“When I die Dublin will be written in my heart”, a line which captures Dublin’s affinity with creativity and written by one of the city’s much celebrated cultural greats, James Joyce. Dublin cannot be fully explained without the use of an artist’s brush or a writer’s pen. Some of the world’s greatest writers, musicians, playwrights, and artists have called this unique city their home and it’s streets and their many characters have been their muses, immortalised in some of the most famous pieces of literature known to the world.
Packed full of imagination, walking around Dublin you will find that our city has become a canvas for its citizens. Creativity is etched upon the city from the street art scribed upon its walls, to performers using its streets as their stage. Exploring Dublin provides you an opportunity to find countless hidden cultural gems with numerous smaller galleries, theatres and other creative spaces dotted throughout. We are also home to many of the national cultural institutions, these include the National Gallery, the Abbey Theatre, the Dublin’s writers museum, Chester Beatty library, Trinity College and the National Concert Hall. Dubliners deep connection to the arts is reflective in our designation as an Unesco City of Literature, one of only four cities in the world to claim such a title.
The National College of Art & Design located on Dublin’s Thomas Street has produced many of the most important Irish artists and designers and it has long been central to art and design education in Ireland. Although the creativity that makes Dublin such a special city can be found throughout, the Temple Bar Cultural Quarter and Dublin’s Creative Quarter have in recent years become hubs within Dublin in relation to culture and creativity, filled with many galleries, creative spaces, restaurants, bars and independent shops and businesses.
Woven into the fabric of Dublin, creativity and culture provide two important ingredients that make Dublin the vibrant bustling city it is.
In a picture painted in 1916, Joanne Drum points out a dead body on O’Connell Bridge. In another picture, she spots a group of onlookers gathered high up on the parapet of a building. And in another she notices what’s written on the destination plate of a tram (Terenure) on College Green in 1901. Joanne is Education Officer at the National Gallery on Merrion Square. Joanne Drum: If you look at a picture with somebody standing beside you saying “have you noticed that tiny detail up in the corner?’, sometimes that can really bring it to life and make the whole experience more meaningful. More rich. Dublin.ie: This is the National Gallery of Ireland. But plenty of your pictures have Dublin as their subject, don’t they? Joanne Drum: Look at the work of Jack B Yeats – not only was he working in Dublin but he was painting and drawing and sketching what he saw around him all the time so he was kind of documenting the history of this city. And he was there at such an important time in history. This is a man who not only lived through two world wars but also all the conflict and change that was happening in Ireland at the time as well.
Dubliners know where to find Armageddon, The Whore of Babylon and The Seven Headed Beast. They’re in the Book of Revelations. But where would you find the actual book?
Well it so happens that most probably the earliest copy in existence (it’s called Papyrus 47) is right here in Dublin, at the Chester Beatty Library.
It’s just one of the myriad treasures of this museum (it’s way more than just a library, folks). There are Egyptian Books of the Dead, Japanese picture scrolls, Art Deco French book bindings: the range and depth of the collection is extraordinary. Chester Beatty himself – the man who made this collection – was a
Art College is a waste of time, right?
Not so: The National College of Art & Design is really punching above its weight and is intent on disproving the lazy stereotypes about art students. Its annual showcase has become an art and design highlight in the city, featuring painting, product design, sculpture, fashion and more. Meanwhile, its fashion students have been awarded top prizes both here and abroad and the college is climbing the QS world college rankings. Luncheonette, their basement café, happens to be one of the best lunch spots in the city, and it’s open to the general public. And the students bring