Anthology Magazine Issue 14 Autumn 2020

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AUTUMN 2020 #14

€5.95 £4.95





Bags: Inside Out at the V&A • Hunt Museum: Best Costume Goes To …

Western Cape of South Africa • Ardèche: France’s Best-Kept Secret

Decorating with Tiles • Exercise Makes the Brain Work Better

Ann Lowe: New York Society’s Style Secret • 2020 Wedding Style

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Storm off Achill Island, oil on canvas, 100 x 100cms

DEBORAH JOYCE The visually arresting and emotional paintings created by Deborah Joyce are all about natural rhythms, movement and energy. Her inspiration is derived from the ever-changing aspects of nature, which are known to improve vitality and mood. She works across all disciplines of art and design, including interior design. Her innovative works are known for their power, vibrancy and natural verve. Her work is available at The Boathouse Gallery in Kinsale, Cleo Gallery in Kenmare, Castlemartyr Gallery in Cork and Caffreys Gallery in Ballina. Limited edition prints are available from: The Top Drawer and Pantry, Achill Island; Westport Designs in Westport; The Sheep and Wool Centre, Leenane and on the artist’s website.

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From the editor

anthology publishing

Limerick, Ireland editor Edel Cassidy art editor Ros Woodham designer Lynne Clark

Welcome to Anthology Autumn Issue 2020

copy-editor Richard Bradburn contributors

Orna O’Reilly Weber Jeannie Croucher Louise Higgins Jean Flitcroft Neven Maguire Dolores O’Donoghue Lana Hayes advertising

Jean Anderson subscriptions

Anthology is a quarterly publication with a focus on beautiful features and imagery from Ireland and around the world. To subscribe and avail of delivery direct to your door, visit or Email: Full details on p. 57. issn: 2009-9150

Lavenham Press Ltd. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any of the views expressed or claims made by contributors or advertisers. While every care is taken to ensure accuracy of information contained in Anthology, we do not accept responsibility for any errors or matters arising from same. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without written permission from the publishers.

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e are delighted to be back after our short break to bring you the Autumn Issue of Anthology. There is no better season to enjoy the beautiful landscape that this country has to offer as the countryside radiates with vibrant shades of russet, saffron and scarlet. It is the perfect setting for a sense of comfort, warmth and reflection, and a good time to place a renewed focus on personal goals. Over the last few months, many of us have had our plans abruptly placed on hold, but now we can once again enjoy a trip to a museum or gallery, or just get down to home improvement plans. We can also look forward to a time when we can travel freely. Our pages are full of ideas, with our travel features taking you on journeys to the earth’s most spectacular and beautiful landscapes. We feature South Africa’s Cape Town and the picturesque Western Cape, and also the breath-taking scenery of France’s best-kept secret, the Ardèche. The Hunt Museum in Limerick is exhibiting an impressive collection of Ireland’s film costume design, while The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, hosts an exhibition dedicated to the history and evolution of bags. Our fashion pages include a feature on the most exquisite and romantic wedding gowns. We also bring you the remarkable story of Ann Lowe, the little-known Afri-

can-American couturier who designed the iconic gown worn by Jacqueline Bouvier when she married Senator John F Kennedy. Wishing all our readers and your families and friends the very best for the future ahead. Edel


Cover design of The Broken Pledge by popular traditional Irish music band, The Bonny Men, an album that showcases Ireland’s rich heritage of storytelling through music. The cover design is by Brian Giles, aka Sonofafox, an Irish printmaker and graphic designer based in Dublin. (p. 44)

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contents 10


Out Of This World



Western Cape of South Africa



The Ardèche




The Broken Pledge


Tile Tricks



Georgian Dublin


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64 72


Daydream Believer


Ann Lowe



Bags: Inside Out


Mist You


Get Moving



Sumptuous 3-Course Dinner


Best Costume Goes To ...


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Out Of This World Join us on a journey to some of the earth’s most spectacular and beautiful landscapes WORDS DOLORES O ’ DONOGHUE


he world is full of so many magical places, some so extraordinary that it’s difficult to believe they actually exist on Planet Earth. These breathtaking destinations are some of nature’s most spectacular and beautiful masterpieces and deserve a place at the very top of any nature lover’s travel list.


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Mù Cang Chai, Vietnam Vietnam is a fascinating country with an extensive collection of historical and cultural attractions. The country is also renowned for its spectacular and diverse scenery. One of the most unique and exquisite landscapes is Mù Cang Chai, a rural district of Yen Bai province, in the northeast. For centuries farmers in this mountainous region carved these graduated steps into the steep slopes creating platforms to grow their crops. These terraced paddies follow the contours of the mountain creating a stair-like pattern. The cultivation of rice requires a lot of water, and levelling this mountainous land into terraces increases the water holding capacity as the water source descends from higher streams and waterfalls. The best time to visit is after the rainy season in September or October when the crops carpet the landscape in vivid green as they bloom. ?


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Tsingy de Bemaraha, Madagascar In Malagasy, the word ‘tsingy’ means ‘where one can only walk on tiptoe’. It can also be interpreted as ‘going with fear’, as is required for the exploration of this unusual and unforgiving landscape of jagged spires of limestone, carved by millennia of water and wind erosion. The Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, located in a very remote area of western Madagascar, is a strict nature reserve, and is an important habitat for a wealth of endemic plant and animal species. It is a great place to spot rare and endangered lemurs and birds, with eleven different species of lemur living within the park’s boundaries.


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The Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye Danxia, China Part of the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in the Gansu province, this naturally formed landscape is a kaleidoscope of vivid shades of reds, greens, yellows and blues. The striking hills are the result of sandstone and siltstone mineral deposits several million years old. Layers of sand, iron and trace elements provided the key ingredients to form the colours. The principal dark red colour is because of iron oxide, yellow is the result of iron sulphide and green from chlorite. The dramatic textures, shapes, sizes and patterns were formed by the natural weathering processes.


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Antelope Canyon, USA Located just a few miles from Page, a small town in Northern Arizona, this sandstone wonderland is part of the Navajo Reservation, a Native American territory. Once home to herds of pronghorn antelope, it is classified as a slot canyon, meaning it is a narrow, tall channel with solid rock walls. It consists of two separate sections: Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is ‘Tse’ bighanilini’, which appropriately means ‘the place where water runs through rocks’, and its formation is the result of the millions of years of erosion due to periodic flash flooding carving into the sandstone. Lower Antelope Canyon is ‘Hasdestwazi’ in the Navajo tongue, meaning ‘spiral rock arches’. The curving rocks of the canyon create a rhythmic visual experience of shapes, textures and colours that fold into each other. When the sun is at its highest, magnificent beams shine through and light up the multihued walls adding drama to an already mesmerising location.

Le Mont Saint-Michel Normandy, France

Not actually a castle, but nonetheless a location where romance and magic abound. An enchanting island topped by a gravity-defying medieval monastery, Le Mont-Saint-Michel has been a pilgrimage destination for centuries. The iconic abbey is also the starting point for the Mont-Saint-Michel Way route on the Camino de Santiago. The original site was founded by an Irish hermit, but it was in the eighth century that the gothic-style Benedictine abbey was built. During the Reformation the abbey was closed and converted into a prison, and all religious practices were banned. Influential figures, including Victor Hugo, launched a campaign to restore what was seen as a national architectural treasure. The prison was closed in 1863 and the mount declared a historic monument in 1874. In 1966, friars and sisters from Les Fraternités Monastiques de Jérusalem moved back to the island. Approximately 2.5 million people visit annually.


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Lassen Volcanic National Park, USA This National Park in northern California is one of the few areas in the world where four types of volcano can be found: plug dome, shield, cinder cone and stratovolcano. The colourful Painted Dunes speckled with lush pine trees lie near the 700-foot tall cinder cone volcano that’s believed to have last erupted in the 1650s. The dramatic colour of this magnificent lava bed was formed by the oxidation of volcanic ash — the ash fell on the molten lava flows and subsequently changed colour due to the effect of natural weathering.

Ashikagi Flower Park, Japan Wisteria blooms have been cherished by the Japanese people for centuries. The flower, known as ‘fuji’ in Japanese, was even mentioned in the Manyoshu, the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry compiled around the 8th century. During Japan’s wisteria season from mid-April to mid-May, the best places to see these magnificent blooms is Ashikaga Flower Park, which is about a two-hour journey from Tokyo, in Tochigi Prefecture. To the delight of flower lovers, there are more than 350 wisteria trees in different varieties from violet, pink, purple, yellow and white that bloom successively over the course of a month. Not just a wisteria park, Ashikaga is home to lots of other amazing flowers such as azaleas, petunias and carnations. So from season to season, the garden changes its colours and appearance giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy seasonal flowers throughout the year.


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The Burren, Ireland

photo : alison woodham

photo : alison woodham

Made up of limestone, formed from sediments and fossil remains laid down on the bottom of warm shallow seas, the Burren spans 350 square kilometres in the north-west of Co. Clare. The oldest rocks were formed during the Carboniferous period, approximately 300 – 350 million years ago. Due to various processes such as plate tectonics and changing sea levels, the limestone rose from the sea over time. The plateaus of limestone have been subject to dissolution by surface water and groundwater over a long period of time, forming intricate patterns on the rock surface as well as developing caves within the limestone. These intricate patterns have been enhanced by the influence of glaciers moving over the surface during the Ice Age which ended as recently as 10,000 years ago. Its landscape of karstic limestone pavement, replete with fossils, appears harsh and barren, but a rich variety of flora, grasses and wild flowers flourish here. A remarkable group of Mediterranean and Arctic-Alpine plants grow side by side in this exceptional botanical environment.


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Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town

The Western Cape of South Africa Exploring Cape Town and the surrounding areas of the picturesque Western Cape WORDS AND PHOTOS ORNA O ’ REILLY WEBER


aw-dropping scenery, a buzzing capital city, charming little towns, verdant vineyards, exquisite wildlife viewing, vast beaches and craggy cliffs are just some of the splendours of the Western Cape of South Africa that draw millions of visitors each year. Home to a remarkable number of must-see attractions, it is certainly one of the most spectacular destinations that I have ever visited.

Cape Town Consistently rated as one of the most beautiful and hospitable cities in the world, Cape Town (known as the ‘Mother City’) and its harbour are nestled in Table Bay, with the iconic Table Mountain providing a breathtaking backdrop. The city is also an ideal starting point to tour the magnificent Cape Peninsula, South Africa’s extensive southwest coastline, which is home to some

impressive vineyards and stunning scenery. The city was founded by the East India Company as a stopping point for Dutch ships on their way east from Europe. Jan van Riebeeck, a Dutch administrator, arrived there in 1652 and established the Dutch Cape Colony as the first European settlement in South Africa. We stayed in a hotel close to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, South Africa’s


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‘The view out over the city and bay is wonderful, with Devil’s Peak on one side and Lion’s Head on the other’

below: (Clockwise from top) View across Hout Bay from Chapman’s Peak Drive; Zulu dancing at Cape Town Waterfront; Dias Beach, Cape Point.

oldest working harbour, which is a lively spot with lots of attractions including a huge Ferris wheel, several bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. While visiting Cape Town, a visit to iconic Table Mountain is a must. This almost vertical cliff is more than 1,000 metres high with a slowly revolving cable car to transport visitors to the summit and back. The view out over the city and bay is wonderful, with Devil’s Peak on one side and Lion’s Head on the other. At the summit, quite apart from the stunning views, there is a gift shop, restaurant and lots of paths wending their way amongst the plentiful vegetation. In fact, Cape Town has one of the highest levels of plant diversity in the world. It is estimated that more than 2,200 different species of plant, including many different types of protea (a type of flowering bush), are confined to Table Mountain itself. Many visitors to the city like to take a

trip by boat out to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years. Almost 7 kilometres from land, the island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a leper colony and a military base. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. The booking office for the Robben Island ferry is at the Waterfront, and booking well in advance is recommended. The climate in Cape Town is mild, with plenty of sunshine, though it can be pretty wet during the winter months. In spring and summer, the famous ‘Cape Doctor’ wind blows in from the southeast that reputedly clears pollution and ‘pestilence’, hence its name.

