This week, we’ve been talking to Rachael Thomas, Senior Curator: Head of Exhibitions at IMMA.
Rachael is responsible for the development of temporary exhibitions at IMMA. She works closely with artists to shape their visions and install their works in the museum. She’s a Leonardo Fellow at Trinity College Dublin and as part of her role at IMMA she has curated various exhibitions by some amazing Irish and international artists. She is also a published writer and has been awarded the Millenium Fellowship.
We wanted to know what would make up her perfect day in Dublin, what are her favourite bits and what would she recommend. Here’s what she told us!
For me, Dublin really has it all. It is my favourite city and my home. From style and music to food and culture, Dublin is a totally unique city with lots of restaurants and bespoke shops by creative entrepreneurs.
My perfect weekend in Dublin would start in my favourite spot, The Cake Café, http://www.thecakecafe.ie/ for an afternoon tea and a lovely cake by the inventive Michelle Darmody. I would recommend heading next to the Secret Book Shop https://www.yelp.ie/biz/secret-book-and-record-store-dublin for some great second-hand finds, I have bought some amazing 80’s rare art books and 18th Century Irish history books on my visits here! For vintage and antique shopping, my favourite spots are Jenny Vander https://www.yelp.ie/biz/jenny-vander-dublin?sort_by=date_desc on Drury Street and anywhere on Francis Street for 70c chic. There are also some stunning boutiques around the city such as Maven, run by Sharon Beatty. I must confess that I buy most of my jewellery from the wonderful designers available in the IMMA shop, such as Wolf and Moon http://wolf-and-moon.com/ . For sightseeing, I can’t pass-up the gorgeous Trinity College https://www.tcd.ie/ campus for amazing architecture and of course, The Book of Kells in their library. The Phoenix Park http://www.phoenixpark.ie/ is perfect for a walk and a rare place right in the city centre where you can see wild deer! Dublin’s music scene is going from strength to strength, for classical music I would recommend the brilliant National Concert Hall https://www.nch.ie/Online/ . There are also many casual live music venues not far from The Dean so you can catch the sun-setting over Dublin with drinks and friends in Sophie’s.
We also asked Rachael about her favourite artists and exhibitions
As I am from an art history background, my favourite artists span many different eras with lots of living Irish artists that I also admire. There is a wide variety of fantastic galleries in Dublin, in these you can purchase Irish contemporary work from the likes of Kerlin Gallery http://www.kerlingallery.com/ , Mother’s Tankstation, Kevin Kavanagh, Monster Trunk Gallery and Studios http://www.monstertruck.ie/ , and Ellis King Gallery, to name just a few, as well as our own IMMA Art Editions which are an affordable way to buy work from IMMA exhibiting artists. As for upcoming exhibitions, the one I am looking forward to the most is the IMMA Collection Freud Project. This Lucian Freud exhibition will open on 21 October 2016 and I’m really looking forward to seeing so many works of his up close and personal.
What are you working on next?
The next exhibition I’m working on is with Emily Jacir called Europa, opening on 21 October 2016. http://www.imma.ie/en/page_237086.htm This is the first exhibition of a Palestinian artist’s work in Ireland. Europa brings together almost two decades of sculpture, film, drawings, large-scale installations and photography with a focus on Jacir’s work in Europe. It has been great working with Emily and developing new works especially for IMMA; here we can work with an artist to respond to the historical site of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and look at it through a contemporary lens.
A big thanks to Rachael for joining us for the chats!
The Dean Dublin are so proud to be a major partner with IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) for 2016.
This partnership means we can also offer our guests the unique opportunity to engage with IMMA’s creative and experimental programmes. Just ask our lovely reception team for further details on passes and current exhibitions when checking-in and they will be able to fill you in. IMMA is set in beautiful 17th century gardens. Take a wander through the grounds before checking out some of the 3,500 artworks housed within the museum. To keep up to date with the latest news and exhibitions at IMMA http://www.imma.ie/ find out more from their Facebook and Twitter.