Spring Awakening is basically a day of open culture in Dublin 1. It happened on the 16th of April and I'm glad I had the opportunity to step inside some of Dublin's best kept secrets, celebrating this city's heritage and sense of culture. There were so many activities to experience: tango lessons (which I didn't attend because there was no free Argentinean food included), workshops, gigs, guided tours, Georgian architecture porn, all things James Joyce... Obviously, I couldn't have done everything (or maybe I could if I woke up earlier...) but I did the best to enjoy what this postcode has to offer.
The first place I went to was The Hugh Lane Gallery. A free guided tour took me to a temporary litography exhibition, made me marvel at a plethora of Impressionist wonders, introduced me to a few modern art iconic pieces on display... What struck me the most, however, was Francis Bacon's Studio. So messy and inspiring! I love Bacon's work - his emotionally charged, raw, disturbingly bold paintings always made me wonder what's the story behind them. Maybe it's just instinct. Or intimacy. Either way, I can relate to such imagery. Next stop: Belvedere House.
Belvedere House didn't let me down. In fact, I was astonished at this magnificent Georgian masterpiece where James Joyce himself studied between 1893 and 1898. I'm a sucker for beautiful interiors and I've always wanted to visit this impressive house and its jaw-dropping interiors but usually it's closed to the public. As you can imagine, I couldn't possibly miss this open day to view a house that I would certainly (try to) buy if I won the Euromillions. Great Denmark Street, you harbour a fucking treasure!
I walked down North Great George's Street to see what was going on at the James Joyce Centre. Again, I was not disappointed with this cultural institution. Plus, free entrance! James Joyce devotee or not, you will find yourself curious and intrigued about the man who wrote a book you didn't even read. I am particularly interested in his love story with Nora Barnacle - their letters would make priests and pornographers blush! In case you're not a Literature enthusiast at all, Joyce's death mask is still pretty worth a visit anyway.
Before going home, I knocked on Hillsboro Fine Art Gallery's door. That was right after I popped in Dublin Writers Museum for Neil O'Shea's performance at 6pm. Founded in 1995, Hillsboro Fine Art is a contemporary gallery widely recognised. There were free hardback Hillsboro publications for all attendees and a lot of artwork to stare at. Irish artist Gwen O'Dowd was there to welcome whoever wanted to take a look at her paintings. Next stop: feckin' Aldi so we're done here.