Graham Norton is so a Pauline person


THE SOCIAL NETWORK:Graham Norton was like a breath of fresh – and rather colourful – air opening Pauline Bewick’s exhibition at Taylor Galleries, on Kildare Street in Dublin, on Tuesday evening.

“A lot of people don’t know that I actually studied art history in college,” said Norton, “The reason people don’t know that is because it’s not true. To borrow a phrase from Father Ted, I know feck-all about art.

Norton announced that the opening coincided with Bewick’s birthday. “I’m not going to mention your age, but today is your birthday and I think we’re safe to say that you saw Dallas the first time round.”

Bewick said she was thrilled that Norton opened the exhibition because he’s not stuffy. “And aren’t there some stuffy people in the art world?”

Norton told the invited guests that he has a house in Cork “which I would say is too close to nature. Every year I pop back there is an infestation of something; this year it’s bats. They’re living above my bathroom, and I don’t know what they eat but it goes through them very quickly.” A woman shouted up that he should put it on his plants and vegetables. He retorted, “Like I grow vegetables.”

“Pauline’s marvellous, her work is marvellous and you’d be marvellous if you bought it,” he went on to say. Norton could certainly afford to pick up a few himself. Last week the production company he cofounded, So TV, was bought by ITV in a deal that could be worth up to €21 million.

The former president of Waterford Institute of Technology, Prof Kieran Byrne, arrived to admire the pictures. Last month it emerged that under Byrne’s tenure in office, Bewick was paid more than €45,000 for cataloguing her collection, which is now in the institute.

Bewick’s daughter, the artist Poppy Melia, told me she now paints solely by commission and can’t hold on to her work for an exhibition, such is the demand. She was accompanied by her son, Aran Mulvihill, who is a secondary student at Intermediate School, Killorglin.

Bewick’s after-party, which Norton attended, was held at the United Arts Club. Guests had supper and listened to the music of accordionist Liam O’Connor.

Who we spotted:Bill Cullen and Jackie Lavin; Niall MacMonagle from Wesley College, who brought along students Michelle Maden and Aislinn Roe; artist Carmel Mooney; artist Mieke Vanmechelen and her daughter Emily; Maurice Galway of Dingle International Film Festival; Dr Abdul Bulbulia; and Vincent Kelly of Gallery Zozimus, who will hold an exhibition of 85-year-old Cynthia Moran’s bronzes on September 25th.

What we drank:champagne decorated with raspberries.

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