As Head of Audiences and Development at?IMMA, Aoife Flynn?is a lover of all things cultural from art and design, to music, food, craft and digital.?Here, she shares her list of places to go and names to know for the month of October.
EAT I have had some extraordinary meals at The Strawberry Tree?in BrookLodge, Co Wicklow. As well as being Ireland’s first certified organic restaurant, their commitment to local producers, food provenance, foraged foods and slow styles of food preparation is second to none. This month they’re hosting a ZeroKM dinner which I love the idea of, where every single piece of food served on a given night comes from no further than one kilometre from the restaurant. In fact, most of the produce served they’ve reared, grown or harvested themselves, including thrashing their own wheat to make the flour for the bread, to making their own wine, grappa and vinegar. I think it’s a world first. This year it’s booked out sadly, but I’ll be hoping they do it again in 2018!
Chef Evan Doyle with his farmer neighbours Liam Fanning and Michael Stapleton, getting ready for the ZeroKm dinner at Brooklodge.
STAY Breac House?in Donegal has recently come on my radar and I’m dying to visit. It’s a small but beautifully formed home that looks like a real retreat space. I’m from Sligo so the North West is one of my favourite places to be, and I love the owners? approach. They’ve focussed on collaboration, sustainability and local skill; working with award-winning MacGabhann Architects in Donegal to design and build a modern home, sensitive to the landscape. They’ve filled the house with beautiful ceramics, furniture, textiles and art, all by Irish craftmakers. It looks like my dream home.
VISIT This month I’m heading to London for Frieze, which runs from October 5-8. It’s one of the largest commercial artfairs in the world, but even if you don’t go to Frieze it’s a great time to be in London as so many galleries take the opportunity to present their most powerful work.?On my wish list is a visit to Salzburg to see the exhibition of South African artist William Kentridge’s work at the Museum der Moderne. I love his work. I first encountered it in The Model in Sligo over a decade ago, and more recently in SF Moma. A multimedia artist, his work is incredibly playful and imaginative, almost dreamlike, but is rooted in the brutality of the political and cultural history of South Africa. ?His more theatrical work creates these immersive rooms of sound, objects and projected film animations that you can almost inhabit – it’s like stepping into an artwork – but he also creates these large scale drawings that have a much quieter strength.
BUY Canadian Artist?Rodney Graham, who we’re showing at IMMA in November,?has collaborated?with a Swiss designer called Akris to create a collection of stunning coats and bags inspired by his photographic series Coat Puller. I love the idea of wearable art and Rodney’s openness to collaboration. He’s a multidisciplinary artist that draws on image, text, comedy and music for his work and I love that he’s not afraid to explore fashion. The end result is a series of incredibly refined coats and bags that are both simple and surprising.
FOLLOW Donal Dineen @mrdonaldineen – most people know him as a DJ and music producer and journalist, but he’s always been a photographer and his Instagram feed is full of beautiful abstract photos like this one, below,?that look at found objects and nature from an entirely new perspective. The captions are great too.
SHOP I really love?Sevenwood?which is an interiors and lifestyle shop curated by Niamh Banks. A fellow Sligo-woman, I actually first met her in Dublin when she collaborated with my partner Cillian – S?illeabh?in (who designs and makes geometric, minimal furniture) on a series of?parquet tables?that use reclaimed parquet flooring and ebonised oak to great effect. Sevenwood has had a few pop-up locations, most recently in Dawson Street, but they now have a dedicated showroom in Portobello which is full of the most stunning chairs, tables, sofas, lamps, candles, ceramics and more besides. Niamh has an incredible eye for mid-century and modern furniture and is great at sourcing things from all over.