Archive for the ‘The Arts’ Category

Creativity – It’s always been you

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Creativity is there already in our brains. Waiting to be left out. The old saying that “giving something a name gives you power over it” holds true when trying to understand things in our own mind. Having a language, a vocabulary, a corpus to describe your ideas can make them a reality.

The language to describe the things in our heads that we want to create is a hidden language for a lot of people and it’s only through reading, learning or understanding that we can structure it for everyone else (and even ourselves) to interpret it too.

So when we read, view, see art and so on, that allows that fuzzball of creativity to find the language anchors or context to describe it with our own experiences if we want to produce art. As they say, that statue is already there in the marble, you just need the tools and skill to reveal it. The language to tell your brain what it is may very well be the idea of muscle memory and knowing how the marble can be molded.

Quantum Mechanics needed a new form of mathematics to be made before people could describe it. It was always there, what it was though was something that couldn’t be described with the language that already existed so it didn’t fit into the real world (in a way) until the language was figured out.

Programming has many languages. Programmers take ideas and put them into a language they know that gets a computer to do things and there we go, something is created. The efficient way to describe that process is what can make an app into an amazing app, the language that describes and defines the user interface might make it as easy to use as the iPad operating system. Software will eat the world and those knowing how to communicate efficiently in code will get fat.

You are creative, we all are creative but maybe for some of us it’s the lack of ways to describe what we want is the thing holding us back. Yeah we have the idea of the 10,000 hours but probably in those 10,000 hours are lots of figuring out how to describe to the world and ourselves, what we want to do.

Getting it out of your brain is that scene in Total Recall. The shit old one, not the shit new one.


I listened to the final Reith Lecture by Grayson Perry earlier and maybe it was ideas and imagery in that that made me take that idea that’s always been there and allowed me to put it into these words.

How do you get it out?
So how do you get it out? When you walk along the same part of the carpet at home, you just wear that down more. Stop rubbing the same part of your brain with the same subject matter. It’s the equivalent of using a set of Ann and Barry books to try and map out the history of the world. It’s going to come out at the same level as those books.

So be diverse. Want to succeed in business? Stop reading all your Richard Branson books. Stop waiting for his next one before you do something. In a way, experience the world. Read lots of different things, experience the language of those things and how their creator sees the world.

It can become much easier if we have a clear way of describing it. So it’s always been about you, you have the creativity, you just need to know the language to decode that fuzz.

Business ideas, Neuroplasticity, Music, more. All have their own languages, fluency in them or experience of them could give you an advantage. You have the ideas, find the language to describe them.

Cork from Glucksman

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

That Night Follows Day

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

That Night Follows Day was in the Everyman way back in November and I’m finally getting around to writing a piece about it.

That Night Follows Day - Everyman

It’s been around for years now but seems quite modern at the same time. A bunch of 16 kids, talking about how we adults see them, judge them, look after them, ignore them and so on. Spoken by kids, content is for adults. An hour’s play that’s just factual statement after statement:

You feed us. You wash us. You dress us. You sing to us. You watch us when we are sleeping. You explain to us the different causes of illness and the different causes of war. You whisper when you think we can’t hear.

Written by Tim Etchells. This play is actually intimidating for those in the audience. Being called out for bullshit, the way we treat young people, the way we interact with ourselves. Silences and stares making you uneasy in your seat. It’s excellent. Funny moments and serious and dark tinges.

The audience when we were there were mostly the parents of the kids and were laughing and clapping at many parts of the play. Kids saying fucking and motherfucking seemed to have gotten a shocked and hilarious reaction from the crowd. Naturally a whopping standing ovation at the end. And warranted.

A very talented bunch of kids. Some amazing performances from some in particular. Worth seeing when it comes back into your town.

Living and Loss at the Glucksman

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

I was in many minds about this exhibition. An art exhibition about illness and death is always going to get you thinking about these topics. That’s the idea surely. The Year of Magical Wanking has left me thinking for years after seeing it. Selfish introspection bit warning: When you’ve been diagnosed with MS in about a half a second you think about your illness, death, impending death, helplessness and knowing what you always suspected deep inside you: that you will not live forever. So let’s go down to the ballgame (or art exhibition) and reexamine all of this. *And we breathe in as we start walking around.* I gather that those that are ill and are post-illness are going along to this too and maybe it’s cathartic for some of them.

Living Loss Catalog

The Damien Hirst stuff to me is boring, I like his sliced up animals in formaldehyde and some of his other works but he’s far too commercial and mill school for my liking these days. There are some in-jokes for his posters of medicines, for those that work in pharmaceuticals or the medical profession.

The two most powerful pieces to me are the paintings of Cecily Brennan and the photography of Jo Spence.

Cecily Brennan’s paintings here of the skin of children: psoriasis on a baby’s hands and chest, eczema etc. pains you that such fragile beings are hurting from this. It certainly makes you feel powerless and protective. Other paintings of post-op skin grafts and stapling are still quite impactful.

Living Loss Glucksman - Cecily Brennan

Jo Spence’s photographic self-portraits of herself and her breasts and the changes pre and post-operation while she deals with breast cancer get to you. Her looking out, cold clinical, factual, something unseen trying to change her life. Giving something a name gives you power over it and Jo writes “Property of Jo Spence” on her breast. Her pieces in this exhibition bring you from the start all the way through to the end of this. I’ll be going back again just to see her photographs.

