Wednesday 14 November 2018

My cultural life: Rebecca O'Mara

Rebecca O'Mara. Picture: Faye Thomas
Rebecca O'Mara. Picture: Faye Thomas
Eileen Gray S bend chair
Mulholland Drive
Ciaran Hope

Rebecca O'Mara was born in Dublin and grew up in Sandycove. She read drama and theatre at Trinity and trained in acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Her recent theatre work includes Helen and I (Druid Theatre) and Desdemona in Othello (Abbey). She will soon appear as Frankie Hynes, scene of crime officer, in TV3's Red Rock. She is currently appearing as Amanda in the Gate theatre's acclaimed production of Private Lives. Rebecca loves walking by the sea with family and friends. She now lives in Booterstown with her partner, composer and soon-to-be Smurfit MBA graduate, Ciaran Hope.

Film: Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive

David Lynch's complex and mind bending Mulholland Drive (above), is one of my favourite cinematic experiences ever. I first saw it in the Ritzy cinema in Brixton when it came out in 2002; it gave me a wake up call and inspired me to live more truthfully and try to get back on track with my own creative desires. It recently showed at the IFI.

Artist: Patrick Swift

Patrick Swift (1927-1983) Fig Tree with Figure late 1970s, as illustrated in IMMA's 1993 catalogue, is my favourite artwork. In 1991, my art dealer father, Stephen, and I went to the Algarve in search of the Irish artist who was a contemporary of Lucian Freud in London in the 1950s, which resulted in bringing his work home as a retrospective exhibition at IMMA. His work has been a part of my family life ever since. I am fascinated by his entirely novel use of the spoken word as an adjunct to entering his world. It is new, yet what you might expect from an Irish artist, whose friends were largely poets and whose interests were literary... Joyce was his hero.

Design: 'S' bend chair

Eileen Gray S bend chair

The 'S' bend chair (but basically anything by Eileen Gray). She was Ireland's pioneer of 20th century design and architecture and she was self-taught. We talked about her during rehearsals for Private Lives at the Gate and our minimalist set (designed by Francis O'Connor) reflects her modernist influence. You can see some of her work in the National Museum of Ireland.

Book: Artist's Way

Julia Cameron's Artist's Way has had a profound impact on my life. I discovered it when I was 25 and feeling unhappy and unfulfilled working as a film production manager. I longed for a more creative profession but didn't know what to do. I had wanted to be a film director but got sucked into production, and I'd also wanted to be an artist before I studied drama and theatre. I was very confused. The 12-week course helped unblock my creative self and I believe gave me the clarity to return to acting and train at LAMDA a couple of years later... I still practice her 'morning pages', 'artist's dates' and 'vision boards' when I feel the need.

Music: St Francis Prayer

Ciaran Hope

St Francis Prayer on the Letters soundtrack by my partner, composer Ciaran Hope (above). It's an exquisite piece of music I witnessed him write. The album is released by Sony, the track Mother Teresa has already been played over 800,000 times on Spotify and is being played a phenomenal 2,000 times a day! 01 874 4045

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