Tag Archives: Culture

From Africa with love

The sun was out for Africa Day 2015 which took place on Sunday May 24th in Farmleigh house, located in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Throughout the day Africa’s unique and colourful culture were showcased, as well as live music from three different stages around the historic grounds of the Farmleigh mansion. The event also highlighted the lifesaving work of major Irish charities like Irish Aid and Sight Savers.

africa day 2

IMG_3286 (1)



What is Africa Day? Africa day celebrates the nation’s unity, which falls on May 25th. Ireland has welcomed hundreds-of-thousands of African immigrants over the years; many of which consider Ireland to be home, and so it’s only fitting that we too celebrate the historic day. Africa Day is also celebrated in New York, London, and Washington.

What was on offer? Stalls of beautiful African garments, accessories, hand-made crafts, and food lined the green fields. There was an ecstatic feeling among the thousands of visitors following the previous day’s celebrations of Marriage Equality – you couldn’t have been in a bad mood if you tried! My favourite art of the day was the African dance zone for kids and adults. Needless to say I channelled by inner African-dance-goddess. There was a designated kid’s zone with rides and attractions and plenty of food and drinks on offer too. Our own Timi was also MC-ing at the main stage of the event throughout the day in-between the lively acts.

The celebration has become one of the highlights of the events calendar since 2008, and in the last three years it has attracted more than 71,000 visitors! Use the hashtag #AfricaDay2015 for more information and pictures of the day’s festivities.





Love. Create. Enjoy

To me, creativity and love are the key components to the wheel that keeps Dublin turning. To love what you do and turn it into something creative is even more special.

You may recognise this guy for his savvy street-style or boisterous hair-and-beard combo. This weekend, hair-dresser Aaron Kiely will debut his first pop-up creative in the Bernard Shaw. ‘Out of the Box Kuts’ is the first of its kind in Dublin, and strips back the authentic idea of the ‘barber shop’.

The idea came about when Aaron- an award-winning hairdresser from Dylan Bradshaw – noticed a rise in the amount of pop-ups around the city; particularly with food and fashion. But there was yet to be a salon pop-up dedicated only to hair, even though there is a big market for it here. In a not-so-ordinary fashion, Aaron would meet his clients in urban locations around Dublin equipped with only his scissors. From there came the concept of a ‘mobile salon’; the first of which will be held this Sunday April 26th in The Bernard Shaw at 4pm.

“I want to create somewhere that people can come and hangout, listen to good music, have a beer, and get the best haircut they’ve ever had”.

What makes Out of the box Kuts different to competitor salons? Other than the rawness of the salon, clients are sure to be drawn in to his unique set-up which includes a 70’s style antique barber chair and retro mirror-infused suitcase.

“My set-up is pretty cool. I bought a suitcase in an antique shop and installed the mirror. There’s even space in for your beer and books. The idea of the project isn’t about making money, it’s about the skill and art of hairdressing. I don’t want to be charging big money – I’m in this for the love of cutting hair”.

Aaron is already hopeful about the success of his pop-up and has big plans for his creative. He also encourages us to be more adventurous with our ‘do’s’

“My aim is to spread Out of the Box Kuts across Dublin city to other cool locations and to eventually have other hairdressers working on the project with me. The majority of young girls have long hair at the moment which I find boring. I want to start a trend where people (especially girls) aren’t afraid of being more audacious. I think the pop-up will help that”

Out of the Box Kuts kicks off at 4pm tomorrow, followed by beer and dancin’ till late.

Price for gents €10 // price for ladies € 20

Follow Aarons journey on Instagram and Facebook @outoftheboxcuts // AaronKiely


Tatto taboo

Why is it that in 2014 we are still judged on appearance? Since when is it scientifically proven that if your appearance doesn’t fit into the rest of society you’re deemed as inadequate, dumb-minded, not capable of fulfilling a job, or living a happy and normal life?