Property of Jo Spence at Glucksman

There are works too from Martin Cree, Laura Potter, Mary Rose O’Neill, Paul Seawright and Thomas Struth. Local Cork artists The Project Twins also have a few more modern pieces that have a bit of fun with the ideas of pills and medicine. Worth seeing too.

When you compare the topics and content of an art exhibition or any kind of content to your own life, you’re knitting them around your own thoughts about your life This exhibition and Jo Spence for certain will be remembered by me for much longer perhaps more than some watercolours of fields in some art museums.

On the topic of touchy feely stuff, I’ll be on a men-only panel (How this Week in Politics!) at Banter about men and their feelings. I’ll be talking about “coming out” with my MS and the positive and negative results of putting it all out there. Living and Loss runs until March 10th 2013.

Dorval – Julia Kent

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This was played on Liz Nolan’s show on Friday.

It felt quite familiar even when first hearing it. For me, like all good music, it creates it’s own world that makes you feel part of it or at least a witness from the peripheries. This track creates for me an evening out with those you love and as things wind down, as the intoxication of chemicals artificial or natural slow things down, the night dissolves around you until you just have each other.

Or something.


Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Print installation by Eva McCauley in Wandesford Gallery

Printed scrims so they’re semi-transparent, move with the breeze that flows through the gallery. Quite beautiful and well worth standing around and soaking up. Faces float in and out of your view and clouds/sky depending on the angles you take to look at them. Lovely creative piece.


Epiphany – Trailblaze at Cork Midsummer

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Trailblaze came to Cork for the Cork Midsummer Festival and it took place in the Triskel. A great line-up of speakers in a beautiful location.

Everyday Epiphanies and Altered States was the theme for their first time in Cork.
Speakers were Steve Collins, Dylan Tighe, Carmel Winters, Niamh Gunn, Sheena Matheiken, Brother Richard, Robbie Hamilton, Stevie G

Trailblaze Cork

I liked a good few talks and ones that shone through was one from Brother Richard for the UCC Chaplaincy and a talk from Carmel Winters really resonated. It was a story about her Aunt Eily who was in a convent til her 70s. A great short talk about seeking truth and truths and the idea two different ideas can be right and wrong at the same time. I would listen to her all day, great intellect and language skills.

There’s one more post about a Midsummer event and then I’m done about it for a while I’m sure. Overall I really liked the eclectic mix of events I got to see. A lot of imagination, youth and energy was experienced by me. I hope that the energy, I sucked in like a vampire will help me with things I do for work and pleasure in the next few months. Batteries certainly were recharged in the past 10 days because of these events. It’d be great to see more people at the events of course. Maybe there should be a big brother, big sister type programme to bring people that have never been before.

Court: In the Name of the People #corkmidsummer

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Court. Running for a few days in the Cork Midsummer festival was Court. The setting was the Court House in Cork City. A beautiful building I was never in before. A choir used the space, which being a place of large rooms and pillars can be interesting. The pitch for the event is thus:

For In The Name Of The People, we encounter the Cork Chamber Choir in the imposing entrance hall of the court house, who move through the space and sing an a capella rendition of a Renaissance liturgy as well as texts from judgements laid down in this building.

Cork Court House

The choir first sang down to us in the foyer area and then walked down.

Cork Court House Balcony

Part of their work was name-checking Irish cases and reading from judgments that occurred within the walls of this Court. The choir also walked around, in and around the crowd themselves. The sound was fantastic and I loved the concept. In a way it takes the energy from the ghost from lives that have been changed in this building and brought them out through accessible singing.

Nice to see the Court opened up too. All in all, I liked it. Might have been a tad too “comedic” at the start but the visceral Court experiences later on made it a strong enough piece. Delighted I legged it from Dublin and got to see it.

Poor iPhone sound:

Cork Chamber Choir in Cork Courthouse

Punt Nua – Creative Economics

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

I’ve been dragged into an art exhibit called Punt Nua – Creative Economics that’s happening next week in Dublin. The launch is on Tuesday if you want to head along.


It’s in Darc Space in North Great George’s Street. Facebook invite is here. My “art” of #mulleybucks will be there along with genuine pieces of art too.


Can I get tax relief now?

Who the fuck is Alice? The present and the future

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Saw Alice in Funderland last night in the Abbey. Ballsy move to host Alice in Funderland in the Abbey. In the Abbey! The Abbey!! Bad language gets uttered in it. In the Abbey!!! The Abbey is not a fragile little place that modern life could shatter if the word fuck is uttered on the stage. And it hasn’t, hurrah. But well done to the Abbey for breaking away from the usual stuff. Works like this should be in the Abbey.

I don’t have the language or education to appreciate arts and culture and particularly plays but I do often feel that even the “modern” plays in Ireland are just variations of what has gone before. We have a world of Beatles cover bands, yet we need hip hop. Alice in Funderland is the Wu Tang Clan. It’s real, it’s present and it is genuinely capturing life and culture in Ireland right now. Junkies, taxi drivers, homeless, politicians, TV3. Some issues are timeless. Some are not.


There are great songs, an amazing set and hilarious moments. I was crying with laughter at the taxi driver singing scene. It felt like Damien Dempsey was your taxi driver singing and uttering what we all have experienced from a Dublin taxi driver.

Dolores, the big bad is superb. The set rocks and the actors seem to have years of valuable experience behind them. Confident without being cocky.

Overall I think this is a piece of work to be proud of and worth bringing people to see. I’ll be going again.