The 5th ANNUAL HAPPY DAYS INTERNATIONAL BECKETT FESTIVAL takes place in Fermanagh 21ST JULY-1ST AUGUST…www.happy-days-enniskillen.com Check out events
Adrian Dunbar has enjoyed a highly successful career both on stage and screen. Last September he returned to the stage in Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive.
During the Happy Days Festival in Enniskillen 2015, I met up with the Fermanagh actor and festival associate to find out his views on Beckett, Irish Writers and life in the arts. The multi-talented actor and director has been an associate of the Beckett Festival since its inaugural year.
FOR Interview IN FULL refer to F.L.BRUNELL: LET’S DO ART AND CULTURE MENU PAGE (Q and A)
Brunell’s work is centred around a unique concept of painting dates in time, with days, months, and years, being transformed into a visual manifestation.
The James Joyce Bio-cycle -biographical lifecycle, denotes, from the inner circle outwards, the years of James Joyce’s birth and death respectively 1882-1941. The style of the painting, particularly the intensity of colour, captures the spirit of Joyce, his life and legacy.
James Joyce described Ulysses as a ‘compass in a day’ in a 1919 letter, life cyclical. The clock goes round, the months of the year go round, life goes around.
Hello Bloomsday, hello James Joyce Tower – and not out of time. This place has been on my to do list for….10 years? Finally I visit the place to where Ulysses began. Until now been only an image in my mind. But what is the significance of the James Joyce Tower for me…and for Joyce himself?
FOR STORY IN FULL REFER TO F.L.BRUNELL: LET’S DO ART AND CULTURE MENU PAGE (Literary Festivals in Ireland)
JAMES JOYCE V W.B. YEATS?! MAY THE BETTER WRITER WIN!
Recently at the James Joyce Centre Dublin I discovered this humorous t-shirt with an image of Joyce and Yeats fighting it out in the boxing ring. Both writers are championed amongst the greatest of Irish writers so it was witty to think of them vying for victory over the other. It was only after I saw this T-shirt (Fruit of the Loom, illustrator unknown) at the James Joyce Centre Dublin that I heard of the recent passing of the worlds most celebrated boxer Muhammad Ali. Not until then had I conceived any relationship between Joyce, Yeats and Ali, and yet there exists a powerful connection by way of;determination and leaving a legacy of infamous quotes.
FOR STORY IN FULL REFER TO F.L.BRUNELL: LET’S DO ART AND CULTURE MENU PAGE (My Writings About Writers)
Combining the colour of my finger tips with books tips….
WHAT ON EARTH INSPIRED BOOK TIP TUESDAY? IT WAS POET MICHAEL LONGLEY!
The celebrated writer Michael Longley was hosting a talk, after which he offered to sign books. In the process of signing my copy the observant author remarked on how the colour of my nail varnish matched the cover of his poetry book. It was by sheer coincidence that the colours co ordinated. As an artist colour is undoubtedly important to me. This triggered the idea of combining the colour of my finger tips with books tips
Now marks the birth of Book Tip Tuesday (first Tuesday of every month.)
All suggestions welcome!
Book Tips for each Month REFER TO F.L.BRUNELL: LET’S DO ART AND CULTURE MENU PAGE (Book Tip Tuesday)
Now that my art collection of Irish Writers is in progress, I have been contemplating the origins fuelling my personal desire to connect with literary figures and create paintings which reflect their life and work. What has influenced my preoccupation?
Undoubtedly, an interest in literature is rooted in sources from my formative years. Whilst school provides a basis for our literary education, I must also acknowledge external influences; drama classes, plays and holidays, which have cumulatively generated a profound and lasting effect. My mother studied chemistry but I am forever indebted to her expansive knowledge and interest in literature and culture. She provided me with an opportunity to explore these arts via enrolement in extracurricular classes. We also attended a range of plays. I became her buddy on these outings. When it came to holidays, at a young age I enjoyed splashing in pools and playing in parks. However, I also found myself taken to visit many alternative attractions with my mother. When in Galway aged ten I visited the house of Norah Barnacle, James Joyce’s wife and muse. The name Norah Barnacle intrigued me and actually led to a curiosity with James Joyce. This is ultimately all thanks to my mother.
However, it was only when I fast forward to university that this founding interest in Irish Writers becomes truly cemented. History of Art lectures based on Louis le Brocquy’s portraits of Irish Writers particularly soldered the connection between art and literature. An enduring literary flame was then ignited with the purchase of Ulysses on the centenary of Bloomsday 16th June 2004. Reading the book 100 years on from the actual event augmented it’s lasting legacy. This moment reverberated in my mind and Joyce was the first writer with whom I truly connected.
Representing the embodiment of James Joyce became my initial artistic pursuit. Following this I attended an epiphany meal in The James Joyce House and was invited to exhibit my artwork which, I was informed, did not exclusively have to be based on Joyce. With this in mind I began to explore the rich inheritance of Ireland’s literary legacy. Often, I reflect on how befitting it proved that the subject matter for my collection should come to light at an ‘Epiphany’ meal.
To read about personal connections to each of the Irish Writers refer to F.L.BRUNELL: LET’S DO ART AND CULTURE MENU PAGE (Moi et…Writers)