What Irish Times critics are wishing for this Christmas

From the Gleesons’ ‘Walworth Farce’ to a 3D pen, there’s a perfect present for the artist in your life

 

Rosita Boland

book

What would you like in your stocking?
The attention span I used to have, plus the focus to read several books a month. All I’ve read for pleasure this year are New Yorkers, which I can just about stay with long enough for one article at a time.

You have €20 to spend on a Kris Kindle gift. What would you buy?
I’d donate it to This American Life at serialpodcast.org, so it can go towards a second season of Serial, the one and only podcast that has ever had me gripped.

If money was no object, what would you like to receive?
I’ve been reading Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I have a hankering for one of the original Garth Williams pencil illustrations. At a Californian auction two years ago one on tracing paper sold for $11,352.

Walworth

Shane Hegarty

What would you like in your stocking?
A couple of tickets to the Gleeson-filled The Walworth Farce, at the Olympia Theatre, in Dublin, next month.

And a Kris Kindle?
Randall Munroe’s What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, because it will satisfy the curious and arouse curiosity in anyone who’s not – and it’s got great jokes.

And if money were no object?
A steady supply of the Courtesan au Chocolat from Mendl’s pattisserie at the Grand Budapest Hotel.

Una Mullally

Orange

What would you like in your stocking?
A Terry’s Chocolate Orange, some Happy Socks and a nice edition of Tales of the City.

And a Kris Kindle?
A ticket to Jungle at the Olympia in February. They start at €21, so I would have to ask the recipient for €1. They’d understand.

And if money were no object?
The Rick Owens SS15 black leather bomber jacket. It’s beautiful. But it’s also €1,485.

Underbelly

Jim Carroll

What would you like in your stocking?
Subscriptions to Light In the Attic or Numero. I’d also like a copy of Nelson George’s The Hippest Trip in America: On the Soul Train Culture and Style. If I’d a particurly big stocking a Sonos wireless speaker might well fit in.

And a Kris Kindle?
The first series of the gritty Australian TV crime series Underbelly.

And if money were no object?
I’d emulate Fredrik Wikingsson, the lad who got to experience a Bob Dylan show as an audience of one. In my case it would have to be a Bruce Springsteen show.

Elvis

Gemma Tipton

What would you like in your stocking?
Plane tickets to London. Brilliant shows right now include Sigmar Polke at Tate Modern, Rembrandt at the National Gallery, late Turner at Tate Britain. A mega art fix. Throw in a hotel voucher, too, please.

And a Kris Kindle?
It’s Irish Year of Design in 2015, so I’ll give one of the best Irish designs ever: Sugru, the magic stuff that came out of Kilkenny and fixes everything. It’s €12.50 for a funky Gift Tin from sugru.com.

And if money were no object?
Last year, in my money-no-object dreams, I sold on the record-breaking Francis Bacon ($142.4m, also at Christie’s) and funded the Arts Council. This year I’ll take the Warhol Triple Elvis, at $81.9 million. I’ll flip it and buy from Irish artists and galleries, starting with works by Martin Gale, Margaret Corcoran, Dorothy Cross and Gabhann Dunne. With that kind of loot I could endow a gallery to show them off.

2

Aidan Dunne

What would you like in your stocking?
Vanessa Donoso López is an artist well known for her large-scale installations, seen at the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery and other venues. But she also makes much smaller, amazingly intricate works, whether coloured drawings on paper or extraordinary sculptural pieces, each one a magical little world of its own.

And a Kris Kindle?
Maria Simonds-Gooding’s retrospective at the RHA was a highlight of the year, and it was accompanied by a beautiful, richly illustrated publication with essays by John Yau and Colm Tóibín. It’s on sale at the RHA.

And if money were no object?
Kevin Cosgrove’s paintings – he exhibits with Mother’s Tankstation, in Dublin – are the real deal. Absolutely contemporary and absolutely classical, made with great skill and intelligence.

Mick Heaney

Andy irvine

What would you like in your stocking?
A bag of books that I’ve meant to read over the past few months, including Mary Costello’s Academy Street, John Lanchester’s How to Speak Money and Martin Amis’s The Zone of Interest. And two recent compilations on Soul Jazz records – New Orleans Soul and Black Fire! New Spirits! – for abackdrop.

And a Kris Kindle?
A copy of Andy Irvine and Paul Brady’s 1976 classic self-titled album. It contains Brady’s seminal rendition of the ballad Arthur McBride, which is the greatest Christmas song of all time, if not the most peaceful-minded.

And if money were no object?
A plane ticket to Boston to see Goya: Order and Disorder at the city’s Museum of Fine Arts. The show takes an intriguing approach, arranging the paintings and drawings in a themed manner: his work is always worth revisiting.

thing

Donald Clarke

What would you like in your stocking?
Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 to 1972 by Captain Beefheart will just about fit into the hosiery. The three records the blues terrorist recorded after Trout Mask Replica were more easily digestible than that classic, but only in the sense that a hammer is more easily digestible than an anvil.

And a Kris Kindle?
The British Film Institute’s film classics are all nicely presented, well written and cleverly edited. Among the best of the recent batch is the indefatigable Kim Newman’s lovely study of Nigel Kneale’s great London horror Quatermass and the Pit.

And if money were no object?
At this time of year Dickensians gather to argue about which is the best of the major novels. The correct answer, of course, is the hitherto undervalued Our Mutual Friend. A first edition of this most complex and cynical Dickens doorstop comes to about €10,000.

Michael Dervan

What would you like in your stocking?
Something wonderful that I don’t know about.

And a Kris Kindle?
The octogenarian American Alvin Lucier visited Dundalk last June and was treated as a revered guru. His book Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music is a lucid insider’s introduction to the subject.

And if money were no object?
The latest edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music has doubled from four volumes to eight. The cheapest way to get it is from Amazon’s Candian website, where it comes in at less than €900, including delivery.

3dpen

Peter Crawley

What would you like in your stocking?
3D printing is the futuristic fad of yesterday – the future belongs to 3D doodling. This year the London-based company LIX 3D sailed through a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of a new 3D pen, which uses molten plastic as ink that solidifies as soon as it hits air. You can sculpt models, write a lattice of notes, or draw a sword and settle a long-running dispute.

And a Kris Kindle?
A copy of John Lahr’s new biography, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, a meticulous and vividly detailed account of the tormented playwright. Much of the drama in Williams’s life was smuggled into his stage, but his own episdodes are almost too outre for depiction. I’d accompany it with a card, drawn from the collection of stage sentiments of the National Theatre in London, with the assuring message, “No one noticed!”

And if money were no object?
The designer Richard Clarkson’s interactive Cloud seems perfect for those dark nights of living-room sturm und drang. A thundercloud simulation that crackles with lightning and rolls out deep rumbles, it responds to movement, so that you can curate your own weather. It can also stream music. The cost: $3,360. You cannot be cirrus.

tree

Bernice Harrison

What would you like in your stocking?
A needlepoint kit from Emily Peacock, whose designs have dragged the craft into the 21st century. Her Lucky cross-stitch (€93) – stunning pattern, bright colours – will cheer up a dull January.

And as a Kris Kindle?
A classy crafty objet, such as an exquisite, whimsical and downright beautiful porcelain Christmas bauble from KaroArt Ceramics.

And if money were no object?
Televisions have a way of looking out of date at around the same time the packaging hits the green bin. But Bang & Olufsen’s BeoVision Avant is gorgeous and timeless. It costs about €9,000 for the 55in.

 

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