Cape of Good Hope No trip to Cape Town is complete without a visit to the Cape of Good Hope at the


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toe of the Cape Peninsula. When it comes to scenery, the Cape Peninsula is possibly the most spectacular place I have ever seen. It consists of a spine of high mountain peaks trimmed with sandy beaches, beginning just south of the city and ending 40 kilometres later at Cape Point. We booked a guided tour of the Cape Peninsula and began our trip with a visit to the Cape Malay quarter. Located on the lower slopes of Signal Hill, it is called Bo-Kaap and is full of gorgeously coloured houses. The Cape-Malay people are a South African ethnic group that originally came as slaves, political prisoners and exiles from the Dutch East Indies, which is modern-day Indonesia. Heading for the Atlantic coast, our first stop was at Maiden’s Cove, from which we had a view of the huge beach at Camps Bay with the Twelve Apostles mountain range behind. The tour then took us through Llandudno and on to Hout Bay Harbour, where we caught a ferry out to Seal Island to visit the local seal population. Driving south down the coast of False Bay on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula, we stopped at Simon’s Town to stretch our legs. This is a very pretty Victorian-style town where the South African Naval Base is situated. From there it was a

short drive to Boulder’s Beach, where we saw a large colony of African penguins. Finally, arriving at Cape Point National Park, passing a family of baboons and some ostriches, we made our way to the lighthouse which marks the south-western point of the African continent. We boarded the Flying Dutchman funicular railway for the three-minute ride to the lighthouse itself. The cliffs here are spectacular, rising to more than 200 metres above the ocean. The view is stupendous, with Dias Beach below named after Bartolomeu Dias, the Portuguese nobleman, who was the first explorer to round the Cape of Good Hope in 1488. We returned to Cape Town along Chapman’s Peak Drive. This is a dizzying journey with fabulous views across Hout Bay.

Hermanus Next stop on our packed itinerary was the town of Hermanus on the clifftops, south-east of Cape Town overlooking Walker Bay, a famous destination for whale watching. Unfortunately, we were just two weeks too late to see the famous Southern Right whales that come in to breed from June until early December. Hermanus even has a Whale Crier, who blows on a kelp horn when whales are sighted off the

above left: Cape Agulhas, the southern tip of the African continent above: (From top) Lunch at Franschhoek Cellars; Two Oceans Restaurant, Cape Point; Franschhoek Wine Tram.

‘We saw a multitude of penguins perched on the rocks and bobbing in and out of the waves as we walked through their midst atop a boardwalk’ ANTHOLOGY AUTUMN 2020 19

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cliffs. There is a whale festival every year at the end of September to celebrate the migration of Southern Right whales.

Cape Agulhas During our visit to Hermanus, we visited Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa. It is a fairly barren headland with low trailing clouds hurrying by, adding to its feeling of remoteness. A historic lighthouse perches on the rocky outcrop overlooking the ocean, and a wooden walkway will guide you in safety over the rocks leading to the exact point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans collide. Cape Agulhas has always been a hazardous landmark for sailors as it is where the warm and swift Mozambican or Agulhas Current, having passed down the eastern coast of Africa, meets the icy Benguela current, fresh from Antarctica. This collision of warm and cold currents can result in some very wild weather at sea, and the winter storms and massive waves have sunk more than 150 ships off this point, helped by the ‘roaring forties’, the belt of strong westerly winds that blow furiously throughout the year at these latitudes.

Betty’s Bay Betty’s Bay, another spot we visited while staying in Hermanus, is home to a


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‘A historic lighthouse perches on the rocky outcrop overlooking the ocean, and a wooden walkway will guide you in safety over the rocks leading to the exact point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans collide’

opposite: (Top) Penguins at Boulders Beach; (Bottom) Cape Point Lighthouse. right: (Top) Lighthouse at Cape Agulhas; (Bottom) View from Table Mountain; below: (From top) The Bo-Kaap district, Capetown; Franschhoek; Seal Island

colony of endangered African Penguins. Here we saw a multitude of penguins perched on the rocks and bobbing in and out of the waves as we walked through their midst atop a boardwalk. There were also plenty of cormorants and other seabirds visiting the beach.

Franschhoek We completed our tour of the Western Cape Province with a visit to the pretty town of Franschhoek, one of the oldest towns in South Africa, which is nestled amongst the winelands. Centuries-old, with much of the original Cape Dutch architecture still prevalent, Franschhoek is a charming town. Considered the food and wine capital of South

Africa, I would highly recommend Café des Artes, a traditional restaurant where they make excellent bobotie, a popular local dish. Franschhoek is Afrikaans for ‘French Corner’ and is named after the Huguenots who arrived there in the 17th century. Many of the vineyards and farms in the area are named after French towns and there is a Huguenot monument and museum at the end of town, commemorating those early French settlers who planted the first vines that subsequently made this area so famous. The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a popular way to visit many of the local vineyards. It is an old-fashioned doubledecker tram which transports visitors between the vineyards and wine estates that dot the area around Franschhoek.


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The Ardèche Breathtaking landscapes, secluded medieval villages, rugged gorges and canyons are a testament to France’s best-kept secret, the Ardèche



culture-filled district in the Auvergne-Rhóne-Alpes region of France, the Ardèche takes its name from the crystal clear river that runs through it and stretches 125 kilometres along the south-central section of the country. I have been lucky to have visited this area several times. During each visit, I am astonished by the diverse culture and history, the picturesque scenery, the flavoursome and simple food, and the cordial locals who are so very welcoming. On my first visit, I was immediately captivated by the richness of the area. As we drove on the winding roads through the terrifyingly high mountains, I was completely transfixed by the wild and weather-beaten but magnificent area that surrounded me. Each bend uncovered one astounding view after another as we looked down on the meandering river cutting its way through the spectacular deep gorges. Throughout the extensive network of small country roads there are lots of quaint little villages where you can break the journey to

stop at a traditional café for a coffee and freshly baked pastry. This also gives an opportunity to mix with the friendly village residents and soak in the laid-back atmosphere that seems to permeate everyday life. Sitting outside any of these patisseries, it is fascinating to people-watch and observe as they go by, so nonchalant and composed as they get on with their everyday lives, appearing neither stressed or rushed – it’s as if time has slowed down. I found it impossible not to become completely immersed in the atmosphere and live the way the locals did. This way of life became inspirational. Many of these picturesque old villages possess a medieval aura, each steeped in history and character. One such village, Alba-la-Romaine, has become my favourite among the Ardèche villages and it has served as my home for many of my visits. Although the village as it appears today would seem to have its origins in the 13th century, it was actually an important town during Ancient Roman times and served as the capital for the Helvian people, a Celtic-speaking polity of Romanised Gauls.


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‘Each bend uncovered one astounding view after another as we looked down on the meandering river’

clockwise from top: Ardèche Gorge in the Rhone-Alpes; Goat in the Canyon of Ardèche; Local produce: goat’s cheese in olive oil with olives and wine; The Pont d’Arc.


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‘The amazing artwork that covers the walls is typical of the people who lived in the region over 40,000 years ago’

above: Grotte La Madeleine. below: Caverne du Pont-d’Arc.

above: (Top) Stone arch in Balazuc village; (Bottom) Window of a traditional stone house


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A visit to the museum, MuséAl, just outside the village, gives a fascinating insight to the complexity of this ancient Roman settlement. The original Roman town has been excavated, revealing the ruins of several buildings. The shops, temples and even an amphitheatre take us to the heart of what everyday life was like for the inhabitants, 2,000 years ago under Roman domination, in this busy commercial city.

Caverne du Pont-d’Arc This cave is a replica of the original Chauvet Cave (now a UNESCO world heritage site which was discovered in 1994 and is one of the world’s most famous prehistoric rock art sites, having some of the best-preserved figurative cave paintings depicting animals such as horses, cattle and mammoths.) Caverne du Pont-d’Arc is located in one of the typical limestone cliffs. The amazing artwork that covers the walls is typical of the people who lived in the region over 40,000 years ago. The original artists experimented with perspective and animation. While absorbing the intensity of this extraordinary place it is easy to forget that this is actually a replica of the original cave. A strong sense of curiosity about these prehistoric artists, about whom we know very little, remained with me long after my visit.

Grotte de la Madeleine Yet another of the many prehistoric caves that are found scattered around the region, the Madeleine Cave is an experience that should definitely be on your must-visit list. Located in the heart of the Ardèche canyon, it is an experience like no other. As you venture deeper and deeper into the cave it features impressive stalagmites, stalactites, rock formations and natural baths formed by calcium carbonate. There is an amazing music and lights show in one of the massive chambers which is completely out of this world. The nearby Belvédère de la Madeleine viewpoint offers superb panoramic views of the Ardèche gorges!

Kayaking at Pont d’Arc I was lucky enough to get to do this on my first visit to the Ardèche and it is still one of the most memorable highlights of my time spent there. Pont d’Arc is a 60 metre high natural stone arch over the Ardèche River and is situated 5 kilometres from the town of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. It was a truly indescribable experience to paddle under the arch of this famous landmark and marvel at the rock formations that towered over me while winding my way through the impressive gorges.

left: Old ruins near the village Vallon Pont d’Arc. below: Kayaking on the Ardèche River


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right: Vineyard in the Ardèche district. below: Local goats cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves. bottom: Picturesque alley in the village of Salavas

‘The traditional dishes generally have a rustic feel that reflects the region’s selfsufficiency’

Food and Wine For me, the Ardèche is a place that I can submerse myself in the French culture and way of life, but it is also an ideal destination for outdoor sports, cycling, hiking and horse riding. Another delight to be enjoyed is the exceptional richness of the great wines and gastronomic delights such as cheeses, chestnuts, honey, blueberries and olives. The traditional dishes generally have a rustic feel that reflects the region’s self-sufficiency. ‘La bombine’ is a hearty local

dish and is made up of potatoes cut into small cubes, carrots, onions, black olives and pieces of bacon or lamb flavoured with bay leaves or thyme and simmered in a casserole dish. The Ardèche is also a place where you can get good ‘charcuterie’ sausages, pâté, ham and creamy goat’s cheeses. All of these delicious flavours will be enhanced by pairing with a good wine. The Ardèche has a long history of wine production and an abundance of vineyards to visit that produce some of the very finest of French wines.


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Jean Lowndes

Original and richly layered, palette knife oil paintings

Exhibits regularly at: The Kilrane Gallery, Churchtown, Kilrane, Co. Wexford Castle Crafts, Market Street, Trim, Co. Meath Number 10 Design at Kelly Interiors, Naas, Co. Kildare Also at: The Red Stables, Mount Prospect Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 3 Sept 21 - 27, 2020 I Oct 19 - Nov 1, 2020 I Nov 9 - 15, 2020

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Irish Art – Virtually – at The award-winning Kilbaha Gallery, run by sisters-in-law, Ailish Connolly and Liz Greehy on the Loop Head Peninsula, Co. Clare, hosts the work of many of Ireland’s professional contemporary artists. The family have been steeped within the art industry for fifty years, with one of Ireland’s few remaining traditional-method bronze foundries on site, run by sculptor Seamus Connolly. Due to COVID 19 the physical gallery is closed to the public this year, but thankfully the online gallery,, has been busier than ever with online exhibitions, exclusive first looks and artists’ interviews. It features exciting new work by Seamus Connolly, Heidi Wickham, Ruth Wood, Carmel T Madigan, Padraig McCaul, Adam Pomeroy, Anna St. George and many more. These enterprising ladies will also be expanding their online offering over the coming weeks and months. So watch that space!

Carol Cronin ‘The challenge of conveying the experience of the sea, that immense, mountainous, moving mass, is what draws me back again and again.’ A devoted seascape painter, Carol’s artistic technique involves very fine glazing layers of pigment, which create nuances of colour and structure. Her paintings appear incredibly realistic, capturing both the harmonious bluegreens of the sea on a calm day or the fierceness and fury of the ocean during a storm.

Over a Silky Sea 60 x 48 in, oil on canvas

Almost Home 20 x 24 in, oil on canvas

A selection of her recent works can be viewed at The Carol Cronin Gallery, Upper Green Street, Dingle, or at +353 86 1031074

Felicia Thomas Creator of ‘Polly Dollies’, Felicia Thomas is a mixed-media artist who loves to explore the wonderful elements of acrylics, paper and fabric to create her beautiful, whimsical characters. Florals and houses also feature and encourage the viewer to create a story in their imagination. Originally from England, Felicia has made her home in County Kerry, where she is continually inspired by the beautiful lakes and mountains. Felicia stepped into full time creative life after a life-changing injury and now brings a quirky, colourful, slightly nostalgic happiness to her work. Sold as originals, limited edition prints, cushions and greetings cards, her work is available at Wild Design, Cork City and Killarney, and online at

+353 87 644 0320


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+44 7926851185

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June McIntyre A truly versatile artist working with a range of media, oils, acrylics and silk dyes, June McIntyre has been painting since her teens. Now, aged 81, she still produces a vast array of new work that can be seen in DINGLE ARTWORKS, just below the church in Green Street, Dingle, Co. Kerry. This gallery, run by her daughter Louise (who is also an artist, working with beads, papier-mâché and making one-off creations including lamp shades and wonderful bird boxes), is a glorious shop full of colour and light. Limited editions and prints mounted or framed in various sizes from small to very big are on sale. An absolute must see when in Dingle!

Botanical Paintings by June McIntyre

+353 66 915 2220

Deborah Joyce i deborahjoyceart

Deborah’s paintings are abstract, in the sense that she extrapolates and absorbs what is around her that commands her attention. She doesn’t have any preconceived ideas. The significant and compelling complexities of nature, combined with the geological and ecological effects on us as a species, are an intrinsic aspect of her painting. For Deborah, to deconstruct these complexities into a more simplified rendition is important, in order to leave some space for the viewer to interpret what they see in her paintings. New collection available from The Boathouse Gallery, Kinsale, and Castlemartyr House Gallery, Cork. Prints available from Westport Designs in Westport, Achill Top Drawer and Pantry, and Cafferkey’s, Ballina.

