Nipper 1.0 is going through a phase of asking me “Tell me a story of when you were little.” and I have to rack my brains for stories. I wonder sometimes do I have a particularly bad memory because so much racking is involved.
So I was telling him about some of my adventures in Canada when I was 11, visiting my cousins and aunt and uncle. I remember how amazed we were in Ireland by some of the things the cousins sent home and that our grandparents brought home from their visit prior to mine. Grape flavoured KoolAid, portable ashtrays (for Granny), pop-up cups and Granny brought home an A5 photo album entitled “My Brag Book” and there was much “joking” about which grandchild should feature on the cover. Of course, first someone had to explain to us what brag meant but we understood the implication of being on the cover pretty soon after that. Granny being a level-headed lady, I am sure a group photo or no photo eventually featured.
I was reminded of this because of Nipper 1.0’s requests and also because of the plethora of family events that are occurring or about to occur or by the time I have finally published this post, have occurred, that involve me bragging about my family’s brilliance. I hope you will bear with me and that the following information will be of some interest:
Up until last week you could have seen the work of my eldest brother Blaise in Saavi at MacDonagh Junction in Kilkenny as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival. It included many of the paintings from his recent Weapons exhibition but also new work entitled Trees. I know my parents are now doing some brain racking of their own trying to work out where to hang the tree they purchased. But do not fear if you missed the exhibition: you can view many of the paintings, read catalogue notes and even get in touch to commission your very own painting by looking at his spanking new site www.blaisesmith.com
Next up is my only sister Abigail. I am very proud that her first album will be launched on Friday 28th August in the lovely surroundings of the Cobalt Cafe on Dublin’s North Great Georges St. You can hear some of her songs at her MySpace. Further details about the launch to follow but if you want to hear a “girl tipped to be on top” and get a copy of her album before anyone else stick the date in your diary and keep a close eye on this blog.
Abigail has created a Facebook event for this gig so log into your Facebook and let us know that you are coming along.
Second lastly, not quite a family member, but an honorary family member, John O’Reilly, my brother out-law is holding his first solo exhibition. You might also know him by his graffiti tag, Jor. The show runs from September 11th to October 3rd at the Talbot Gallery, 51 Talbot Street, Dublin 1 (above Graingers Pub). John experience no small amount of success recently when a painting of his was not only chosen for the RHA annual exhibition but it sold as well. (Actually while looking for that last link I noticed that Blaise’s painting Sheds is featured on the RHA site and it is gorgeous. Also sold!) I was over visiting John and Abigail last week in their beautiful home and many of John’s paintings for the exhibition are to be seen in the house so I got a bit of a sneak preview. If you like what you see on the right here I would highly recommend that you pop into the exhibition. The paintings are fabulous.
And lastly but definitely not leastly, my cousin, Rosemary MacCabe, gained a certain amount of Twitter Celebrity (Twitebrity?) for her recent article in the Irish Times Magazine. You probably know her better as my co-host on The Rosie View.