Shout Out Friday – Tara Doolan



When Cerstin Mudiwa emailed to say she was working on a project with an up and coming female director I wanted to know more. Today I got to chat with Tara Doolan who, with her partner Pius McGrath has created Honest Arts, where together they create theatre (writing, directing, designing) that deals with the issues we’re all facing today.

Their latest collaboration is Punt, which runs at The New Theatre in Dublin from 2nd of July for two weeks.

Listen in to our chat and be sure to check out the show if you’re in Dublin over the summer. It’s gathering momentum and is sure to be a good night out.

Honest Arts and The New Theatre present


A story of gambling culture and the adventures involved with a life investing in chance

Written and Performed by Pius McGrath

Written and Directed by Tara Doolan

Composed by Aine Doolan

Video content creation by Mario Beck

The New Theatre

43 Essex Street

Temple Bar

Dublin 2

July 2nd – 14th @7.30pm

Opens July 3rd, Preview July 2nd

Tickets EUR 16/13 (conc.)

Booking  or 01-6703361

Please note this show is suitable for audiences 14+


Shout Out Friday – Go BIG

There was lots to talk about in today’s Shout Out Friday.

Angela Josephine’s new album Daylight went LIVE this morning. Check out her dawn chorus live on Facebook!

You can listen to Angela and I chat about the album on the Strut and Bellow podcast.

Karen Hickey’s solo exhibition Clothed launches tonight at the Signal Arts Centre in Bray, Co. Wicklow, my home town. Definitely worth checking out.

Isabelle Gaborit from Wildfire & Wax is exhibiting as part of As Na Studioeanna at Secret Garden Gallery in Kinvara, Galway.

Lorna Watkins’ exhibition heartfelt will be on later in June at the Hyde Bridge Gallery in Sligo. More details nearer the time but gosh, I love her paintings.

And Mel Wiggins is doing some mighty work with Assembly Gatherings – definitely worth checking her out if you love some soulful, soothing women centred creative community. I feel so excited to be part of her membership circle. We’re all going to do some exciting things together, I can just feel it.

Apologies to my newsletter subscribers, April’s newsletter and ebook are a bit delayed but both will be in your inboxes soon.

It’s a bank holiday weekend here in Northern Ireland so I’m looking forward to chilling with family. Hope you have a great one too.

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Red Flower, 1919 – Georgia O’Keefe

This painting of a snapdragon is an early painting in a series that Georgia O’Keefe became famous for. She said she wanted to paint flowers in close up to slow people down, to force them to examine the small in detail.

The centre of the red flower is opening, yawning like a wet mouth, a tongue or lips. It could almost be belching. The surrounding petals are engorged, their fullness stretched to bursting. Wrapped around the flower at the far edges are pathways of purple, teal and turquoise blue, enveloping or embracing the red. Or perhaps the flower is pushing its way out of the dark, grown too big for its underground home, reaching for its true belonging in the path of the sun, reflected in that thin clitoral strip of yellow at the centre.

The painting is O’Keefe at her most sensuous and feminine. I came across it at an exhibition in Dublin while my mother was dying of cancer back in 2007. I brought the book with me into the hospital for her to look at something beautiful. I had been told that the colour red was good for a tired psyche and Mum was exhausted battling for her life. I can’t know if it was the colours or the fact of time spent together quietly sharing beauty that revived her that day. After she died, I inherited the book along with all her others and I’ve cherished this.

When I look at it now, I sense a more dangerous quality, the way it seems to be intruding in the space, taking space, something that most women balk at. I have always loved the singularity and determination of O’Keefe as an artist; her devotion to her craft, her honouring of her vocation at great personal cost sometimes. She was determined to do her own thing, live her own way and I have always admired that quality in her, longing for more of that bravery in my own life.

Purple is also an important colour to me. I have always associated it with spirituality and higher purpose and I see the purple in this painting as wrapping and supporting the red flower. Red speaks of passion, anger, love, and also a warning of danger. There’s a ‘too muchness’ about it and as women we’re often told that we’re too much, too sensitive, too angry, too real. Red Flower reminds us to stay in our power and our majesty, to celebrate who we are and not hide behind some idea of ‘niceness’.

Slow down, get up close, pay attention, make your art and then open up, burst forth, embrace the red, know you are circled in purple. Be a red flower.