Sylvia Linehan Bright, bold and colourful are apt words to describe Sylvia’s botanical and floral portraits. Characterful, delightful and heart-warming describes her animal portraits. Whether working in lush oils or delicate sparkling watercolour, Sylvia’s joy and love of the natural word is intoxicating. Sylvia is a Dublin-based artist, working from her studio in Saggart. She graduated from NCAD with a BA Hons First Class in Fine Art Print and is currently studying for a diploma in Botanical Art with the Society of Botanical Artists UK. To purchase a work or commission a piece, contact Sylvia by email. i sylvialinehan


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Desie O’Reilly Put some colour in your life

With many swapping desks for kitchen tables, Belfast artist Desie O’Reilly recognises the importance of being surrounded with positive, colourful art. His work has been exhibited in New York, London and Dublin and is in private collections in America, England and Malaysia. His contemporary paintings are steeped in colour, reflecting aspects of the Irish landscape that have inspired him for many years. The bright colour palette is constant in all his work, capturing familiar landmarks and roads less travelled. His work can be viewed at The Yard Gallery, Holywood, Co. Down, The Puffin Gallery, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim and The Wickerman, Belfast Co. Antrim.

Desie can also be contacted directly +44 79 2685 1185 i

Rosslare Gallery Wexford artist and owner of Rosslare Gallery, Jane Meyler brings together work by artists from around Ireland to offer an eclectic collection of contemporary art. Many pieces are on coastal themes, and Jane’s own artwork in pastels and in oils is also featured. Her special interest is in colour and brushwork which is reflected in the works she chooses for the gallery. These include works by Esther O’Kelly, Paul Maloney, Michael McGuire, Gillian Deeny, Tony Robinson and American impressionist Lori Putnam. In addition to paintings, there are also sculptures, prints, mosaics, jewellery and a wide range of decorative craft items to brighten a room, offering a wide range of gifts for every occasion.

Wexford Town by Jane Meyler

Rosslare Gallery, Strand Road, Rosslare Strand, Co. Wexford +353 86 1647255

Rosslare Strand by Jane Meyler

Chris O’Hara Abstract artist Chris O’Hara provides a unique call-out service for his clients. By appointment, he will visit your home or office with a photo album of over 100 photos of his paintings and ten paintings of various sizes and colours to give you a better idea of what can be tailormade for your space. He specialises in commissioned work that will enhance any interior including the home, offices, public areas and restaurants.

To inquire about a commissioned painting or arrange a visit, Chris can be contacted at: +353 87 2700346


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The Old Schoolhouse Dunquin 48 x 72 in, oil on linen


The Carol Cronin Gallery, Upper Green Street, Dingle, Co. Kerry Tel: 086 103 1074

SYLVIA LINEHAN Original Fine Art I

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i sylvialinehan

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Clémence Prosen French-born Irish artist, Clémence Prosen captures the peaceful moments of life and nature in her oil paintings. Through her art, she wishes to bring calm to your mind and to your home, to help you take a break, breathe, take a moment to reflect and escape. Her main inspiration comes from the beautiful Irish seascapes and landscapes she fell in love with during her mindful walks.

+353 87 450 5820

John Nolan

To view his work or enquire about adult painting classes, call John on +353 86 811 8063

The celebration of colour and form has preoccupied Dublin artist John Nolan since, as a young child, his artist father encouraged him to paint. He moves from one style to another, keeping his work fresh, striving to transmit a positive, upbeat feeling. His mantra is, ‘Paint what you feel, not what you see’. John’s work is valued and acclaimed all over the world. Among his greatest achievements are representing Ireland at the Florence Biennale, and being invited to exhibit at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam along with many of the great masters who were inspired by Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

Jean Lowndes Well known for vibrant, textured impasto palette-knife painting in oil, Dublin artist Jean Lowndes has added a spectacular new theme to her collection. Using fluid art techniques, she creates works with an incredible mix of colours, textures and shapes. These rich, harmonious compositions with dynamic cell structures are perfect to enhance any decor. Jean exhibits regularly at The Kilrane Gallery, Co. Wexford, Castle Crafts in Trim, Co. Meath and The Red Stables in Clontarf. Current work can be viewed and purchased through her website

Contact Jean directly at +353 86 815 4805


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+353 87 644 0320 I I



View from Cliff Road, Rosslare by Tony Robinson

Sea Pinks at Hook Head by Michael McGuire

Strand Road, Rosslare Strand, Co. Wexford +353 86 164 7255

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24/08/2020 14:01

Chris O’Hara Irish abstract artist Chris O’Hara in conversation with Edel Cassidy


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aving spent most of his career building a business in the food and catering sector, Chris O’Hara made

a career change to become a full-time artist. He creates abstract paintings on a large scale. His work is informed by the time he has spent working and travelling around the globe, and by the desire to find peace and meaning in a material world.

You previously had a very successful career in the food business. Deep down did you always feel that you had the desire and potential to become a successful artist? For years I’d been on an absolute high. I had built a phenomenally successful business at a young age, including a chain of

I was frenetically building my business

restaurants, and I was also involved in the

empire, I had pushed aside the thing

entertainment business. I was living the

that really brings me joy.

dream with the nice house, the flashy car, opportunities to travel – all of the finer

Working as a chef would also have

things of life. Then I watched it all disap-

required you to imagine and create.

pear; everything I had worked so hard to

Why does painting give you so much

achieve began to crumble around me. I had hit a wall and the adrenaline that

more satisfaction? Art has given me a new sense of satisfac-

I had thrived on had been replaced with

tion and pride, especially with the joy it

exhaustion. I suffered health issues and

brings to others. Previously I had used my

that forced me to pause, but this also gave

training as a chef as a channel to build an

me time to reflect on what I truly valued.

empire that was artificial and self-serving

I have always had a passion for art. My

and for that reason, it was never going to

inspire my art and have influenced my

mother, Ann O’Hara, was an artist who

give me the same fulfilment.

style and development. For example,

was noted mainly for her ecclesiastical

I consider myself lucky because losing

However, I believe my life experiences

being a trained chef I don’t use paint-

work, and growing up I was surrounded by

everything permitted me to create a new

brushes very much, I mainly use kitchen

her creativity and her great energy.

version of myself – a more prepared, more

utensils to apply paint.

During my time out, I found myself

experienced and a much wiser version. I

being drawn more to what I loved and

got rid of my desire for instant gratifica-

In both your past and present career

would give me a sense of fulfilment. I

tion and realised that long-term success

paths, you have demonstrated that

realised that all through the time that

requires time and patience.

you possess entrepreneurial qualities

‘Your life is like a canvas: every morning it’s up to you to decide if you keep on painting the same old picture, or create a new one’ – Chris O’Hara

and skills. How important are these abilities in building a successful career as an artist? I’ve always been driven to succeed in whatever I decide to embark on. I’m passionate ANTHOLOGY AUTUMN 2020 37

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about my work, very persistent and work hard to achieve my goals. This level of dedication is necessary to build a successful business and to be taken seriously in any walk of life. The difference this time is that I have a much clearer sense of direction. In my previous career, I was consumed with short-term problems to achieve short-term gains and profit. Now, I can set clearer goals and targets for myself. Your work is recognisable for its strong sense of colour, design and texture? Did you go through a process before developing this style?

I donated a voucher for a commissioned

Most of my paintings are unplanned and

painting to The Emeralds and Ivy Ball,

I find that they progress in a very natural

hosted by Ronan Keating, which cele-

way. The style is something that just

brates the partnership between Cancer

appeals to me. When I started to paint,

Research UK and the Marie Keating

I was coming out of a dark period of my

Foundation. As it happened, Zara Phil-

life and, although it was not a conscious

lips, Princess Anne’s daughter, and her

decision, this seemed to reflect in my

husband, the English International rugby

work. As I emerged from that period my

player Mike Tindall, bid on the voucher

work got more colourful and bright.

and won. I’m just back from delivering the

I mainly use acrylic paint on canvas but mix it with spray paint, ground coffee or

painting to their home in Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire.

whatever I need to create the desired

Royal Seal of Approval for Chris O’Hara

effect. I paint in layers and then like to

Paintings by Chris O’Hara are shipped

scrape back to let the colours and shapes

worldwide using secure, tracked and

come through, shaping a composition and

insured shipping. A certificate of authen-

A specially commissioned artwork by

making marks using various tools.

ticity is provided for every painting. For

celebrated Irish abstract artist, Chris

further information contact Chris at:

O’Hara, now takes pride of place in

I believe you have some exciting news

+353 87 2700346

the home of Zara Phillips and her

regarding a recent commission. Would

husband Mike Tindall.

you like to share this with our readers?

Or visit:

Zara commissioned a piece to suit her home and one that also included her daughter’s names, Lena and Mia. Chris created the 150 x 150cm piece, titled Funfair, over three months and delivered it to Zara’s home mounted in a floating frame. Zara was thrilled with her new piece and expressed her joy saying, ‘Thank you so much! I absolutely love it; it’s perfect! You’re a genius!’ Chris, who personally delivered and oversaw the hanging, feels very honoured and found Zara a pleasure to deal with. ‘She was genuinely excited about it, as much as I was! The visit and hanging of the painting was so relaxed and informal – a lovely person inside and out!’


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Anthology Magazine Poetry Prize Entries are now invited for the Anthology Magazine Poetry Prize. Established to recognise and encourage excellence in the craft of poetry writing and to provide a platform for publication, it is open to original and previously unpublished poems in the English language. Entries are invited from poets of all nationalities, living anywhere in the world. Poems submitted must be on the theme of ‘Expectations’ and should not exceed 40 lines. There is no limit to entries per person. The winner will receive a €500 cash prize and the chance to see their work published in a future issue of Anthology magazine. The winner will also receive a one year subscription to Anthology magazine. Submission Deadline & Entry Fees: Early Bird: 30 September 2020 – €10 per poem Deadline: 30 November 2020 – €15 per poem For further information or to enter the competition visit:


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Congratulations to Niamh Donnellan, winner of the Anthology Magazine Short Story Competition 2020




oife was sketching by the ruins of Dún Mór when she

have an annual appointment in Croke Park to get to. I’m from

first saw the old man. He wheeled his bicycle along

Kilkenny.’ he added by way of explanation.

the cliff edge before resting it against a rock and

strolling around the remains of the promontory fort, admiring what little was left. He saluted her as he passed and she

‘That’s nice.’ ‘And where else are you planning to go?’ ‘Well, I thought I’d make a tour of the islands – Tory, the

quickly turned away to look across the sea. The last thing she

Blaskets, Skellig Michael, the Aran islands, here of course …’

wanted was company.

She trailed off. He had thrown his hands in the air and begun

After a while, she packed up her things and cycled back to

rummaging in his bag again. He finally found what he was

the pier. She settled down to wait for the ferry, basking in the

looking for and raised a tattered book aloft. The Islands of

warm evening sun. Huh, there he was again, ambling down

Ireland, a Guide.

the hill. He sat on the wall near her and took a tinfoil parcel of

‘No way.’

sandwiches and a flask of tea from his bag. Old school. She

‘Great minds think alike –’

nibbled from her bag of trail mix. They watched the squab-

‘Fools seldom differ.’

bling seagulls overhead. One landed on the wall and stared at

He laughed. ‘Where are you off to next?’

his sandwich until he finally threw it a piece of crust. ‘Persistent fecker.’ ‘Sorry?’ ‘I said persistent fecker, this seagull.’

‘Only Ireland’s Eye. I’ve to work a half day Saturday so can’t get any further.’ ‘A wonderful place. Many’s the time I was there with the wife. Make sure to treat yourself to fish and chips in Howth.’

‘Hah, yeah you’re right. I’m lucky I only have nuts.’

‘Just chips. I’m vegan.’

He looked concerned.

‘Fair enough.’

‘Do you want a sandwich? I’ve more in my bag, ham and cheese.’

The ferry was nearly level with the pier. More people had

‘No, no. It’s fine. I’ll eat when I get back to my hostel.’

wandered down to the waterside and a rough queue was

‘Jim.’ he reached out a hand.

forming. Aoife gathered up her things and when she turned to

She shook it reluctantly. ‘Aoife’.

say a polite goodbye Jim had already boarded. On the journey

‘So, what has you visiting Inishbofin?’

home she sat downstairs. She saw Jim go upstairs to the

‘Em, I’m finished university for the summer and figured I would

open-air seats. Good – he wasn’t some sort of stalker. By the

do some exploring when I’m not working my summer job.’ ‘Good woman yourself. Nothing like a bit of travel to broaden the mind.’

time they got back to Creggan she had mellowed a bit and wondered if they should have swapped numbers or something. Nah, too random.

