Bairbre Power... Out & about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
There's been lots of talk lately about how you can judge the sparkiness of an economy by the numbers going out for Sunday lunch. For me, the real indicator lies in the world of art - and the boats there have certainly lifted. Last Thursday night was a perfect example of that confidence: there was quite a circuit of people popping into various galleries for opening nights.
I saw it first-hand at The Doorway Gallery on Dublin's South Frederick Street, where I was invited by colourist and contemporary painter Lucy Doyle for the opening of her Feast exhibition. The Co Wicklow-based mother-of-two has been painting and exhibiting her work for years. Pat Kenny opened her first exhibition back in 2006 and, more than a decade after that debut, I was charmed to be asked to say a few words. It was a little bittersweet because I first encountered her work through our late columnist Paolo Tullio, who loved her gift for painting food.
When people 'get' an artist, they really will move mountains, or at least walls. One fan had her living-room wall knocked so she could hang her favourite Lucy Doyle to best advantage. Another phoned ahead to say she'd missed the train and made a herculean dash on the bus from Waterford, so a big cheer went up when she finally arrived. Guests included committed collector Marian Kenny (above, left) and fashion designer Helen McAlinden and I chatted to Deirdre Carroll (below, left) and Denise Donnelly from the gallery. Then, after an evening of red dots, Lucy's husband, Nick Gray, hosted a lovely dinner across the road at Dunne & Crescenzi. The exhibition runs until the end of May. Lucy will also be one of the leading artists exhibiting at House, the INM interior design show at the RDS, May 26-28.
Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell-O'Connor was on hand on Monday to congratulate Karen Whelan Fitzgerald from Aidan Fitzgerald Hair Salon in Blackrock, Co Dublin, after she was presented with the first Colour Expert Salon award in Ireland by Dawson Penn of the Good Salon Guide.
Georgina Campbell and Nicky Logue, the general manager of the InterContinental Dublin in Ballsbridge, posed for a quick snap at the presentation of Georgina's first ever Irish Breakfast Awards, in association with Fáilte Ireland. It wasn't all about the rashers and sausages either - there was lots of buzz about the Irish Bread Award, which was won by the King Sitric seafood restaurant in Howth for their incredible brown bread. The recipe, from proprietor-chef Aidan McManus, dates back to 1971 and, just like the old bastable oven over the open hearth, his brown bread is cooked in a cast-iron casserole with the lid on. Yummy!