Candyfloss geraniums and a home from home in Cork

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Nick Miller still life with flowers

Nick Miller still life with flowers

 

Traditionally, still life paintings have been more than simply decorative: they have always served as both a celebration of life and a reminder of its ending. The Sligo-based, London-born artist Nick Miller had the opportunity to explore both sides of this delicately-balanced equation when he began a series of flower paintings as a personal response to working on a long-term creative project at Sligo’s North West Hospice – and to his own mother’s terminal illness. Over the course of a year, taking her collection of vases, bottles and pots, Miller made arrangements of whatever native wildflowers or garden plants were in season. The result is a series of paintings which fairly pulse with life, from a froth of blackthorn blossom in a purple vase to a cool green glass jar filled with elegant hazel. The same jar looks very different when it holds the vibrant pink spikes of rosebay willowherb – a plant which is not always celebrated, to put it mildly, by gardeners – while a hardy geranium comes in cheeky shades of candyfloss. Vessels: Nature Morte is on show at the Catherine Hammond Gallery in Skibbereen, Co Cork until August 10th. hammondgallery.com

Interior at the Residence in the 4 star Montenotte Hotel
Interior at the Residence in the 4 star Montenotte Hotel

Sean Scully

In matters of life, death and art the painter Sean Scully is famously uncompromising. He is also a gifted writer, his prose as passionate and direct as his canvases – so the opportunity to hear him read aloud from his 2016 book Inner is more than a bit special. Composed of nearly 200 pieces which range from short, sharp reflections to essay-long meditations on a range of fellow artists from Van Gogh to Rothko via Giorgio Morandi as well as interviews with the straight-talking Scully himself, Inner offers a unique perspective on the world of contemporary art from one of its most celebrated exponents. The artists will read at Hodges Figgis bookshop on Dawson Street in Dublin today at 2.30pm: the event is free, but booking is required. To bag a place, email events@hodgesfiggis.com.

Artist Sean Scully. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES
Artist Sean Scully. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Montenotte Hotel

There are times when a hotel bedroom just isn’t enough: whether for business or pleasure purposes, you might need something which offers the shared amenities of a hotel, combined with the solidity and privacy of your own living space. The four-star Montenotte Hotel in Cork city has come up with a possible solution in the shape of The Residence. Following a €5 million makeover the 19 two-bedroom apartments in the grounds of the hotel aim to create a home from home. Clients have access to hotel facilities such as the swimming pool, gym and personal training; they can also attend screenings at the in-house cinema, or gaze out at the night-time drama of the city from the rooftop panorama terrace. “We are excited about the latest phase of refurbishment at the Montenotte Hotel, which complements our existing four-star plus offering and gives longer stay guests a home from home at The Residence,” says Montenotte Hotel proprietor Frankie Whelehan. “Particularly in Cork where there are so many multinational firms, attracting overseas executives regularly, we have a number of enquiries already to book the apartments for three to six months at a time.” themontenottehotel.com

Aldi vintage

It seems we just can’t get enough of vintage style this summer. To give your interiors a sprinkling of its dusty colours and lived-in patterns without breaking the budget, get yourself to Aldi, where the Specialbuys for Sunday July 30th include a range of vintage-inspired fabrics and accessories. For a good old-fashioned night’s sleep try a double duvet set (€19.99) with matching bedspread (€39.99), or give your living room the eclectic look with a generous helping of vintage-print cushions (€6.99 each; a pair of cushion-covers is also €6.99) and a couple of cute bean-cube footrests (€22.99 each). For those who can’t resist getting out the paintbrush there’s chalk paint in a choice of four colours, suitable for kitchens and bathrooms (€6.99). Add a Victorian-style birdcage lantern (€12.99) and a retro radio (€49.99), and ta-dah: you’re back to the past, and right on trend. Available in 129 shops nationwide while stocks last. aldi.ie