She could see the ferry coming into the bay. She wouldn’t be stuck here much longer. ‘I’ve got the free travel pass.’ He rooted in his bag and

A few weeks later, she was mortified to get a big wave and a shout from Jim as their boats passed on their way to and

produced the small plastic card proudly. ‘The grand plan is to

from Inis Mór, but it was June when she spoke with him

head off gallivanting every weekend ’til September. By then I’ll

again. Her boat back from the Blasket Islands was lining up


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by the pier when she got a tap on the shoulder. ‘Aoife, how’s tricks?’ ‘Hey, Jim.’ ‘Good, good. Are you enjoying the summer?’ ‘Yeah, got a few more off the list now.’ ‘Are you in a rush? I’m going to get a pint while I wait for the bus. Will you join me?’ Aoife’s first instinct was to say no, but as the only English-speaker on a boat full of Japanese tourists, she had spent the day mute, silently marvelling at the ghostly ruins framing the technicolour greens and blues of the Blaskets. ‘Em, yeah. Ok.’ She sat at a picnic table outside the pub. Jim threaded his way around the tables saying his hellos to the friends he had made on the tour that day. He finally returned to Aoife with

and that was just the Greeks!’

a creamy pint of Guinness and a glass of red wine, producing

‘I’d love to go there.’

two bags of crisps with a flourish.

‘Life is short. Sure, what’s stopping you?’

‘What’s a drink without crisps?’

‘Em. I’ve to save my money for uni and rent.’ She squirmed

‘Good point.’

uncomfortably. ‘Anyway, change of subject, want to see my

They shared their impressions of the day’s excursion. Jim

sketches from today?’

had fallen in with a group of Americans who seemed to have

‘I thought you’d never ask.’

adopted him as their own. He had more stories of them than the islands. Aoife described her epic struggle to draw the

Aoife stared out the window and swung in her chair. Most of

island’s animals, holding up as evidence a sketchbook marked

the office were on their summer holidays; the place was dead.

by seawater and donkey’s teeth. Their laughter had faded into

She jumped when her phone beeped. It was a text from Jim.

comfortable silence when Jim took up the conversation again. ‘So, have you plans for next summer?’ ‘Working again,’ she grimaced. ‘How about you?’

‘Hi Aoife, how are you? My friend gave me two tickets for Skellig Michael. One is yours if you want it. Jim.’ Tickets for the Skelligs were like gold dust, between de-

‘Ah, I don’t like to look too far ahead.’

mand from rich American tourists and Star Wars fanatics. She

‘If I had all your time I’d go everywhere.’

hadn’t even thought to book at the beginning of the summer

‘I’ve to stay close to home for the foreseeable.’

and had reluctantly taken them off her list, until now.

‘Well, what’s your dream trip?’

‘Oh yes. Life goals. When?’

‘The Greek islands. I was there in the 70s. Wild and beautiful,

‘Next weekend.’ ‘Perfect. My last weekend away.’ ‘Same here. See you at Portmagee marina. Saturday at 9 am.’ She took a precious half day to catch the train down the night before. Jim was waiting at the pier, tickets in hand. The boat over was as calm as could be expected of the Atlantic. Skellig Michael rose sharply from the choppy waters to pierce a clear blue sky. They climbed well-worn steps to the top, Jim pausing now and then for a rest while Aoife bounced from stone to stone. When they reached the top Jim sat down, winded. Aoife scrambled up a rock and stared out to sea. ‘It’s beautiful isn’t it?’ Jim was still catching his breath. ‘It’s peaceful. As if the monks left some of their spirit behind. Good for the soul.’ They made a picnic of his sandwiches and her trail mix and toasted the end of the summer with lukewarm tea.


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On All-Ireland Day the housemates all went up to McGraths for

The bells rang out from the white and blue churches on the

a few pints. They were standing outside, soaking up the last

hill, reminding her of Jim. She had never seen him again after

dregs of summer sunshine when she saw the familiar salute.

that day in September. Just one text asking for her address,

‘Well there she is. Supporting Galway eh? We all have our

and the subsequent arrival of a Christmas present, clumsily

cross to bear.’ He looked thinner and there were dark circles

wrapped: a dog-eared paperback, The Islands of Greece, a

under his eyes.

Guide. On a grey day in January she said goodbye to him,

‘Jim, how are you?’ ‘Great!’ and, as if to answer her unspoken question, ‘The stripes are very slimming.’ ‘I’ll cheer for Kilkenny.’ Her friends booed good-naturedly in their maroon and white shirts. ‘Good woman.’ He patted her back. ‘Look after yourself.’ And he was gone, swallowed up by a sea of black and amber. ‘Who was the aul lad?’ Her friends were curious. ‘A friend of mine.’ Aoife sat on the wooden pier, her tanned toes kicking the cool azure water below. She nibbled on fresh-baked olive bread as she waited for the ferry to Santorini. She was leaving Ios today after two months working in a bar (though ‘working’ was a loose term for a summer of cliff diving, sunbathing and short-lived romances). Now for three weeks of island-hopping before returning to Dublin with enough money in her pocket to scrape by until Christmas.

standing outside the church as the funeral bells tolled. A seagull came up to her, enquiringly. She threw him a scrap of bread. ‘Persistent fecker.’ She picked up her guidebook and stepped on to the boat. Niamh Donnellan is a writer from Co. Meath. Working in communications, she shares other people’s stories for a living. Outside office hours, she writes her own. She was selected for the XBorders Transition 2019 and XBorders Refuge 2020 projects with the Irish Writer’s Centre. She was longlisted for the Fish Short Fiction Prize 2019 and was a winner in the Holding it Together Apart Creative Writing Competition 2020. She has also contributed to She is currently working on her second novel and a collection of short stories.

Anthology Magazine Short Story Competition 2020 Thank you to all who participated in the competition

Highly Commended Marguerite Doyle (Ireland) for Outlier Neil Tully (Ireland) for The Road Was Full of Mud Brian O’Connor (United Kingdom) for Hope is a Green Shoot

Shortlisted Ailish McKenna (Ireland) for The Crow Lady • Brian O’Connor (United Kingdom) for Hope is a Green Shoot • Claire Gleeson (Ireland) for Interview • Fergal Greene (Belgium) for Let The Silence Grow • Louise Rimmer (United Kingdom) for Hang Ten • Lucie McKnight Hardy (United Kingdom) for Parroting • Marguerite Doyle (Ireland) for Outlier • Maria O’Rourke (Ireland) for Huckleberry Friend • Neil Tully (Ireland) for The Road Was Full of Mud • Niamh Donnellan (Ireland) for Islands • Nollaig Rowan (Ireland) for The Potting Shed

A very special thank you to our sponsors: Montenotte Hotel House of Waterford Crystal Weir & Sons


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The Broken Pledge The Bonny Men’s new album showcases Ireland’s rich heritage of storytelling through music


opular traditional Irish music band The Bonny Men launched their new, highly anticipated album at TradFest, Dublin, earlier this year. Titled The Broken Pledge this is their third studio

album and was recorded over a period of three years. Since forming in January 2011, the band has managed to create a

words edel cassidy

distinctive and vibrant sound that encapsulates the very soul of traditional Irish music. They have the unique ability to combine the very best of Irish tunes with original songs in a style that remains true to tradition but that also draws on contemporary arrangements. The seven-piece band are no strangers to stage and screen, and


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lovers of great musicians and excellent vocal harmonies should not miss an opportunity to see them perform live. Their high-octane musical sets are full of life and spontaneous passion that deliver non-stop energy and a truly memorable experience. The band members have an incredible collective pedigree, all masters of their chosen instruments and have been recipients of prestigious awards such as TG4 Young Musician of the Year and World Bodhrán Champion. The line-up consists of brother and sister Maitiú Ó’Casaide and Natalie Ní Chasaide, the Lyons brothers, Barry and Conor, and school friends, Adam Whelan, Turlough ANTHOLOGY AUTUMN 2020 45

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Chambers and Moss Landman. A few months after the release of the second album, in 2015, The Bonny Men were commissioned by the Genealogical Society of Ireland to perform two concerts which encapsulated the music of Ireland from 1616–1916, in commemoration of the centenary of the 1916 Rising. While researching the music for this, they came up with arrangements and sets that paved the way and shaped the sound for the third album.

The Broken Pledge

Careful consideration went into the music and overall theme chosen

album cover design

for this album. When selecting a title, it was decided to call it The Broken

is by Brian Giles, aka

Pledge, after one of the tunes. As an Irish cultural reference, it resonated im-

Sonofafox, an Irish

mediately with the different types of pledges that can be made and subse-

printmaker and graphic

quently broken. It could merely be the Confirmation abstinence pledge that

designer based in Dub-

most Irish children traditionally took at the age of twelve, but it can also be

lin. Through the process

interpreted on so many other levels such as years of forced emigration, the

of screen printing, he

current homeless crisis and climate change. Specific to this album, enhanc-

loves to experiment with graphic abstract

ing and complementing its sound, was the decision to incorporate a range of

textures and strong colour combinations,

collaborations with special guests such as Steve Cooney on the didgeridoo.

often combining these two elements to

Although the usual energetic sound carries on from the first two albums,

produce bold and colourful artworks. His practice incorporates a range of processes such as silkscreen, large-scale printing, paste-ups, collage, painting, risograph and photography, all of which are re-contextualised through the print process.


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‘When they were putting the material together, a lot of the tunes and songs were deeply rooted in Ireland’s long and tumultuous political struggle and social history’

this one has a darker, more sombre edge to it. While it was not the band’s intention to make a themed album, it just so happened that when they were putting the material together, a lot of the tunes and songs were deeply rooted in Ireland’s long and tumultuous political struggle and social history, such as: An tSean Bhean Bhocht: a traditional Irish song concerning the French expedition to Bantry Bay that ultimately failed to get ashore in 1796. The Repeal of the Union: a reel that refers to the political campaign set up by Daniel O’Connell in 1830 for a repeal of the Acts of Union of 1800 between Great Britain and Ireland. Tunnel Tigers: a song written by Ewan MacColl about the harsh conditions that faced many Irish labourers who worked digging the underground tunnels in England in the 1960s. Further information at


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Tile Tricks Ten useful tips for managing a tiling project WORDS LOUISE HIGGINS

Few materials can inspire creativity the way tiles do. They are versatile and provide durable surfaces for almost any space, and are available in a wide range of materials, colours, shapes and sizes. Tiles are hygienic, super-tough, scratch-, stain- and water-resistant. They are also a great choice for allergy sufferers as they are easy to keep clean and free of dust. From materials, shapes, patterns and maintenance, the following tips will guide you on choosing the right tiles for your home. 48 AU T U M N 2020 A N T HO LO G Y

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The Type of Tile It is important to be aware of the various types of tiles available and their suitability for the different areas in the home. With such a vast selection to choose from, many factors should be considered when selecting suitable tiles for particular projects, such as grading, which indicates the thickness and quality, PEI rating, which defines hardness and durability, and the skid resistance scale, which determines the degree of slippage. Then there is the absorbent value, chemical resistance ability, and of course style, colour and pattern. Ceramic tiles are a good choice for bathrooms or other moisture-rich environments as they are waterproof and easy to clean. Porcelain is a good option for flooring where durability and non-slip grip is paramount. Natural stone tiles are durable and appealing to the eye but require more maintenance than a ceramic or porcelain tile. Other varieties include marble, glass, cement and stone. With so much to choose from, it can be difficult not to feel a little overwhelmed!

Shape Large-format tiles require less grouting and can make a room feel more spacious. Square and rectangular tiles are the most popular as they are extremely functional, flatter any living space and are available in a variety of sizes, textures and colours. Consider experimenting with different shapes for a feature wall or splashback such as hexagon, mosaic or elongated tiles. Decorative art deco fan tiles are an exciting new trend. Their rounded shape and curved lines create a softer scheme and are a pleasant change from the more traditional metro tiles.

Layout Tiles can be laid out in so many more patterns than the classic grid that we see time and time again. To create a unique interior scheme, consider alternative ways to lay the tiles so that the pattern chosen will reflect your home’s unique character and your personal sense of style. With a little imagination, you can introduce distinctive but unexpected designs such as non-repeating patterns or adding bold pops of colour.


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Measure and Calculate

Pattern and Texture Moroccan decorative tiles give an exotic vibe and are known for their vibrant colours, intricate designs and mixture of textures. They can be used as a floor or wall covering and can also be a great material to create a striking feature wall. Mixing the texture of your tiles will add further interest, for example mixing gloss and matt or even adding a metallic tile to the mix. Dimensional tiles add a sculptural quality and are a great addition to a monochromatic scheme.

This can be tricky but most suppliers will be happy to help. Remember that there will be cuts required and breakages so when measurements have been taken add 5%-10% to the quantity to ensure there will be a sufficient supply of tiles for the job. Running short and having to re-order could result in batch variation.

Mixing Materials Combining two different materials and textures will add interest and can achieve an edgy, contemporary look. Consider mixing a wood-effect tile with a classic marble tile to create a stunning focal point. This is especially effective in open-plan spaces where you would like to zone in on a section such as a kitchen or dining area.

