Tuesday 22 May 2018

My cultural life: Kathryn McKiernan

Kathryn McKiernan
Kathryn McKiernan
John Lavery's Lady Hazel Lavery as Cathleen ni Houlihan
Cloud Gate
I, Daniel Blake

Kathryn McKiernan hails from Rathcoole, Co Dublin, and is a former presenter of The Den on RTE. An actress, musician and singer, she graduated from Griffith College Dublin, with an honours degree in journalism and visual media. She attended stage school from an early age, and plays the piano, guitar, tin-whistle, flute and violin. There are six in her family, including her mam and dad, Carmel and Oliver, and her three older brothers, Barry, Rory and Pearse. She plays Ugly Sister Mel in The Applegreen Christmas Panto, The Ugly Sisters & Yer Wan - The Story of Cinderella, at The Olympia Theatre until Sunday, January 8.

Design: Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate

I loved the Bean, or Cloud Gate (above) to use its proper name, when I visited Chicago a couple of years ago. It reflected the sun so beautifully and was different from every angle. I'm not sure the lights of Dublin would be considered 'design' but I have always been a huge fan of how well Dublin is lit by night. The city looks beautiful - the buildings, the bridges, the river, the streets. Then, of course, there are the Christmas lights. One of my favourite things to do around this time of year is to wrap up, grab a hot chocolate and wander around the city centre soaking up all of the Christmassy goodness and magical lights.

Film: I, Daniel Blake

I, Daniel Blake

I was recently very moved by I, Daniel Blake (above), directed by Ken Loach. Very upsetting but an essential story to tell about people being abused by the social welfare system. It was set in the UK but sadly the story is the same here. There's a scene in a food bank that I will never forget as long as I live. On a different note, The Sound of Music is an all time favourite of mine. I love it. Every bit of it. The music? Incredible. Julie Andrews? Flawless. Curtains for clothes? Inspired! I can still remember the first time I saw the film and that feeling of being swept along and hoping it would never end.

Artist: John Lavery

John Lavery's Lady Hazel Lavery as Cathleen ni Houlihan

I love going to the National Gallery in Dublin to see anything by John Lavery. His paintings have a fairytale feel to them which I love to escape into. I especially love the portraits of his wife, Hazel. That famous one, Lady Hazel Lavery as Cathleen ni Houlihan, (above) is so beautiful. Another favourite is Frederic William Burton's The Meeting on the Turret Stairs in the National Gallery. It is, for me, the quintessential example of a painting telling a thousand words.

Book: Harry Potter

My favourite books ever are still Harry Potter and I'm not ashamed to admit it! I'm currently reading a collection of Nora Ephron's essays. They are hilarious. Perfect stocking filler for any woman in your life.

TV: The Good Wife

A show that I have just finished (a long time after most of the world...) is The Good Wife and I loved it! It makes me very happy when there are strong women in any medium and the characters of Alicia, Diane and Kalinda were fantastically three-dimensional women (which can be rare on TV).

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