Towards the Sea - The first distillation of Everything (My Journal VIII)

Beauty doesn't come out of the pen, it travels through it, weaving through the waves of memory and vision, arriving on the page. I'm both proud of these pages and excited to share them in one continuous unannotated flow. Explanations and Expansions are shared in previous posts on my journal, but for the first time, we get to see one layer of everything at this stage of the development of my multi-part woven composition, 'At The Edge of The World' which starts with the beautiful 'Silver Shore'.

Towards the Sea - The first distillation of Everything (My Journal VIII)

To Drown is to Breathe (My Journal VII.)

As I began the last page in this journal volume, I was walking down the Lisburn Road in Belfast.  I passed a glass & steel 1980s BT telephone box near the City Hospital and like being sucked through a vacuum tube, surged abruptly into surreality. Images, visions, dreams of the past swirled together with the present on this misty Belfast street. I took out my phone and dialled it's number 028 9023 2471, holding my breath waiting for the green amber screen to illuminate and for it to ring

To Drown is to Breathe (My Journal VII.)

Broken Breaking Waves (My Journal VI.)

These pages in my notebook are all from early to mid January. It's been a really busy few weeks, between designing & producing the next stage of prototypes for my shawls; preparing for and exhibiting at Showcase 2015; and filming our segment on RTÉ Nationwide, as well as continuing to produce my [award-winning :-)] silk scarves & bow-ties, one each of which were presented to President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins as he opened Showcase, which is Ireland's largest trade-only event.

Broken Breaking Waves (My Journal VI.)
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Portfolio @Solomon - New Gallery of Irish Craft & Design on Dublin's Grafton Street

The Five-Star Westbury Hotel is one of the few institutions whose million euro collection of Irish art can rival that of The Merrion Hotel

It's amongst this collection of sublime pieces by Sir John LaveryMichael Scott, Louis Le Brocquy and other important Irish artists in the Westbury's timelessly elegant open-plan drawing rooms that you can make the best possible first impression on your future mother-in-law by taking her for afternoon tea, looking out over all the goings-ons of Grafton Street. It's somehow both low-key and discretely opulent.

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Portfolio @Solomon - New Gallery of Irish Craft & Design on Dublin's Grafton Street

Showcase - Ireland's Creative Expo - starts today at the RDS Dublin (Sunday Jan 19th 2015)

Ireland's reputation for craft extends back for over a thousand years to the days of the Tara Brooch & the Ardagh Chalice, a heritage that we can be immensely proud of, and our incredible light & landscape has provided inspiration to generations of artists, designers & makers, myself included. The explosion of interest in Irish linen & lace in the 19th Century took us once again onto a world stage, a presence renewed in the 1930s with the Arran Sweater, and from the 1950s our unique ceramics were finding homes in Japan & the far east along with our traditional music.

Showcase - Ireland's Creative Expo - starts today at the RDS Dublin (Sunday Jan 19th 2015)

Killiney Hill - A Dubliner's Secret World

Earlier this week, Grafton Street's resident busker band, KeyWest, released a video of the part they played in a proposal on Killiney Hill, which immediately excited me because it's where I proposed to my wife Ali. At the same time it struck me with panic, that's MY secret world, and I pictured thousands of people clamouring up Vico Road like a scene from a zombie film. I wanted to keep it a secret, but it's one of those things, like Brendan Joseph scarves & bow-ties, that you want to keep to yourself and yet want to tell everyone about too.

If Not For Love (My Journal V.)

As we prepare for new years - new beginnings and a reflection on the past - there's lots to give thanks for, and yet alongside this, are also the things we cling so tightly to that have already slipped away, leaving husks of hurt, the hope having withered away.  All this - the good and the bad mixed together - sits uncomfortably in our minds' gut. Nonetheless we get put on our party clothes, make-up and a smile, hoping as the clock strikes midnight our sullied pages will be bleached blank. After all the revelry we head to bed, and eight hours later wake up mulling those same thoughts, hopes, joys & fears, realising that once again, a new year does not mean a new you, and we find ourselves at a loss as to how to move past the past.

If Not For Love (My Journal V.)
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Christmas Last Orders

To make sure you're not late for a very important date, I've put together Christmas order deadlines, and have made standard shipping free worldwide between now and December 20th. Courier shipping is available to all, and if your order totals €450 or more, I'll pay for it, guaranteeing Christmas Delivery.

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Christmas Last Orders

At The Edge of The World (My Journal IV)

Today I went to church, and instead of there being a sermon, there were readings by two of the children, contemporary worship songs, and the wrapping of gift hampers for one of the organisations that we support, a womens' shelter in Rathmines. While everyone sang, I sat, sometimes joining in, all the while drawing outlines and swirls, grateful for the space to ask a question I'm not sure of the answer to: Why did creation emerge from the great swirl, why was it formed, if not for love?

At The Edge of The World (My Journal IV)

At The Edge of The World (My Journal III)

Language has limits, which I was reminded of yesterday when I said something along the lines of, "I hate when you do that". When I used the form "you", I meant "one", or more accurately "I/me", as in, "I hate when you stub your toe", meaning, "I hate when I stub my toe", and as I realised I'd caused insult, I suddenly realised I had accidentally been criticising everyone around me when I was trying to show empathy.