50 AU T U M N 2020 A N T HO LO G Y

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Maintenance and Cleaning Products It is important to get the right advice on how to treat tiles before and after fixing. All natural stone, polished, honed and antique tiles require a specialist sealant. Stone by its nature is porous and unsealed stone will absorb stains. Speak to your tile supplier regarding the cleaning of your tiles and always follow the manufacturers’ recommendations in the use of cleaning agents with stone floors.

Grout Match, complement or contrast? This is the big question when it comes to grout. It is possible to space the tiles wider or narrower to emphasise or deemphasise the grout lines. Matching grout with tiles can make a space relaxing, give continuity and can help the room appear larger. A contrasting grout can make a space feel busier, but can also be utilised to create a unique tile design.

Use a Professional Last but not least, many things can go wrong with laying tiles so it is always best to use an expert tiler, who can advise on the best choice for a particular area and will also calculate the correct amount required. A professional will also know the best adhesive to use to ensure your tiles don’t crack and that the grout is sealed sufficiently to avoid porous seams that can absorb water, bacteria and stains.

Get Creative When we think of tiles, we automatically visualise them being used for floors, kitchens and bathrooms, but it’s a good and novel idea to consider using them in other areas of the home, for example, a feature wall in an unexpected area such as a home office or behind a bed, a fireplace surround or even a staircase. Using border and décor tiles is another great way to add interest to your tiled surface. If you are artistic, why not try your hand at some mosaic projects using broken tiles on a base like a coffee table, bowl or vase.

Louise Higgins, founder of Perfect Headboards and Aspire Design, is an award-winning designer and a graduate of the Interior Design Academy of Ireland. Louise is a full member of the Interiors Association and is also a member of the Crafts Council of Ireland. For further advice, contact Louise at 045-982265 or ANTHOLOGY AUTUMN 2020 51

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through your preferences and ideas. Porcellana is ideally located for easy access by road and rail and has dedicated on-site parking. With only the highest quality porcelains and stone on display, it’s well worth a visit!

Porcellana Tile studio An award-winning tile studio specialising in luxurious interiors for private clients, designers and architects, offering a boutique service, original ideas, exceptional quality and a friendly attitude. From beginning until completion of a project, Porcellana’s award-winning team is dedicated to providing an excellent customer experience to each and every client. Our designers will work closely with you to ensure outstanding results, taking the time to talk

Studio B The Carnegie Building 121 Donegal Road Belfast +44 28 9024 0040

Richardson’s Ceramics Having served the Irish design community for almost a century, Richardson’s now provide a relaxed Covid-safe environment at their showrooms. Working with Europe’s leading manufacturers, they supply inspirational colours, creative surfaces and materials that are original and fresh. They work with architects and designers to provide innovative, design-led and technically superior tiles and engineered flooring products. A call-out service is provided throughout Ireland for commercial and residential projects of any scale. Sustainability is a priority and does

Regan Tile Design Tiles are attractive, hard-wearing and easy to maintain, and are a good investment and a practical choice for your rooms. However, with such a wide variety of colours, shapes and styles, it’s a good idea to seek some expert advice before making your purchase. Regan Tile Design will draw layouts for customers to enable them to see the different ways of laying tiles – for example, diagonal, stacked or staggered. This gives a clear idea of what works best for the space before making a purchase. Isabelle of Regan Tile Design advises, ‘Choosing tiles is only the first step. It’s what you do with them that makes all the difference. We advise clients to be there on the day of fitting to allow the

not mean compromising on aesthetics. Send in plans, ideas or even an image you would like to create, or visit: Blarney House Unit C, Baldonnell Business Park Dublin 22 +353 1 9104046 Fota Retail Park Unit B3 Carrigtohill County Cork +353 21 4853444

professional to show the grout joint and layout to ensure they are happy with everything.’ Isabelle also advises, ‘Make sure to speak to your tile supplier regarding the cleaning of your tiles, and always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in the use of cleaning agents with stone floors.’ Regan Tile Design carry a range of maintenance products and are happy to offer advice on how to protect and care for your tiles. 2 Corrig Avenue Dun Laoghaire Co. Dublin +353 1 280 0921

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Elegance Restored

Traditionally the address of Dublin’s social elite, the iconic Georgian core is once again becoming a vibrant residential hub WORDS JEAN FLITCROFT


ublin’s magnificent Georgian

ries, money, fashion, politics, and social

townhouses, in particular those

trends have all had a part to play.

around the historic squares, are

loved by Dubliners and tourists alike.

Our Georgian Heritage

Their history is a 300-year-old story of

From the 1730s, on the lands of the Gar-

transformation and a battle for survival;

diner Estate (on the northside) and later

from elegant homes for the landed gentry

on the Fitzwilliam Estate (southside),

to run-down tenements or ‘modern’

these houses were built for the social

offices stripped of their fine cornicing and

elite. MPs and Lords descended on

period features. Throughout the centu-

Dublin while parliament sat and for the


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‘Candlelit dinners and large open fires are a glorious throwback and seriously appeal to the romantic in me, but admittedly it’s not for everyone’

social season, which ended with a series

On the southside, they were soon

by Dublin City Council and is now the

of society balls in Dublin Castle around

filled with the emerging Irish profession-

Tenement Museum. The museum tells

St Patrick’s Day. Then it was back to

al classes – lawyers and doctor’s fami-

the important and unique story of

London or their country estates.

lies. On the northside, the much larger

Dublin tenement living in these former

houses were divided into apartments

fashionable grand houses.

In 1800 with the Act of Union the Irish Parliament moved to London and

and, post-famine, became seriously

against a backdrop of political change,

overcrowded tenements. By 1911, for ex-

Georgian houses had collapsed through

revolutionary wars in Europe and money

ample, seventeen different families lived

neglect, while others were knocked

shortages, the Georgian property bub-

under one roof in 14 Henrietta Street.

down with the help of Dublin City

ble burst and Dublin society evaporated.

In 2000, this house was purchased

Council’s vision for a ‘modern’ Dublin.

Sadly by the 1960s, some of the


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image : tourism irel and

image : tourism irel and

‘Sadly by the 1960s, some of the Georgian houses had collapsed through neglect, while others were knocked down with the help of Dublin City Council’s vision for a ‘modern’ Dublin’

Fitzwilliam Square

When St Vincent’s Hospital moved from

gian heritage. I know of one which still

Stephen’s Green to Merrion Road in

has no central heating or mod-cons at

1970, there was an exodus of doctors

all, with electricity only on the top floor,

Georgian Dublin has inspired many

and their families from the area. By the

and yet it’s a wonderful home. Candle-

artists and writers. Fitzwilliam Square

1980s, most townhouses on the south-

lit dinners and large open fires are a

was called ‘a noble place’ by William

side had become offices, some with

glorious throwback and seriously appeal

Thackeray. He wrote, ‘the leaves are

nightclubs in the basement and bedsits

to the romantic in me, but admittedly

green and not black as in similar plac-

on the top floors.

it’s not for everyone. These houses can

es in London; the red brick houses tall

There were only a handful of these

be configured in so many ways for a

and handsome.’

elegant townhouses in the entire city

stunning family home, which utilises

left in full residential use by the 1990s,

every room effectively.

until many prominent business families

Having lived in London in the 1980s,

It was also a source of inspiration for a ballad by Percy French: ‘In this paradise of pleasure

moved in, making it fashionable once

where houses and apartments in

Where the town and country meet,

more to live in Georgian Dublin.

city-centre historic squares are highly

Lying like a green Atlantis

prized and priced, I’m puzzled why peo-

In the desert of the street.’

The New Georgians

ple in Ireland have favoured the suburbs

The dramatic drop in property prices

over the heart of the city and all it has to

The Square was home to many im-

from 2010–2016 opened up the market

offer. Yes, the renovation costs and the

portant women artists – Rose Barton,

to a new group of purchasers, people

fact that they are protected structures

Mainie Jellet, Norah McGuinness, Evie

with realistic budgets and a passion

do deter people. But frequently there

Hone and Kitty Wilmer O’Brien. Jack

for these incredible buildings and their

are similar amounts spent on very aver-

B Yeats lived in number 18 and held

history. The results have been the

age suburban homes.

legendary Thursday soirees, serving

It is possible to do a Georgian ren-

Malaga wine with a twist of lemon to

I’ve seen many decorating styles, from

ovation in stages over time and there

regulars such as Samuel Beckett. Oh,

traditional to classic contemporary,

are ways to help with the costs. Many

to have been a fly on that wall! This is

from art deco to minimalist, each one

people keep the basement in commer-

only a few of a long list of characters,

reflecting the owner and their lifestyle

cial use or rent extra bedrooms which

famous and infamous, that have lived

and yet all respecting the houses’ Geor-

provide an income stream.

on the square.

creation of some amazing family homes.


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The Lure of Georgian Dublin

ries. Structurally too, they are hard to

costs to be tax deducted over time. This

We made the move ourselves, from

beat. The light streaming through the

predominantly applies to the northside

Dublin 18 to Dublin 2, a few years ago,

large windows into elegantly propor-

and some areas southside, and is worth

and what surprises me most is the

tioned rooms, illuminating the decora-

checking when buying. A growing resi-

incredibly strong sense of community

tive plasterwork is certainly uplifting.

dential community with young families

here. It feels like a village within the city.

The city noise is dampened by the old

moving in represents a unique oppor-

We walk everywhere as we are right be-

trees, the planting still true to Georgian

tunity for these magnificent Georgian

side supermarkets, endless restaurants,

times, and the evening light reflects off

houses to be restored to their original

parks, galleries, theatres, nightclubs and,

the warm red brick of the houses.


of course, schools. We have Dowlings,

I sincerely hope that the future will

a lovely old-style chemist nearby, and

be kind to these architectural gems. It’s

of course there’s Gerry, who has sold

heartening to see the growing number

flowers from his van opposite Toner’s

of home-owners interested in conser-

pub for thirty-five years.

vation and attending lunchtime talks

Living in the city is more than just

run by Dublin City Council Culture and

convenience for me. It’s also what these

the Irish Georgian Society. This trend

Georgian houses represent – gracious

has also been helped by the ‘Living City

homes with fascinating personal histo-

Initiative’, which allows all refurbishment

Jean Flitcroft is co-owner of design company Leon & Croft, along with Cristian Leon Concha. She is also a writer of children’s fiction and, has written freelance travel and lifestyle articles for International Living, USA. For further advice on Georgian restoration, contact Jean at +353879815197 or

‘The light streaming through the large windows into elegantly proportioned rooms, illuminating the decorative plasterwork is certainly uplifting’


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Timeless kitchens by the Victorian Kitchen Company Unit 3 Woodlawn Business Park, Swords Rd, Dublin


Tel: 01-672 7000 63_Victorian.indd 63

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daydream believer Each decade has its unique looks, and 2020 has brought distinctive wedding trends and styles. It’s time to indulge your inner hopeless romantic with ultra-light fabrics like tulle and organza to bestow an ethereal vibe. Cascading ruffles, intricate beading, beautiful lace appliqués and whimsical trains make an ultrafeminine and stylish statement.

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Zuhair Murad A dramatic bridal collection that combines the organic beauty of nature with sophisticated and elegant glamour, photographed outdoors in a bucolic field. The elaborate embroidery throughout the collection is inspired by wildflowers. Shades that dominate are soft beige and blush with lots of pleated tulle, layered organza and transparent tulle. ANTHOLOGY AUTUMN 2020 65

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THEIA Don O’Neill’s vision and passion for design is expressed through every luxurious stitch in his final bridal collection for Theia. His signature style of pretty, classic, feminine dresses combines sophisticated and elegant styling with luxe fabrics such as fluid silks, soft Spanish tulles, luxurious crepes, Chantilly and Guipure laces and of course THEIA’s signature exquisite beading and embroideries.

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Viktor&Rolf Modern yet elegant, each dress in the collection has an individual, autonomous character featuring inventive structures but delivered in the typical Viktor&Rolf style: sculptural and dramatic silhouettes. The collection’s artistic interpretation of bridalwear adheres to the three key brand pillars – unexpected elegance, conceptual glamour and provocative couture. ANTHOLOGY AUTUMN 2020 69

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Stephane Rolland The style is minimal but strong, taking inspiration from the circle, a symbol of eternity and harmony. Meticulously cut with a focus on curves, the flow is architectural but at the same time light and airy. Metallic embroideries shimmer through, accentuating curves and emphasising flow and movement.

