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The National Gallery is reopening, a Father’s Day idea and an exhibition at Listoke House

 

Choosing paint colours for the walls of your home is a nerve-wracking process. But when it comes to a makeover for a national institution such as the National Gallery of Ireland, the stakes are even higher. You don’t want to compete with the art that’s already on the walls: nor do you want to alienate the half-a-million-plus visitors who come through the doors every year.  

With the gallery about to reopen after being closed for major refurbishment Sean Rainbird, director of the NGI, explains how the striking new colour-scheme was developed. “The colours were chosen by the curatorial staff, following a wish that we did not have too many different colours, but found suitable colours for the range of artworks on display, made over many centuries,” he says.

“A soft grey picks up the greens of landscape, the reds of clothing and the blues of sea and sky, and was selected for the lower Milltown galleries, where the Irish collection is displayed. A particularly vibrant red works well with Gainsboroughs, Goyas and Fragonard alike. This red works very well for Italian baroque paintings. A mid-blue has been selected for the Dutch and Flemish paintings.

“In the Grand Gallery, a very unusual and rich deep green works brilliantly with both the full-length portraits – by Reynolds among others – and with other elements of the room such as the deep-red tiled floor. The Shaw Room has been transformed by opening the windows to the new courtyard. With this infusion of natural light, we have selected a very deep slate blue, to offset the pale grey and off-white which we have used for the prominent architectural features in the room. The colour in the Shaw Room complements the heavy gilded frames of the full-length portraits in the room, but also echoes areas in Maclise’s huge Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife.”

The newly-painted National Gallery of Ireland reopens on Wednesday, and the new exhibition Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting opens on Friday. nationalgallery.ie

Show your father he rocks

Fabulous for fishing trips; brilliant for barbecues; superb on the sand. This nippy rocking chair from the London design studio WAWA is an ultra-portable Father’s Day gift for dads on the move. The beech frame folds to just six inches flat and is shaped to offer proper back support; more importantly, when it’s unfolded the chair looks seriously cool. It’s not the first clever idea from WAWA founder Richard Ward – he came up with the Bay Window Sofa, made to fit the angles of a Victorian bay window – but this one is a real winner for summer. There’s a choice of dark or light wood finishes, while fabrics for seat and back slings range from designer florals to faux fur, cool stripes to bright reds.  Shown above is a manly Caribbean Check in navy, with added head cushion; £420, plus £35 for the cushion, from foldingrockingchair.co.uk

Be inspired in Louth

The gardens at Listoke House, near Drogheda, are a delightful place to visit at any time of year with their tearooms, gin school and the many chickens, ducks and dogs to be found wandering around the grounds. From next Saturday, however, Listoke’s art gallery will be positively inspirational as it plays host to the summer exhibition by Louth Craftmark, a network of more than 40 creative makers from Louth, Monaghan, Down, Meath and north Dublin. The show, organised by painter Patricia Murphy and textile artist Breda McNelis, will include knitwear, prints, furniture, painting and sculptural work in stone, willow, glass and bronze. There will be jewellery from Mia Mullen, Garret Mallon and Macdara O Graham, ceramics by Sarah McKenna, felt and botanical prints by Mary Larkin, handbags from Cathy Prendergast and lots more.

The exhibition opens on Saturday, June 17th, at 3pm, and continues until August 13th.

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