Thursday, 16 April 2009
2003 October - The Peter and The Wolf Exhibition In Dublin
My friends Chris and Andy were in Dublin on their honeymoon and they asked me if I’d like to meet up with them there for a couple of days, they didn't need to ask me twice.
While we were there, on the 1st October, the Peter and the Wolf exhibition for which Bono had done some paintings, was opening, this being the first stage of a mini-tour for the paintings, so of course we were keen to go to see them.
We walked down Dame Street to the City Hall where the exhibition was being held. It was really interesting to see Bono's pictures - which were huge in some cases, large in all cases. Some were more like practice sketches, and, though I feel Bono isn't amongst the great painters, others were good and interesting, the longer I looked at them the more I saw. His father featured a lot, in one picture he's very stern and there's a tiny Bono below looking up at him. There was a menace and darkness about the paintings in general and the wolf tends to look a bit stoned in my opinion!!! Bono’s daughters' additions of the flowers are the gentlest, softest aspect to the pictures, which I felt really worked as they offset the general harshness that came across in the artwork.
The CD of the music by Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer for Peter and the Wolf was playing in the background and there was also a short film running about the making of the CD and paintings. All were being sold to support a very worthwhile cause - The Irish Hospice Foundation.
The City Hall itself, built in 1779, is a wonderful building. The exhibition was held on the first floor which was reached via a sweeping staircase. In the centre of the large room there was a circle of pillars with classical figures on pedestals in between them and high above a beautiful done in the centre. The large Georgian windows ensured the room was well lit.We were almost first in, there weren’t many other people there.
Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer arrived not long after we did and they did a photo shoot. There was also a man videoing the proceedings, and at one point I noticed him videoing us as we looked at the paintings, I tried to keep my back to him once I'd noticed! Later he approached us to say that they hoped to make a documentary about the making of Peter and the Wolf and the exhibition and as we were in some of his film and he'd like our permission to use our images. He didn't have his usual forms to sign so he asked us to say our names and give permission as he filmed us. I don’t know if the documentary ever came about.
Chris asked one of the women there if she thought Gavin would sign autographs and she said he probably would once he'd finished with the shoot, so we waited. Chris went to him first and he was really nice to her, she told him that she and Andy had just got married and he congratulated them, asked where they came from. He is so like Bono it's uncanny. His voice, his mannerisms, his humour, his clothes are all very similar. Then I went up to him giving him the auction brochure to sign. He looked at me and said.
"Aren't you buying the CD?"
I told him I'd ordered it online, he asked which website and I said the Irish Hospice one, he seemed pleased at that. Then with a grin (like Bono’s!) added.
"But you should go to Gavinfriday.com the official website, that's much better!"
I told him I do go there too and he seemed chuffed about that. He asked my name (and how I spelled it – how many ways can you spell Sue?!) as he signed my brochure and looked right at me smiling as I thanked him afterwards. He also has Bono's charm!
It was really good to see the paintings in real life – there is something special about seeing the actual brushstrokes it makes paintings really come alive, I could easily visualise Bono working on them. I heard that he came to the exhibition in person later that day, but we were long gone by then. It was really good to meet Gavin, I can certainly see why he and Bono are friends, they are like two peas in a pod as they say.