One of the First Galleries I ever attended outside the major Galleries in Dublin, back when I was in Stillogan College in 2001, was the Bridge Gallery on Dublin’s Ormonde Quay. It was a nice little venue, which housed work of living artists in a variety of fields; Ceramics, Painting, Textiles, Print etc… the list went on and on.
You may be wondering why I am talking about this Gallery. What is its significance? Firstly, it was a venue that gave me great inspiration, and is (well partly) what helped me get past my interview in NCAD. I loved the artwork in there and it made me go to see other, smaller galleries in the City.
Today, along with my friend Michael, I went for lunch in the Ormond wine bar, which, incidentally was previously the Bridge Gallery. It is now a restaurant, and it does have some very lovely food, and some so-so art on the walls, but, like this ever changing City, its function had changed. While it still is a venue for appreciation and entertainment, it has fundementally changed.
While part of me is sad from the demise of this lovely gallery, part of me likes that it has. Things are merely things, they come and go. That is how life is. 100 years ago, O’Connell Street was Sackville Street, Parnell Square was Rutland Square. The Casino in Marino was nearly derelict. Some things survive, and some things don’t, and thats ok. Anyway, while Michael and I were sat eating, the restauranteur had people in assessing the place for renovation and redecoration. It was interesting listening to them.
After I came home I had a bit of a think. I went for a walk, in the area; Marino is strangely nice at twilight. I decided I would go back and look at my notebooks from my days in Stillorgan and NCAD, just to see what I was doing nearly 10 years ago, and maybe, could the inspiration from my past like the Bridge Gallery re-inspire me as I look at how we interact with the City, I want to remember how I have interacted these ten years. I came across all my old City Hall drawings. It was somewhat weird to see them, and the photographs of my monoprints, however, at 11pm I got my ink and my roller out and started experimenting with monoprint again.
It is amazing how the past can help us to move forward. Take time to think about where you have been, because it is easy to forget, and easy not to notice one of your favourite gallery spaces turn into a wine bar as if overnight…