One of the features that make Dublin one of the most interesting cities in Europe is its cultural vitality. If you are a culture buff, or even if you’re just a curious person, this city has an incredible lot to offer. You can enjoy some of the beautiful works of art humanity has realised or you can learn the science behind that weird dubstep and create some music yourself: there is something for every taste. The best bit? Public museums are all free!
During one of our Friday excursions, me and some Alpha students visited two of these exhibitions: the Gallery of Photography and the HP40 exhibition, a showing of the magazine Hot Press Covers. Both the galleries are located in the Meeting House Square in the centre of the Temple bar area, Dublin’s cultural quarter.
The Gallery of Photography
The Gallery of Photography was established in the late 1970s and it is the national tentre for contemporary photography in Ireland. It does not hold a permanent collection, but proposes a different exhibition every couple of weeks. We came upon the exhibition of Liminal Acts | DIT BA Photography Graduate Exhibition 2017, in which are exposed some of the best works of the creative talents who have recently graduated from the DIT BA Photography programme.
If you are a photography aficionado, this place has lot more to offer than exhibitions. Here you can take different photography workshop and classes, rent the darkroom or just get lost in their incredibly well-stocked bookstore, where you can find some of the best photographic catalogues and books around.
Hot Press Cover exhibition
After we had a glimpse into what the future of photographic art has to offer, we moved on to the HP40 exhibition, organised to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the magazine Hot Press. Hot press is a key part in Irish culture. It is a fortnightly music and politics magazine based in Dublin founded in 1977, and I like to think of it as the Irish Rolling Stone magazine. The covers of this magazine are therefore a national institute of some sort.
In this exhibition, are displayed all of the Hot Press covers, from its foundation until today. It is an incredible journey through history and music. These covers captured some of the most historical moments of international music, including despair, such as the death of important artists as Kurt Cobain and Leonard Cohen. It was also incredibly interesting to see in retrospective things like what type of music Irish people listened to in 1997 or what the U2 looked like when they published their first album. In other words, this exhibition will provide you with a different and original insight into Irish culture and Irish life.
If you are in Dublin, these showings are definitely a must.