Introduction Further information
Me Jewel & Darlin’ was a public artwork on O’Connell Street, Dublin, from January 2011 to April 2012. Inside a display case positioned metres north of the Spire of Dublin, an exhibition programme showcased images and artefacts selected by artist Sean Lynch that evoke a variety of the city's artistic and social histories.
With a nod to the by-now cultured Irish tradition of nicknames for public art, the title of the project is part of local slang, and is borrowed from Eamonn MacThomais’ 1974 book Me Jewel & Darlin’ Dublin. Located on the central axis of the city’s main thoroughfare, the display case suggests a loose alternative to the line of official monuments (Parnell, Spire, Larkin, O’Connell, etc.) that appear there. Instead of commemorating historical achievements or momentous occasions, Me Jewel & Darlin’ will focus on incidental occurances and artistic practices that engage Dublin as a source and subject.
The first presentation was a reproduction of The Last Hour of the Night, by Harry Clarke (1889 - 1931). This illustration, made in 1922, shows a strange benevolent spirit of the city towering over and touching a Georgian tenement house. Translucent strands of drapery cover this figure, morphing into flames that encase the Four Courts, the Custom House and the GPO. With the original ink drawing now lost, the reproduction and placement of Clarke’s symbolic work allows it to publicly allude to the decay and chaos of the city, offering a counterpoint to the propriety and monumentality of the 120-metre-high Spire located close by.
In April 2011, documentation and artefacts involved in a 1982 performance on O'Connell Bridge by artist Danny McCarthy is presented. An interview with the artist is featured here.
In September 2011, another presentation was unveiled, consisting of a fragment of a BMW car, found in a scrapyard in Clondalkin in west Dublin earlier this year. For further details about this object, please look here