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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 28, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

    Culture shots: Theatre awards, Renoir at work, and a Robert Glasper stream

    Laurence Mackin

    The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards took place on Sunday night and by this stage you will no doubt have heard who won what, and perhaps by now the winners will even have stopped celebrating. There were several people tweeting live from the event so if you feel like revisiting a rolling commentary, check out the timelines on @laurencemackin, Peter Crawley’s commentary on @IrishTheatreMag or @darraghdoyle’s missives. You can also read Shane Hegarty’s news report from the event, and Peter Crawley’s analysis of the winners. Willie White was also on hand and sent a livestream out, after jerryrigging his phone to a waterbottle like the theatre MacGyver he is. Imeall, TG4’s arts and culture show, was also there filming and will be broadcasting its feature on Thursday night at 9.30pm.

    Architecture fans: Network Rail in the UK has recently created an online archive of its blueprints and drawings, and given that its network was built by some of the greatest names in modern engineering, this is quite the novel development. You can search through a small selection from its archives of more than five million drawings and plans by the likes of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Robert Stephenson and Christopher Wren. Rumours that Irish Rail are preparing their own website of glorious Irish engineering feats are wide of the mark.

    Playwright Manchan Magan has written a superb piece of family history for The Irish Times that tells the story of his gunrunning grandmother, whose support for the IRA was copper-fastened when her uncle was killed during the 1916 Rising. While researching her history, he found out that she may have shot an Irish Free State soldier, was suspected of spying for Third Reich, and began digging a tunnel out of Kilmainham Gaol while imprisoned there – her graffiti remains on the walls of the cell she occupied.

    In case you missed it, Dublin City Council is working on a scheme to match artists looking for space with landlords who have vacant properties that could be used for studios, galleries or workspaces. Interested property owners should email edu@dublincity.ie and interested users looking for space should email artsoffice@dublincity.ie. If you want more details, here is the council’s press release on the scheme.

    AD films has a number of brilliant slices of archive material online, among them this film of Impressionist painter Renoir working at home. The film is terrific quality, and all the more astonishing given that Renoir died in 1919. His movements are precise and delicate (accented somewhat, I’d imagine, by the film speed) and his cigarette barely leaves his hand while he works. A proper artistic time-capsule moment.  Scroll through the menu on the right on You Tube for more AD films, which include footage of Monet and Rodin at work.

    And finally – a little jazz. Robert Glasper’s new album Blak Radio sees him moving further into hip-hop/jazz crossover territory, and it’s very good and very exciting stuff indeed – fellow album travellers include Erykah Badu, Ledisi and Lupe Fiasco. NPR is currently live streaming it over here. Give yourself a musical treat for free. Then go out and buy the thing and support such fine music making.


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