Carmel Benson: How to be a Child? at Bray’s Mermaid!

Recently artist Carmel Benson’s art exhibition entitled, “How to be a Child?” ran at The Mermaid in Bray, Wicklow from the 18th of July to the 7th of September. I was lucky enough to get to see it in it’s duration. Me and my sister went to see it.

Benson is originally from Wexford but in 1999 the artist, who graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) and later majored in painting and printmaking in Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design, moved to Roundwood in Wicklow.

Benson’s latest pieces deal with a recurring theme in her work, that of childhood. This particular exhibition centres around the 1950s in Ireland when the “Catechism” was a vital book in Catholic childrens’ lives. A book that brought fear and oppression to the child if they were sensitive to it. There is also many male words in the collection which represent the inequality between men and women. In Benson’s collection these males are restraining the threatening women while Benson’s Sheela-na-Gig motif is her reaction to the world that shaped her. A world which was dominated by the Church and filled fear and remorse in its people. I love the concept of the collection but I found that the collection fell somewhere in-between. Some of I loved, like Crouching Sheelagh and my sis loved that one too, but there was others I wasn’t as crazy about.

But for it’s message and concept and in terms of pictures especially the Crouching Sheelagh it is an exhibition that needs to be seen so if you get a chance at some stage in the future somewhere else I would advise you to check it out! 🙂

Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition In The Barbican Art Gallery!

Jean Paul Gaultier's work is been celebrated!

Jean Paul Gaultier’s work is been celebrated!

Madonna and the designer with his famous creation!

Madonna and the designer with his famous creation!

The designer's famous sailor look on display!

The designer’s famous sailor look on display!

Art and fashion! Two worlds where inspiration and visual beauty abound!

And The Barbican Art Gallery has joined the two together in a wonderful exhibition to pay tribute to fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier.

Entitled, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From The Sidewalk To The Catwalk it is the first major exhibition dedicated to his  vision to his talents and vision. Gaultier has been a major player in the fashion industry for nearly 40 years and in that time the genius has been both amusing and risk-taking in his choices. He has admitted that he is fascinated by world cultures and counter cultures and through this his output has managed to get rid of boundaries between nations and genders. It’s an exhibition which is theatrical and displays over 140 cutting edge clothes which included iconic pieces for film and performing such as the conical bra and corsets worn by the very eccentricly fabulous Madonna, stage outfits worn by Kylie Minogue and Dita Von Teese and pieces made for Luc Besson’s movie The Fifth Element as well as his signature sailor suits (Who doesn’t like a man in uniform?!).

If you get the chance, go see it! Jean Paul Gaultier is one of my fave designers and I am definitely going to try to get there myself.

Prices for the event:

Adults: €27.64, £14.50

Children: €10.95, £9.00

Concession: €15.21, £12.50

Under 12s go free

On from: 9 Apr-17 Aug