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ANN LOWE Society’s Best-Kept Secret:

The little-known African American couturier who designed gowns for debutantes and society brides, including the iconic gown worn by Jacqueline Bouvier when she married Senator John F Kennedy WORDS EDEL CASSIDY


elebrity endorsement has long been a powerful public relations tool in the fashion industry. David and Elizabeth Emanuel were relatively unknown when chosen to design Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding gown for her

marriage to the Prince of Wales. Little-known designer Jason Wu was catapulted to international fame overnight when Michelle Obama chose him to design the iconic white gown that she wore to President Obama’s first inauguration ball. When Jacqueline Bouvier walked down the aisle of St Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island to marry the then junior senator John F Kennedy, she wore an exquisite silk taffeta gown. The voluminous off-the-shoulder portrait neckline dress full of intricate detail has gone down in sartorial history as one of the most iconic wedding dresses of all time. Considered the social event of the season, the wedding was reported in almost every newspaper in the country and, of course, everyone wanted to know who designed Jackie’s dress. It seems at the time no one was able to figure out who the designer was. The dress had been made by Ann Lowe, a little-known African American designer


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‘Considered the social event of the season, the wedding was reported in almost every newspaper in the country and, of course, everyone wanted to know who designed Jackie’s dress’

TOP RIGHT: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in Hammersmith Farm Newport, Rhode Island, on her wedding day. ABOVE: Jackie Bouvier Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, with members of their wedding party; RIGHT: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy’s wedding dress displayed at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in 2003 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding. DORIS RAPP

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Sleeveless black cocktail dress with handmade pink floral decorations. Designed by Ann Lowe, New York, ca. 1960. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture


Ivory dress decorated with swirls of handmade fabric rose vines. Designed by Ann Lowe, New York, 1966-1967. Worn by Barbara Baldwin Dowd. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture


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ANN fashion

who specialised in custom formal wear for the elite, white society. Sadly,

despite the dress being one of the best-remembered bridal gowns of all time, Ann did not get the credit she deserved for her exquisite creation.

Through the 1940s to the end of the 1960s, Lowe had become known as

the Big Apple’s ‘best-kept secret’, designing outfits for famous socialites like the Rockefellers, Roosevelts, du Ponts, Vanderbilts and Bouviers.

‘I love my clothes and I’m particular about who wears them,’ Lowe once told

Ebony Magazine. ‘I am not interested in sewing for... social climbers. I do not cater to Mary and Sue. I sew for the families of the Social Register.’

While these wealthy socialites loved her work, they were not inclined to

boast that their beautiful gowns had been made by an African American

designer. They may have also wanted to keep the designer’s name a secret,

for fear that she would be inundated with work and perhaps not have time to

continue supplying them with her wonderful creations. This lack of recognition and appreciation did not help her business. It was Janet Lee Bouvier Auchincloss who commissioned Ann to create her

‘Even as a young child Ann would gather scraps from the workroom and create beautiful intricate fabric flowers’

daughter Jackie’s wedding dress and the dresses for all of the bridal party for the 1953 wedding. The designer had made Janet’s own dress for her second wedding to Hugh Auchincloss. Born in the small town of Clayton, Alabama in 1898, Ann was the great-granddaughter of a skilled seamstress slave whose name is now unknown. This seamstress made dresses for the family that owned her and taught her daughter, Georgia, how to sew hoping that it would keep her out of the fields and save her from some of the worst fates of the plantation. Georgia became a free woman in 1860 and after the Civil War she set up a business with her daughter Jane, Ann’s mother and an expert seamstress. They made dresses for affluent Southern society women. Even as a young child Ann would gather scraps from the workroom and create beautiful intricate fabric flowers that would later become one of her signatures. At the age of eighteen, Ann enrolled in a couture course in New York’s S T Taylor Design School. Not realising that he had admitted a black woman, the head of the school attempted to turn her away. Ann resisted but she had to study alone in a separate classroom because the white students refused to sit in the same room as her. When Ann Lowe was selected to design Jacqueline Bouvier’s wedding dress it was to be the assignment of a lifetime that would spur on her


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career and build her reputation. The beautiful debutante daughter of an elite New England family was marrying a newly minted Democratic senator who was a member of the rich and powerful Kennedy family. Instead, the project turned out to be a nightmare. It took two months for Lowe and a team of seamstresses and assistants working overtime to complete the work on the dresses and all were ready well on time. But, with just ten days to go to the wedding, a freak flooding accident in the designer’s studio destroyed ten of the fifteen dresses, including the wedding gown. Ann knew that if this important commission was not complete on time, it would ruin her reputation and she would possibly lose her entire business. She purchased more of the expensive fabrics and hired extra seamstresses, who all worked day and night to have the order ready for delivery on time. She had expected to make a profit of $700 for her work on the wedding but instead suffered a loss of $2,000, approximately $20,000 in today’s money. After her ordeal, when Lowe arrived to hand-deliver the gowns to Jackie’s home in Newport, Rhode Island, a member of staff told to enter through a service entrance in the back. She refused, saying she would take the dresses back to New York if she had to use the back door — and she walked right in. The Bouvier-Kennedy wedding was a highly publicised event and while the dress was described in detail in news reports, the designer did not receive any

‘While these wealthy socialites loved her work, they were not inclined to boast that their beautiful gowns had been made by an African American designer’

OWE public credit. The only mention of her by name was in the Washington Post where fashion editor Nina Hyde wrote, ‘the dress, designed by a Negro, Ann Lowe.’

Throughout her career, Lowe faced constant racial discrimination and

continued to work for a wealthy clientele who often talked her into reducing her prices, making it impossible for her to turn a profit. Her name was really not known outside of these elite circles. She once said, ‘Too late, I realised

that dresses I sold for $300 were costing me $450.’ By 1963, she was forced to declare bankruptcy as she was thousands of dollars in debt to suppliers and owed a large tax bill.

A mysterious benefactor eventually paid off Lowe’s taxes. It was rumoured

to have been Jackie Kennedy, who some years after the wedding learned of

the dramatic story of the wedding dress disaster and admired Ann’s integrity in righting the situation.

Ann Lowe fell into obscurity before she passed away in 1981 but in recent

times has finally received the acknowledgement she deserved with exhibits

dedicated to her work at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC and New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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Pale green teal silk sari gown featuring heavy metallic brocade in a geometric design. Designed by Ann Lowe, New York, 1966-1967. Worn by Barbara Baldwin Dowd. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture


Cream silk faille dress with embroidered floral appliquĂŠ decoration. Designed by Ann Lowe, New York, 1958. Worn by Patricia Schieffer. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

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Pink satin and organza dress decorated with cream and pale pink sequin paillettes. Designed by Ann Lowe, New York, 1959. Worn by Patricia Schieffer. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Teal blue floral brocade dress and cropped jacket. Designed by Ann Lowe, New York, 1950s. Worn by Florance Colgate Rumbough Trevor. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture


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Four Star Hotel Close to Lahinch Beach September midweek offers from â‚Ź79 per night

Aberdeen Bar & Restaurant OPEN DAILY from 12.30pm

A short stroll to Lahinch Beach where you can enjoy the Wild Atlantic Way sea air and relax with the assurance that our team are fully committed to protecting guests from COVID-19 with precautionary measures throughout the Hotel. Recommended by Georgina Campbell’s Ireland Guide 2020 - Finalist in Clare Business Excellence Awards 2019 - Nominated as Best Four Star Hotel - Hotel & Catering Review

Lahinch Co. Clare T: +353 (0) 65 7081100 E: W:

Strange happenings in Lahinch


arlier this year when the Lahinch Coast Hotel was closed due to the Covid-19 crisis, the owners regularly checked the security cameras remotely. They were amazed to discover that some fairies had come to stay at the hotel. This particular tribe of fairies are very hard-working and during the sunny days in spring they built an entire fairy garden. They also made lots of fairy furniture where they could relax and have their meals. All of these can still be seen throughout the hotel. When they were well settled in, the fairies started to venture out to explore Lahinch and the surrounding areas which have an abundance of things to see and do. The owners of the hotel have invited the fairies to stay permanently. They like to help out so, when the guests are gone to bed, the fairies prepare the breakfast for the next morning. They disappear through their fairy doors during the day and go to fairyland to get some rest. But some have been spotted in broad daylight by children visiting the hotel!

Video footage of the fairies can be seen on the hotel website ANTHOLOGY AUTUMN 2020 79

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BAGS: Inside Out The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, hosts an exhibition dedicated to the history and evolution of bags WORDS EDEL CASSIDY


rom the embroidered burse that protected the silver matrix of Elizabeth I’s Great Seal of England, to the ‘It bags’ that have graced the catwalks of Fashion Week, Bags: Inside Out, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, will explore our longstanding fascination with the bag. The first section of the exhibition, themed Function, will examine bags as practical objects designed to hold our belongings. From holiday outfits to confidential documents, make-up to money, the design and materials of our bags often reflect their intended purpose as functional objects. Rare exhibits on show include a striking Louis Vuitton trunk from the early 1900s. Once belonging to the American socialite Emilie Grigsby, an extensive conservation and research project helped to bring the trunk back to

life with its labels and markings revealing a hidden history of its travels on the world’s great ocean liners. Entitled Status and Identity, the second of the three exhibition sections will look at the central role of the bag in celebrity culture as well as its notoriety amongst the political and societal elites. It features a Hermès ‘Kelly’ named in honour of Grace Kelly, and the Fendi ‘Baguette’ bag worn by and stolen from Sarah Jessica Parker in one of Sex and the City’s most famous scenes. The use of bags as a blank canvas for slogans, personal statements and political messages and their role as a public platform to share beliefs and convictions is represented through objects including an anti-slavery reticule bag from 1825 and the ‘I’m NOT A Plastic Bag’ tote by Anya Hindmarch.

‘Frog’ purse 1600s, England © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford Silk, metal threads, and glass beads A number of 17th-century purses survive in museum collections in the shape of fruits and small animals, including bunches of grapes, nuts and frogs. They could have been used as ‘sweet bags’ or filled with scented herbs, dried flowers or sweet-smelling powders, or as wrapping for a gift.


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‘From holiday outfits to confidential documents, make-up to money, the design and materials of our bags often reflect their intended purpose as functional objects’

The final section of the show will look at the Design and Making process from sketch to sample, sewing to selling. With material specialists from locations around the world and skills passed down within century-old fashion houses, a ‘maker’s table’ will allow visitors to get up close and personal with bag-making processes and materials, alongside newly commissioned interviews with designers and makers. Sketches, samples and prototypes from international fashion houses and the UK luxury brand Mulberry will show the innovative early stages of the design process. Explored through the design process, this section will also examine the experimental forms created by designers and the bag’s role as an object of whimsical

subversion as well as an opportunity for artistic collaboration. A 17th-century purse in the shape of a frog and a Chanel bag transformed into a milk carton will explore the surrealism and humour evoked through accessories. A hotbed for collaboration, the bag offers an opportunity for experimentation and statement designs. A look to the future will finish the exhibition showcasing designers experimenting with innovative and environmentally sustainable materials including a Stella McCartney backpack made from recycled ocean plastic waste. Bags: Inside Out, is sponsored by Mulberry and runs at Gallery 40, V&A, from 21 November 2020 to 12 September 2021

Burse for the Great Seal of England 1558–1603, England © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Silk, silver-gilt thread, sequins, glass beads This densely embroidered burse protected the silver matrix of Elizabeth I’s Great Seal of England. Matrices were used to make wax seal impressions that were applied to decrees, charters and royal proclamations. The bag was possibly used by Sir Christopher Hatton (1540–1591), one of Elizabeth I’s Keepers of the Great Seal and Lord Chancellor between 1587 and 1591. He is shown proudly displaying a similar seal burse in a portrait miniature by Nicholas Hilliard, painted around 1588.

Beaded purse Mid to late 18th century, probably Paris Silk, glass beads, silver-gilt thread This silk purse is covered in thousands of tiny colourful glass beads using a technique known as sablé (meaning covered with sand). It is believed that only one or two Parisian workshops could have mastered such a meticulous and difficult technique, making these items so expensive they were only available to the wealthiest classes.


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Samuel Lines Anti-slavery reticule Made by Female Society for Birmingham, c. 1825, England, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Silk Although Britain ended its participation in the slave trade in 1807, British banks continued to provide credit to foreign traders allowing the institution of slavery to remain intact in the British Empire. Bags such as this were produced by the Female Society for Birmingham, which campaigned for the abolition of slavery. The bags were sold with campaign materials such as pamphlets and newspaper extracts and a card explaining the purpose of the bags. When worn in public, the bags allowed women to convey their political beliefs and provided a means of disseminating anti-slavery messages.

Lemière Opera bag and contents c. 1910, Paris ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London Calf leather, silk, glass, bone, metal, plastic, swansdown This small leather bag measures just 16cm when closed. But when opened, it reveals a spacious interior divided into compartments and pockets in which all the necessary accessories needed for a night at the opera could be neatly kept: a snap-fastening change purse at the top, a scalloped pocket containing a leather-backed mirror, a bone notecard and a pencil. There is also enough space for opera glasses, a collapsible fan of embroidered white silk and a powder puff.


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Letter case c. 1810, England © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Silk, straw Ornamental straw work can be traced back hundreds of years. Using similar techniques to those applied in traditional needlework, straw can be plaited, woven, couched and embroidered, providing decorative interest to flat textiles and three-dimensional objects such as this letter case.

