Arts Preview


The  Douglas Hyde Gallery's series of themed exhibitions, "The Paradise", continues to present fascinating work. Following the show, Immemory, by documentary film-maker Chris Marker, the latest participant is the acclaimed Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami, whose films include The Wind Will Carry Us, Taste of Cherry and Through the Olive Trees.

Twenty-one years ago, the Abbey's memorable production of Brian Friel's Faith Healer was the opening show at the Belltable Arts Centre in Limerick. One of the playwright's best-loved but least performed works, the play's monologue form influenced a crop of younger Irish playwrights. Disappointingly, it was not included in the Abbey's Friel Festival two years ago. However, to mark the Belltable's 21st birthday, Limerick's Island Theatre Company is producing the play, which will run at the venue from July 4th to 27th, before touring to Cork, Galway, Waterford and Dublin. Barry McGovern, Joan Sheehy and Michael James Ford play the three characters: the faith healer, his lover and his manager, and are directed by Island's artistic director, Terry Devlin.

He's exhibiting a selection of his black-and-white landscape photographs, which he began taking during the Iranian Revolution in 1979. They have been shown in the US and the Galerie de France, Paris, which organised the Dublin show. The images, shot on the outskirts of Tehran and in Kurdistan, depict remote landscapes - mountains, trees, sky - tranquil and timeless. "In photography, I have the chance to be alone, I don't need a crew," he told the New York Times. "When you're unhappy with a photograph, you can just tear it in two. Film is different, there's capital investment. It is the seventh art but it has become the first in terms of commerce. Photography may be closer to poetry." Abbas Kiarostami, The Paradise 7, is at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, until July 25th.

THE back page of the programme book for Cora Venus Lunny's recital at the National Concert Hall in April included the announcement of a new chamber orchestra, I Fiori (The Flowers), formed by the young violinist with herself as director.

The orchestra's first concert is at the University Concert Hall in Limerick on Thursday and will feature the founding director performing concertos by Bach (the Double Violin Concerto with Gia Yashvili, the Concerto for Oboe and Violin with David Agnew) as well as Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Also on this début programme are the two pieces for string octet written by Shostakovich when he was 18, just a couple of years younger than Lunny herself.

TWENTY-FIRST birthday festivities are underway at the offices of Circa magazine, which celebrates its longevity with a new format and design. The 100th issue looks back at achievements in the visual arts in Ireland over the past two decades, crowned in the Republic by the opening of IMMA in 1991. Essays by Aidan Dunne (on the changing art map), Shirley MacWilliam (on media and technology), Hilary Robinson (on the gender gap) and Medb Ruane (on artists and society) join pieces by regulars Stephanie McBride, Brian Kennedy and Michael Cunningham. Invited artists James Coleman, Caroline McCarthy, Anne Tallentire, Alice Maher, Alastair MacLennan, Rita Duffy, Marjetica Potrc, Robert Ballagh, Barrie Cooke, Dorothy Cross, Kathy Prendergast and Hans Peter Kung fill a page each with specially commissioned artwork. Yoko Ono's contribution is designed "To Be Stepped On": her ink-on-paper work consists of footprints made by her and John Lennon.