We had an accidental lunch recently. Ben had been photographing the Coastguard fare, so that we can dazzle you with a visual display of tempting treats, making it so much easier to choose, don’t you think? We were perplexed as to what to do with each of the menu items we had prepared for “the shoot”, so an emergency managerial decision was made, and a table was set for lunch.
We were a small group of five. Joan, a resident of South Africa for over 40 years, and a centre volunteer, Ben from Cameroon, who is compiling a series of photographs and producing a short documentary on the building, Itziar from the Basque, who breezes in, effortlessly lovely, and volunteers on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Vanessa from Tramore, who tirelessly works in unfailing good humour, and then me, who was unceremoniously christened Basil Fawlty just this afternoonJ (I also answer to Richard by the wayJ)
It was one of those memorable moments, when we sat around, listening to beautiful arias on Lyric, gazing at the delicate and detailed flower photography of Pete Smith, hearing the patter of rain and blustery gusts against the windows, sipping our coffees, happily munching, and being dutifully attentive to each other. We had four nationalities present; contrasting personalities, belief systems, and points of view. The conversation though, quickly moved from polite chat, to something deeper and more resonant, with almost synchronous and mysterious prompts. We shared personal experiences, stories, losses, and triumphs. An hour flew by, the comfortable silences were as rich as the conversation, and it seemed that somehow we were journeying together.
What was truly remarkable and poignant, in a building that celebrates cultural diversity, was that we were genuinely moved by how incredibly similar, and indeed vulnerable we are, in our shared human condition. It seemed to bind us together, we were reluctant to get up and part, but we did, a little warmer, and a little wiser, determined to meet up again, and genuinely grateful for having experienced something we couldn’t quite describe, but valued immensely. In short, I suppose, we had given each other… time.
But that’s what this building seems to do, it almost exists a little bit beyond linear time, it induces an undeniable sense of peace and calm. Perhaps it’s the stunning views, or the rolling gardens. Is it the elegant architecture, the rambling gallery filled with inspirational exhibits, or the space and light throughout? It’s difficult to pinpoint, but The Coastguard Cultural Centre exudes its own unique ambience, and being here, so high up, so close to the sea, surrounded by majestic views; it’s impossible not to become intoxicatedJ So why not drop by and give yourself that most remarkable gift …timeJ
And for those of you who will be visiting, should you choose to join in, here’s what’s happening for the remainder of November.
The Mick Flavin Memorial Exhibition is dedicated to a truly great man, who so valiantly served his community, both as an artist and a teacher. Mick suddenly and tragically passed away in 2010, and this exhibition is a collection of not only Micks art, including his work for Stage Mad Productions, but also the paintings of those whom he taught and inspired. It’s a stunning collection of work, with enormous creativity, variety, and power. You can view this exhibit in the upstairs gallery until the 19th of November. Don’t miss it, it is both impressive and memorable.
The remarkable Bernadette Phillips, who is a gifted intuitive, and is singlehandedly putting the “soul” back into entrepreneurship, business, and life coaching, will be having a seminar at our sister house, The Meeting Place, Branch Road, Tramore, Co. Waterford, on Saturday 30th of November from 2.oo to 4.oopm. This is an outstanding opportunity to avail of this wonderful Lady’s skills, and insightfulness. The seminar draws on the restorative and balancing benefits of meditation and mindfulness, and also embraces transformational “insights” of connecting to life passion and purpose, awakening potential, intuition, expanding consciousness, self-awareness, confidence and self-belief. The cost of the seminar is 20 Euro, and as Bernadette has a tendency to “draw the crowds” booking is advised through The Coastguard Cultural Centre on 051 391656. Visit www.newinsightsforchange.com for further reading.
Pat Mcardle and friends, will exhibit a striking array of paintings and photographs in the Café as from this Saturday, until Sunday the 17th of November. This eclectic collection will both surprise and delight you, and why not enjoy a “bottomless cup of coffee” while you view?
There is a wonderful afternoon tea being served Sunday 10th of November, in the upstairs gallery, in aid of Juvenile Arthritis, from 3.00pm to 5.30pm.This chronic and debilitating condition afflicts countless children, and all the proceeds will go toward an Arthritis Unit in Crumlin Children’s Hospital. Please support this cause, and swing by for a cuppa, and some cake, and meet the most marvellous and enthusiastic group of fundraisers in the South East!
An update on our food evenings will be out soon, so stay tuned, because we promise, we won’t disappoint youJ The season of gourmet goodies is just weeks away, and we will be coming up with a few of our own, coupled of course with our attentive serviceJ
The outstanding Stella Maris will have their wonderful exhibition of everything “but the principle” on Wed 20th of November, running for one week, and will officially launch their exhibit, in the upstairs gallery on Friday 22nd of November from 6.00 pm to 9.00pm. This exhibition promises to amaze, with mannequins wearing school uniforms, a “mock up” classroom, ledgers, photographs, memorabilia, and everything that is related to this great institution.
The Christmas Craft Fair, will begin on the 23rd of November, with a huge range of quality gifts and products. This is the perfect opportunity to shop for those unique presents that you just won’t find anywhere else. The very best of artistic and creative talent will have you spoiled for choice. So indulge in some retail therapy, and find that stocking filler, or a “once off” hand crafted, bespoke Christmas gift.
On Saturday 30th of November, that gifted group of artists, The Copper Coast will begin their Christmas Exhibition. This impressive and remarkable troop, have been gracing our upstairs gallery and open art space for years, and are fully deserving of their very fine reputation. Don’t miss the opportunity to come and view the breath-taking work of The Copper Coast, whose singular aim is to capture the beauty of the moment, and they do… flawlessly.
And last but by no means least, the very talented Orlaith Hamersley will continue to display her very beautiful reproduction prints, in our open art space, until November 29th. These glorious prints are remarkable in their detail. Please go to www.hamersleyart.com for further details.
Coastguard Cultural Centre