Louis Vuitton Malle Haute trunk c. 1900, Paris Canvas, wood, metal, leather This trunk belonged to Emilie Busbey Grigsby (1876– 1964), an American socialite who moved to England in 1911 or 1912. Paper labels glued onto the trunk, and passenger lists from the early twentieth century, reveal that it accompanied her on many of the most significant ocean liners of the time, including the Lusitania and Aquitania on the Cunard Line and Titanic’s sister ship the Olympic on the White Star Line.

Chatelaine 1863–85, probably England ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London Cut steel A chatelaine is a waist-hung appendage, suspended from a hook or brooch, with multiple attachments. This example in cut steel features thirteen hanging accessories, including scissors, purse, thimble, miniature notebook and magnifying glass.


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Hermès, ‘Sac Mallette’ handbag 1968, Paris ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London Box calf leather, metal Hermès was established in 1837 by Thierry Hermès (1801– 1878) as a horse-harness and bridle workshop in Paris. With the demise of the horse-drawn carriage in the early twentieth century, Hermès applied its leatherworking expertise to other products, including handbags. This ‘Sac Mallette’ handbag features two separate compartments. The top one opens via two sliding side latches and a push-button, similar to a capacious doctor’s bag. The lower compartment is secured with a lock and key, and once opened reveals a deep red velvet interior that could be used to keep valuables safe while travelling.

Anya Hindmarch and We Are What We Do ‘I’m NOT A Plastic Bag’ tote bag London Cotton This simple and cheap limited-edition tote bag was primarily sold in Sainsbury’s supermarkets for £5 when it was launched in 2007. It was designed by Anya Hindmarch (b.1968) in collaboration with We Are What We Do – a global social change movement whose mission was ‘to persuade people it’s cool not to use plastic bags’.

Judith Leiber ‘Fabergé Egg’ evening bag 1983, United States Rhinestones, metal Judith Leiber’s (1921–2018) whimsical evening bag designs took on a variety of forms, from animals to fruits or, in this case, a Fabergé egg. Highly collectable, these bags were handcrafted and often encrusted with thousands of crystals.


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Model with Lait de Coco Evening Bag, Karl Lagerfeld, 2014 ©Jason Lloyd Evans

Fendi ‘Baguette’ bag worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City 2000, Italy Leather, sequins, metal The Fendi Baguette has been heralded as the first global ‘It bag’. It has been reported that around 600,000 Baguette handbags were sold between 1997 and 2007. Its status was elevated by TV character Carrie Bradshaw who, while being robbed of her purple sequin version in a 1997 episode of Sex and the City, famously corrected the thief by saying, ‘It’s a Baguette’.

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel ‘Lait de Coco’ evening bag Autumn–Winter 2014, Paris Lambskin leather, metal This evening bag in the shape of a milk carton was featured in Chanel’s supermarket-inspired Autumn–Winter 2014 collection, designed by Karl Lagerfeld (1933–2019). The bag features many of the classic Chanel symbols such as quilting, interlocking CC motif and pearls. The text on the front of the bag reads ‘lait de coco’ (coconut milk) playing on Gabrielle Chanel’s nickname.


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Stella McCartney x Parley for the Oceans, ‘Ocean Legend’ Falabella Go backpack Spring–Summer 2018, London Ocean Plastic®, metal Ocean Plastic® is a material made from marine plastic waste. Stella McCartney (b. 1971) used this fibre to make this limited-edition backpack to raise awareness of the problem of ocean plastic pollution. All proceeds were donated to Sea Shepherd, an organisation established in 1977 to protect marine life.

Grace Kelly’s departure from Hollywood (Photo By Allan Grant/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Hermès, ‘Kelly’ handbag 2018, Paris Box calf leather, metal This simple trapezoid bag was first created in the 1930s by Robert Dumas-Hermès (1898– 1978). Originally named Sac à dépêches, the name ‘Kelly’ was given in honour of Grace Kelly, the Hollywood star who married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1955. Through its association with the Princess, it has become one of the most iconic and popular handbags of all time.


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On the Chin To beard, or not to beard? WORDS DOLORES O ’ DONOGHUE


hroughout the course of history, men have grown and styled their facial hair, whether for the sake of

vanity, cultural/religious traditions, or to follow the era’s fashion trend. Mug rugs have enjoyed a major resurgence in recent times. Their popularity has soared with sporting all sorts of facial fuzz, from the

How does your beard measure up to the competition?

Have you ever thought of becoming a beard scholar?

meticulously groomed to the downright

According to the Guinness Book of World

Yes – there is such a thing! Allan Peterkin

unkempt and scruffy. Here are some

Records, the beard of Hans N. Langseth,

is a pogonologist (beard scholar) and

strange beard facts that might surprise

who died in North Dakota in 1927, is the

psychiatrist and the author of numerous

even the most knowledgeable beardos!

longest beard in the world. Measuring 17

books, including One Thousand Beards

feet 6 inches, it is kept in storage at the

and A Cultural History of Facial Hair.

top athletes, popular actors and musicians

Excuse me sir – have you made your tax return?

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural

tax in 1531. It was a graduated tax that

Can you trust a man with a beard?

Safety and Risk Assessment – the potential hazards of facial hair in war

increased with the wearer’s social position,

Pogonophobia means an exceptional

Alexander the Great observed that beards

which made facial hair a status symbol. In

dread of or aversion to facial hair. The

could be easily grabbed by the enemy

1698, Russian Emperor, Peter the Great

word is derived from Greek pogon (beard)

during battle and insisted his troops fight

also introduced a beard tax to bring soci-

and phobos (fear). This may be due to the

with clean-shaven faces. He feared that his

ety into line with European culture, where

myth that people who have facial hair are

men could be pulled off their horses by the

men were usually clean shaven. Resistance

‘trying to hide something’ and therefore,

beard or it would serve as a handle for the

was widespread and bearded men were

represent some sort of ‘threat’. The good

enemy to hold a soldier as he was killed.

obliged to carry a copper or bronze token

news is that sufferers who avail of psycho-

to show they had paid the tax.

logical therapy find it helps enormously.

Henry VIII of England introduced a beard

History in Washington, DC.

Celtic Rebel Suppliers of traditionally made grooming products for men, Celtic Rebel’s range includes beard oil, moustache wax, beard balm and tattoo aftercare balm. All contain essential oils which, in addition to their pleasing scents, offer numerous health and hygiene benefits; eucalyptus is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, cedarwood soothes and heals sensitive skin. These unique oils and balms keep facial hair hydrated and healthy and through regular use, coarse lip locks will become more supple, more fragrant and considerably easier to style. They will also leave beards fresh and clean and encourage growth while preventing dry and broken skin, beard itch and ‘beardruff ’. Visit: ANTHOLOGY AUTUMN 2020 87

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Mist you

Invest in a facial mist – the hardest working beauty product you’ll ever own words edel cassidy

Dr Barbara Sturm Hydrating Face Mist Renowned for her belief that fighting inflammation is the most important function of her skincare range, Dr Sturm only uses pure and clean ingredients of the highest quality that have undergone extensive clinical studies. Her products are made up of ingredients that hydrate and strengthen the skin and tackle problems such as rosacea, acne, dehydration and sensitivity. Thanks to its optimal formulation of low- and highweighted hyaluronic acid molecules, this mist delivers a light but invigorating burst of hydration.

My Clarins RE-FRESH Hydrating Beauty Mist This fruity-floral beauty water wakes up the skin in the morning and works well over make-up for a flawless finish, and can be used any time of the day to revitalise your look. My Clarins, targeted at Millenials and Gen Z, is not just amazing skincare that really works but is also an ethical and transparent brand that is eco-conscious and committed to the issues that matter to young buyers, such as sustainability and social responsibility.

Green Angel Seaweed Facial Toner This toning mist contains a combination of four organic Irish seaweeds well known for their anti-inflammatory properties to help relieve redness and irritation. Seaweed is also a natural humectant that retains moisture and, when combined with hyaluronic acid, gives the skin a really serious moisture boost. A soothing scent, with notes from the numerous botanical ingredients that also contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, the spray distributes a fine, even mist and leaves the skin moist and without a residue.


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beaut y


ave you wondered why beauty junkies everywhere, of all ages and skin types, have recently

become obsessed with facial mists? It may be because they are one of the most versatile, multi-tasking beauty products ever. They can be used as a toner, to set make-up giving it a dewy look, as a midday pick-me-up, and to calm irritated skin and even to blend foundation. They are especially suitable for long flights, post-workout, or to give a boost of radiance to a dull and lifeless complexion. They are also popular with

Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence Like all things Tata Harper, this moisture-boosting mist contains 100% natural, non-toxic ingredients, many of which are grown on her farm in Vermont. Sustainability is considered in every aspect of her products, from recycled papers and soy-based inks, to tubes made from bio-based sugarcane plastic. The combination of rose, lavender, and neroli hydrosols leave the skin beautifully refreshed and intensely moisturised, while an antioxidant-rich floral blend helps fight free radicals and minimise the appearance of lines. It has the most amazing scent, leaves the skin glowing and enhances the performance of serums that follow.

men as a soothing post-shaving mist. Read on to find out more about some of my favourites.

Elemis Superfood Kefir-Tea Mist Lightweight and absorbing almost instantly, leaving the skin softly plumped, refined and hydrated with a fresh and youthful bright, dewy glow, it has a wonderfully fresh scent that is both stimulating and soothing. Fortified with anti-oxidant rich rooibos tea, kefir ferment and coconut water, to help soothe and brighten the complexion, it feels great on the skin and can be used morning or night, or during the day for an on-the-go splash of hydration.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir This refreshing spritz takes its inspiration from the original formula of the ‘elixir of youth’ created in the 17th century for Queen Isabelle of Hungary, who was noted for her great beauty and extravagant tastes. This is a cult favourite among leading makeup artists and models, as it tightens pores and sets makeup. An instant pick-me-up at any time of the day that will immediately tone, soothe and brighten the skin, just shake, close your eyes, take a deep breath and spray!

Sisley Floral Spray Mist Just one spritz of this luxury hydrating and refreshing facial mist, anytime, anywhere, can transform your skin in seconds. A micro aromatherapy facial in a can, with subtle floral notes of orange blossom, rose and cornflower. Ideal for fragile skins, providing an immediate feeling of comfort, relaxation and freshness. The hydrating properties of the botanical extracts calm redness and cool skin that is inflamed due to conditions such as rosacea, or after sun exposure.


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Get Moving How exercise makes the brain work better WORDS JEANNIE CROUCHER PHOTO ROS WOODHAM


or weight loss, muscular strength

with receptors in the brain, resulting in a

built up and sustained over time, will

or cardiovascular health, the

‘high’ that boosts the mood and overall

improve the body’s cellular reserves

physical benefits of exercise are

sense of well-being.

of energy which in turn can help to

indisputable. There is also increas-

Scientific evidence over the last

strengthen a person’s workday endur-

ing evidence that physical exercise is

decade has demonstrated that aerobic

ance levels, reducing the mid-afternoon

hugely beneficial for improved cognitive

exercise can increase the size of the

slump in energy and concentration, thus

functioning – concentration, mental

hippocampus, the part of the brain

allowing employees to work more effi-

agility and productivity – all of which are

critical for learning and the formation of

ciently for longer periods.

deemed essential to operate at maxi-

new memories. Also, more active and fit

mum efficiency during working hours.

individuals have the ability to memorise

to impaired work performance and

Many savvy employers facilitate physical

details and concepts, and can process

greater absenteeism, anything that

health programmes for their employees,

information more speedily.

can help to combat these commonly

as it is recognised that this will result in a more focused and effective workforce. One of the positive benefits of exercise

As both stress and fatigue can lead

It is not considered essential to exer-

experienced work-based problems is of

cise at a high-impact or even moderate

huge interest to employers. The proven

level to gain the cognitive benefits. An

is improved mood, and it makes sense

experiment carried out by the University

that a happier employee is a more

of Georgia demonstrated that, over six

productive employee. An ill-tempered

weeks, low-intensity physical activity

or irritable worker may not be motivat-

reduced fatigue symptoms by sixty-five

ed to make a huge effort to get on with

per cent and increased energy levels by

colleagues or potential clients. However,

twenty per cent.

physical exertion releases endorphins, a

It is now broadly accepted that the

type of neurotransmitter that interacts

benefits of a regular exercise routine,


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benefits gleaned from engaging in

a positive attitude whilst working

wards through the arteries increasing the

physical exercise are a very good reason

remotely. Many of these organisations

supply of blood to the brain, carrying the

why many progressive organisations

have now introduced a variety of virtual

oxygen and nutrients that the brain needs

are getting on the healthy bandwagon.

fitness classes, to ensure the physical and

to function properly. Walking will also

‘Sit less, move more’ studies show that

mental wellbeing of their employees.

improve muscle tone and give the heart

workers who do not spend long periods

Hectic work and family schedules

and lungs the kind of workout they need

sitting down to work have a far greater

mean it can be difficult to find time for

level of mental acuity and are generally

activity and it can be perceived to be yet

• Low-intensity aerobic exercise – if

happier than those who remain more

another ‘task’ to fit into an already chaot-

done regularly can boost brain health in

static at their desks.

ic, time-strapped life. But prioritising

the short and long term. For those that

fitness and exercise will have a massive

are not physically fit or have other health

taken stock of the advantages of allowing

positive impact and leave you feeling

problems, there is a lower risk of injury.

employees time to engage in some

happier, more relaxed and less anxious.

