers will next appear in the Tiger Fringe Festival, which sounds like it's going to be brilliant and brash in equal measures. 2013 RuPaul Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon, wrestle maniacs and BDSM enthusiasts are all on the bill.

"It's going to be gas," Kris Nelson, director of the festival, said. "We have a tonne of comedians like Dee O'Kane and Jason Byrne. And boxing matches, and bawdy sing songs. Oh, and Panti Bliss will be there too." Natch.

Republic of Telly star Joanne McNally will also be appearing in the festival with her show Bite Me. Joanne penned the piece after she "lost her mind and found it pinned to a lost-property board floating in space".

Ladies sporting fly-away fascinators flock to RDS

Style: TV3's Laura Woods.

With their betting slips tucked into their handbags, Sally Hansen liberally applied, and satellite dish hats - otherwise known as fascinators - standing proud, the Best Dressed Lady crew flocked to the RDS for the Dublin Horse Show.

"I'll get some coleslaw chips to settle my stomach," one lady said. "Once I've got the walk on stage done."

TV3's Laura Woods, above,  Ruth O'Neill and stylist Holly White darted about cooing over frocks while Ivan Yates was spotted in the stands.

"It's the best way to escape the kids," Cathy Dillon from Athenry said as she adjusted her flyaway headpiece called 'Love is Like a Butterfly'. "You don't get to wear a hat like this when you're out on the farm."

Bobby Kerr talked about his upcoming UTV Ireland series which will see him sail around the coast. The businessman admitted he was feeling a tad outside his comfort zone.

"I couldn't tell you the back end of a horse from the front," he said. "So having all the ladies in their wonderful dresses has made things easier. I don't have to think about either end of a horse at all."

Keeping abreast of photoshop apps

Former angel: Cameron Russell in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes

Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline. Or maybe it's just a 99c photoshop app.

Flicking through pictures on Facebook, I've noticed friends were suddenly getting leaner, more chiselled and - stranger still - taller.

Skin so smooth it looked like satin, and teeth as white as an Armitage Shanks bidet. It seems while we HATE fashion magazines airbrushing celebrities, we are not so averse to giving our own pictures a bit of a jush via photoshop apps.

"I want some of that magic," I thought, so I quickly downloaded a beauty wünder app, and began prodding my body into perfection.

With help from the 'beautify' buttons, I made my torso shorter, my legs longer, and my head bigger - it seemed fitting.

But, most importantly, I gave myself a pair of huge, massive boobs.

Breasts so big even Katie Price would say "girl, you need to rein that in". Don't get me wrong, I like my boobs - they get the job done. It's just that they're the sort of breasts you only notice when I'm not wearing any clothes. And pointing at them. And saying, "No, really. This. Is. It."

Delighted with my photoshopping skills, I fired the picture off to my friends. Reactions varied wildly from "I need that app in my life!!" and "*shocked emoji face*" to "I'm offended on behalf of photoshop" and "Sorry - who is this?"

At first, I loved my new-found fakery, but like one of those mid-90s Magic Eye posters - the more I looked at the picture, the more bizarre it became. I began to question it. Was this in anyway anatomically credible? Had I turned myself into Barbie?

Photo-perfect finishes were hot topics of conversation when the "world's most self-aware model", Cameron Russell, above, popped along to GIAF. Russell is a former Victoria's Secret angel and has discussed how images in magazines are nothing more than "constructions" carefully pieced together by a wily team of photographers, graphic artists and stylists.

A version of beauty not even models can attain. Hhhmmmpfh - is there anything worse then clever, beautiful people talking sense?

I get the point; faking your own pictures is just fooling yourself.

But I'm not deleting my super-duper app just yet - it's far too much fun and I'm not ready to say goodbye to my CGI cleavage just yet.


Mean girl cat fights

Á la Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian. So petty but so wonderfully entertaining.

Between the lines

The Festival of Curiosity’s floor-to-ceiling ‘Adult Colouring Room’ in the Temple Bar Gallery is a must-see this weekend.



Poor Melania Trump really came under fire for stealing Michelle Obama’s 2008 address to the Democratic National Convention. Still things could have been worse — imagine if she’d lifted tranches of George W Bush’s speeches.

Sweat dreams

Sleeping plus humidity do not a happy marriage make.

Say what?

‘Even ISIS wouldn’t have done this’

Sinn Féin’s Pa Daly remarks in relation to Kerry County Council’s dig of the historical Sunday’s Well in Tralee.

Nothing like a sense of perspective, is there?

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