At The Edge of The World (My Journal III)

At The Edge of The World (My Journal II)

Moving further into the question of how we remember the dead, this week's journal has begun to expand on and explore the concept of monuments to our lost loved ones. When a friend, who was a graffiti artist and a tagger passed away, a whole world of people memorialised him on walls. His name is a secret, and although these walls are there for all to see, only those who knew him can truly see the stories they tell and the parts of him they celebrate.

At The Edge of The World (My Journal II)

At The Edge of The World (My journal I)

It's been more than two years since 'Drowning in Enough', a vision of the overwhelming sufficiency of grace in the midst of surrender, but it wasn't until after I wove 'Dark Hedges', when I went with some friends to go 'bouldering' in the sea, just a few miles north of that broken tunnel of yew in north County Antrim, that I tasted foamy saltwater, got caught in a current, pulled under, and couldn't catch my breath, that I realised what it really meant to drown.

At The Edge of The World (My journal I)

At The Edge of The World (BC)

The Walk: It was my third time there, four miles past the edge of the world...

My First Time
Although I'd visited many times, even taking DART journeys solely for the sensory pleasure of those moments when to one side of the train, the sea opens up to a horizonless sky, I'd never ventured past the shoreline.

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Wedding Lists

You're getting married, Congratulations! Now obviously I want you to buy a thousand scarves & bow-ties, but the purpose of my journal is to share my journey, not sell my work, and having recently crossed the threshold myself, I've learnt lots of things that may be good to know. In Ireland, people love to give gifts. Cash is great, and much needed as you pay for the wedding and settle into married life, but there's something about giving a gift, about finding something really special, going to a store or studio, seeing it all packed up in tissue, ribbon, box and bag, but people also want to give you the things you'd love yourselves, and somewhere between these two options lies a third that strikes the perfect balance between the two, - the wedding list.

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Brendan MaddenComment

At The Edge Of The World: I. Silver Shore

rom July to August 2013, I wove 'Dark Hedges'. 

One year later we arrive 'At The Edge of The World', a new body of work, of which 'Silver Shore' is my first piece. In the past few journal posts, you'll have learnt that the basic form of that work actually borrows its essential constructs from this new one, arriving later, but beginning before.This journal post too began before the others, and I'm posting it now, accepting that only the piece itself can tell you all of its story, and the best I can do is introduce it.

Brendan MaddenComment
At The Edge Of The World: I. Silver Shore

Jo Malone gets down to Business

Expert perfumer and creator of her eponymous fragrance line (now owned by Estee Lauder), Jo Malone has a new company, Jo Loves… which she’s brought to market as a fragrance “tapas” bar in Elizabeth Street in London, borrowing from the culinary idea of trying various small plates of food. Customers are invited to choose and experience fragrances in new ways, some even being painted on and layered with a paintbrush. She hopes to bring the brand global next year. At Image Magazine’s women’s networking breakfast at the Marker Hotel in Dublin last week, Jo gave an audience of around 200 women (and a few men!) an overview of her life and her life’s work creating fragrance, along with relevant business advice for today.

Jo Malone gets down to Business

Alexander McQueen Retrospective at V&A, London

British designer Alexander McQueen's work explored, mastered and subverted history, culture, craft & fashion. Famous for deeply relatable imagery and for being unafraid of bringing an audience on a dichromatic journey of dark and light, McQueen provoked imaginations, assertively juxtaposing the familiar with the alien.

““You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.””

— Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen Retrospective at V&A, London

Country to Country at the O2 Dublin

Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks and Zac Brown Band played to an enthusiastic crowd last night in the O2 Dublin as part of Country2Country, a two day music extravaganza that is also going to London's O2 this weekend. The line-up from last night will be in London tonight, so any Londoners interested should head over to: http://www.c2c-countrytocountry.com/ 

Country to Country at the O2 Dublin

Dixie Chicks in Dublin with Country to Country at the O2

Rumored to be the highest-selling female group of all time, 13-time Grammy award-winning U.S. Country superstars the Dixie Chicks will be playing at the O2 in Dublin on Friday, 14 March as part of Country to Country, a two-day country music event this St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Dixie Chicks in Dublin with Country to Country at the O2

The Little Museum of Dublin

Located in an 18th Century Georgian Townhouse on Dublin's Saint Stephen's Green, as museums go, and as its name might suggest, The Little Museum, somewhat petite, with its permenant collection taking up the just two rooms, albeit the principal rooms of the house on the second floor. Temporary exhibitions take place in a further gallery on the entrance level, and there is a café in the old basement level called Hatch & Sons, which I've yet to visit.

Uber - US Luxury Car Service comes to Dublin

Anyone who's spent time with New York's Upper East Siders, in real life or through an episode of Gossip Girl can tell you that for those for whom style is not a trend but a way of life the facts and rules of life are somewhat different. When the choice is between the relaxed luxury of a private towncar, and the alternative of standing on the kerbside flailing your arms in the hopes of stopping a road-going subway, the yellow cab just doesn't cut it. 

Uber - US Luxury Car Service comes to Dublin