In recent years, corporate giants had

element of physical activity during the

If not ready to start training for a

to operate efficiently.

• Yoga – offers practitioners a unique, holistic mind-body experience,

working day. Google set up in-office gyms

triathlon just yet, here are some sugges-

and those who practice regularly ex-

while Nike provided exercise classes

tions to start with:

perience dramatic changes in the way

such as yoga. But now, as several big employers offer permanent work-fromhome positions, they are also mindful that it can be challenging to maintain

• Walking – the most basic of exercises will leave you energised but relaxed. The foot’s impact during walking sends a hydraulic wave up-

their bodies feel. They also find that it is easier to cope with the stress of daily challenges and enjoy an overall better quality of life.

‘As several big employers offer permanent work-from-home positions, they are also mindful that it can be challenging to maintain a positive attitude whilst working remotely.’


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SUMPTUOUS 3-COURSE Flogas is delighted to be partnering with Neven Maguire of MacNean House and Restaurant to bring you these appetising recipes, packed full of flavour

Neven Maguire

CAS H E W N U T C H I C K E N A N D AS PA R AG US SA L A D W I T H M A N G O S A L S A (Serves 4) Cashew Nut Chicken: 100g (4oz) panko (dried toasted breadcrumbs) 75g (3oz) toasted cashew nuts 25g (1oz) toasted coconut flakes 50g (2oz) plain flour 1 egg 50ml (2fl oz) milk 2 x 200g (7oz) chicken fillets, sliced lengthways About 1 tsp olive oil spray 1 bunch of asparagus 2 baby Cos lettuces 1 small head of radicchio lettuce Alfalfa sprouts, to garnish Mango Salsa: 1 firm, ripe mango, peeled and diced 1 small red onion, finely diced Juice of ½ lime 1 tbsp rapeseed oil 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Line a baking

Meanwhile, to make the mango salsa, mix the mango with the red onion, lime juice, rapeseed oil and coriander, then season to taste and set aside at room temperature. Break the woody stems off the asparagus and cut each one on the diagonal into two or three pieces, depending on their size. Blanch in a pan of boiling salted water for 2–3 minutes, until just tender but still with a little bite. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Trim down the Cos lettuces and radicchio, then break into

sheet with parchment paper. Place the panko, cashew nuts and

separate leaves and put in a large bowl with the blanched

coconut flakes in a food processor with a pinch of salt. Blend

asparagus. Arrange in shallow bowls and place the cashew nut

for 2–3 minutes, then tip into a shallow dish.

chicken strips on top. Spoon around the mango salsa and add

Place the flour in a dish and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the egg and milk together in a separate dish. Dust each slice of

the alfalfa sprouts to garnish. This delicious salad is packed full of goodness. It can be

chicken in the seasoned flour, then dip into the egg wash and

served simply and rustically, or, for a more formal occasion, you

coat in the cashew nut crumbs. Place the coated chicken strips

can spoon the salsa into 10cm (4in) chef’s rings set on plates.

on the lined baking sheet and spray lightly with the olive oil. Place

Arrange the crispy cashew nut chicken in the middle and garnish

in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until cooked through and golden.

with dressed baby salad leaves. Remove the chef’s rings to serve.


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DINNER M A P L E- G L A Z E D P O R K C H O P S W I T H P E A R A N D R O C K ET S A L A D (Serves 4) This is a fantastic recipe that keeps the pork cutlets lovely and moist. It would also work with skinless, boneless chicken breasts. If you don’t fancy using pear, try a nice dessert apple instead. 4 x 200g (7oz) pork cutlets, well trimmed 2 tbsp rapeseed oil 225ml (8fl oz) cider vinegar 8 tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp dried chilli flakes 2 long pieces of pared lemon rind 12 fresh sage leaves 2 small ripe pears 50g (2oz) wild rocket Olive oil, for drizzling 25g (1oz) freshly shaved Parmesan Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Heat a frying pan over a high heat. Rub the pork cutlets all over with the rapeseed oil and season to taste. Add to the pan and cook over a high heat for 2–3 minutes on each side, until well browned. Transfer to a plate. Add the cider vinegar to the pan you’ve just cooked the pork in, along with the maple syrup, chilli, lemon and sage. Bring to the boil and allow to boil for 5–6 minutes, until thickened slightly and syrupy. Return the pork cutlets to the pan and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side or until the pork is cooked to your liking. Meanwhile, cut the pears into quarters and remove the core, then arrange 2 pieces on each plate and scatter the rocket on top. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Add a pork cutlet to each plate and spoon over some of the maple glaze to serve.

C R È M E P OTS W I T H S E AS O N A L B E R R I ES (Serves 6-8) This is just one of the many great puddings that have firm Spanish roots. Very simple to make, it’s actually quite light, with all the flavour of the caramel and none of the sticky sweetness. It’s similar to the French crème brûlée, except it’s not cooked in the oven. 6 egg yolks 150g (5oz) honey 40g (1 ½ oz) cornflour 900ml (1 ½ pints) milk 1 cinnamon stick Rind of 1 lemon Rind of 1 orange 2 tbsp Demerara sugar Seasonal berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, to serve Place the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl with the honey. Using a hand-held whisk, beat for 5 minutes until thickened. Tip in the cornflour and mix until well combined. Place the milk in a small pan with the cinnamon stick, lemon and orange rind. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Strain the milk, discarding the cinnamon stick, lemon and orange rind, then gradually whisk the warm milk into the egg and honey mixture. Place in a clean pan set over a low heat. Cook gently for 10–15 minutes, until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat. Leave to cool, then pour into individual dishes or ramekins and chill for at least 4 hours (or overnight is best) to allow the custard pots to firm up. When ready to serve, sprinkle the tops evenly with the Demerara sugar and caramelise with a blow torch or under a preheated hot grill. Arrange on plates with a nice selection of seasonal berries to serve.


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best costume goes to …

An exhibition at The Hunt Museum, Limerick, explores the relationship between actors, their costumes and the growth of the Irish film industry WORDS EDEL CASSIDY


reland has become well-recognised as a leading filmmaking nation, with a wealth of creative talent, including writers, directors, producers and actors. This country is also home to three of the most distinguished costume designers currently working in film: Consolata Boyle, Joan Bergin and Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh. Costume designers don’t often get the same recognition as other members of a film’s cast and crew. However, behind every character is a meticulously chosen


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nations. All of the costume choices for Henry were made keeping this characterisation in mind. ‘Henry VIII was said to be madly in love with Jane Seymour. I wanted the wedding garments to manifest the general feeling for him of a fresh start. Hence the lavish use of cream satin with dazzling amounts of gold embroidery’. For the wedding, Jane Seymour, portrayed by Annabelle Wallis, was dressed in an extravagant gown with quilting and intricate embroidery on the bodice and sleeves. Joan was awarded three Emmys for best costume design for her work on The Tudors.


the tudors

Costume Designer: Joan Bergin The Tudors chronicled the life and many marriages of England’s King Henry VIII, who was played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The series was filmed in Ardmore Studios, Co. Wicklow and many locations in Dublin. During the production, an in-house costume-making workshop was set up to construct approximately 1,500 of the featured costumes. When Joan Bergin was working on Henry VIII’s look, in her eyes Henry was a rock star, the all-powerful king of one of the world’s greatest PHOTO : BERNARD WALSH

‘Costume designers don’t often get the same recognition as other members of a film’s cast and crew’ wardrobe that helps actors feel emotionally connected to the character they are playing, and is crucial in assisting filmmakers in telling their story. ICAP (the Irish Costume Archive Project) was founded in 2017 by Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh and Veerle Dehaene, with the objective of collecting, preserving

and exhibiting Ireland’s film and television design heritage, and promoting the collections by highlighting their importance as part of our national film culture. Housed in Ardmore Studios, Bray, County Wicklow, the archive has amassed more than three hundred costumes from some of Ireland’s most prestigious film productions.

Best Costume Goes To ... at The Hunt Museum, Limerick, is currently exhibiting many of the iconic costumes from the ICAP collection. The exhibition highlights the inventive and varied techniques used by costume designers and makers, from research on the period, to the sourcing of materials and the aging or enhancing of a costume. Here we feature some of the highlights of the exhibition by Ireland’s leading costume designers. ANTHOLOGY AUTUMN 2020 95

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breakfast on pluto Costume Designer: Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh

A delightful, uplifting and emotive film, featuring a collection of extraordinary characters on a crazy journey. Based on the novel of the same name by Patrick McCabe, and directed by Neil Jordan, it features a stellar ensemble cast with Cillian Murphy in the lead role as Patrick ‘Kitten’ Braden, Brendan Gleeson, Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea and Ruth Negga in her breakout role. When costume designer Eimer Ní

Mhaoldomhnaigh visited Angels, the largest costume house in London, all the 70s costumes were on hold for Stephen Spielberg’s film Munich. ‘We found some great small costume houses and just had to spread the net wider. Part of this search involved a trip to Italy. I saw this yellow fur jacket in a shop in Rome. It was on sale, which was no surprise as the weather was warm and sunny. I thought I would die if I did not get it for Kitten. The pants were then made to match the jacket. For me, this was Kitten at his most expressive and free!’

the queen


Costume Designer: Consolata Boyle

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This superb film, beautifully scripted by Peter Morgan, revisits the days following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, as public anger builds at the seemingly unemotional behaviour of the monarch. Helen Mirren won several awards for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, including an Oscar and Golden Globe. The film received a total of six Academy Award nominations, including a first Oscar nomination for Irish costume designer Consolata Boyle. Helen Mirren wore this costume for her trip from Scotland to Buckingham Palace the day before Princess Diana’s funeral. The Queen director Stephen Frears regularly collaborates with her, and she has received a further two Oscar nominations for her work on Florence Foster Jenkins and Victoria & Abdul, both also directed by Frears.

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in the name of the father

Costume Designer: Joan Bergin Afghan coat, grey stripe flared trousers and burgundy and grey brogue platforms worn by Daniel Day Lewis in his portrayal of Gerry Conlon for In the Name of the Father. Directed by Jim Sheridan, the film focuses on the

complex relationship between Gerry Conlon and his father Giuseppe, played by Pete Postlethwaite, who were wrongly convicted for the 1974 Guildford bombings. The film received seven Oscar nominations including one for Daniel Day Lewis for his impassioned performance. Gerry Conlon acted as a consultant to Joan Bergin when designing the costumes. Such was the importance of this particular costume that a sizeable portion of her entire budget was used on it, in the end having two identical coats made. Skins were imported from Afghanistan and made into the iconic Afghan coat by Donnelly Leathers of Harcourt Street.



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‘Good costume design, like everything else in film-making, demands individual creativity in the service of the narrative and the film as a whole’ – Brendan Gleeson



Costume Designer: Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh An emotionally powerful and intense film, with Brendan Gleeson in the leading role of Father James Lavelle, a kindly and decent village priest facing a death threat. He spends what may be the last week of his life under constant emotional abuse and ridicule from his parishioners – a quirky assortment of misfits and lost souls. Gleeson’s magnificent performance is enriched by an emotional, undulating score by Patrick Cassidy Costume design is by Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh, whose credits includeBecoming Jane, The Wind that Shakes the Barley and In America. Brendan Gleeson described his experience when getting into costume for the role, ‘It was actually the vestments for mass that gave me the first real goose-pimples. When Eimer fitted them on me I felt like I was suiting up for war and that whatever I feel to be truthful and kind was now under my protection. There was a clarity of distinction between good and evil I hadn’t felt since childhood. Whatever I now felt to be worthy was distilled into something

pure. It did not necessarily mean purely Catholic; for me, it meant purely good. All of this was transferred to the wearing of the cassock, but the cassock also had a real sense of movie imagery to it. I immediately thought of Trevor Howard in Ryan’s Daughter. I love that performance and the figure he cuts in the film. I felt I had been given a visual image that gave a real sense of the heroic allied to a vulnerability – something in the softness of the cloth. It was also unapologetic; it invited vitriol and whatever else the people needed to throw at it, including hope and despair. It was a uniform. It stood for something. But the anachronistic nature of wearing garb unquestionably out of date made it a very individual choice too – very Father James, very John McDonagh, also very Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh. Good costume design, like everything else in film-making, demands individual creativity in the service of the narrative and the film as a whole. The cassock does all of that. Simply.’


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See Exquisite Pieces of Crystal

manufactured before your eyes Guided Factory Tours Daily

C: +353 (0) 51 317000 E: W: RRD02103-35 HOWC Anthology Magazine 190 x 254 _ 6mm bleed.indd 1

26/08/2020 10:46 30/05/2019 15:36

Autumn 2020 Issue 14

00 cover Anth Aug20.indd 1-3

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