Recently British trainee teacher Charlotte Tumilty made headlines when she was sent home from the Catholic school where she works because of her tattoos; that they were seen as “inappropriate”. The 27-year old mother-of-two has been putting herself through college to support and better her family, and yet has been denied a job which she is qualified for because her use of artistic expression – where is the common sense? This woman has not committed a crime, but is being judged and prejudiced upon because of her tattoos.

I have tattoos; 5 to be exact, one of which I got on Friday last. It is like an addiction; you crave the needle touching your skin, no matter how painful it is. The outcome is normally worth the couple of hours of pain. I come from a relatively conservative family; my mam is open to me having tattoos, but within limits. My brothers are somewhat accepting to it, but with my dad it’s a different story; I had to hide my first tattoo for two years. I suppose because I’m ashamed I’m letting him down? Which inside, I know I am. It’s the same with grandparents and other relatives. Why am I afraid that my own body will change their opinion of me?

Where did it start? At 16 with a boy, of course. I will never remember bringing him home and showing off his tattoos like a prized pony. My dad hated him. At the time I was going through a rough time with my own body; surgery and whatnot, and I thought inking my skin was a good way to take away from the already obvious scars on my body. My excuse was (and still is) ‘I have enough scars on my body already, I might as well make them pretty’.


Probably one of the most frequently asked questions, and I sometimes find myself forcing a meaning behind each tattoo. Don’t get me wrong I do have meanings, but I don’t always want to share these meanings. Maybe for fear of it sounding stupid, who knows?

I do get panicked with each tattoo I get. Reading through the consent form and seeing the words PERMENANT printed in bold letters. The first thing that goes through my head is not the pain, but regret; will I regret this decision in my later life? At the moment, no. Art is not something I regret.


I do worry about how people will judge me when they see I have tattoos. But to be honest, when they see the scar on my back they will probably make a subconscious judgment about me anyway. It disappoints me that employers still require employees to be free from visible tattoos. Now for my own sake, I will not get anything below my knees or on my arms or neck, because unfortunately that’s the society we live in. I do think of what my body will be like with tattoos when it’s aged and wrinkled enough to tell a good story; but I believe my scars (medical and artistic) will add to my life story.

I am a creative person, and I work hard for my place in this hectic life. My back restricts me a lot so tattoos are a way that I treat myself. I feel it’s something that gives me confidence and takes notice away from my countless other insecurities. It does make me sad thinking that my parents will be disappointed in me for choosing to let someone willingly scar my body, but there are a lot worse things I could be doing in this day and age.


Yes, they have yet to see the latest. Pray for Niamh.



Culture Night 2014

Culture Night takes place on Friday the 19th of September both in Dublin and nationwide; and with hundreds of free events to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice on the night!

The gathering celebrates the huge diversity of arts, crafts and cultures that we have both on our home soil and abroad. It allows organisations big and small, museums, concert halls, and galleries to open their doors for extended hours to give you a chance to experience the things you might not ever get the time to do or see; and did I mention it’s free?

The festival has come a long way since its first night held in Dublin in 2006; Culture night is now a nationwide phenomenon. So whether you’re in Westport, Kerry, or Belfast, there is something for all the family to enjoy.


A first for Culture Night, Aras an Uachtarain will open its doors and provide free tours every 30 minutes around the glorious mansion. You might even catch the man himself for a quick cuppa.

The Lighthouse cinema in Smithfield will be showcasing the best of Irish shorts from 6-8.

Try local cuisine and brews in Ireland’s newest brewery located in The Liberties- the Dublin Whiskey Company.

Take a walk through Frances Street in the south inner city and check out the different array of art galleries and antique shops. You’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy!

Maybe you want a drink and to take in the atmosphere. Temple bar will be full of Dublin’s finest musicians. You might surprise yourself and take up a bodhran.

We are truly unique when it comes to our culture, so be sure to help preserve it. Get out, go and see, and enjoy your city. For more information visit culturenight.ie.


Cultured Cuppa



Art Will Be Worn

Tamarama café Dublin hosted the tremendously successful ‘Art Will Be Worn’ event last night, created by the talented Collective Dublin. The event honored the two main arteries that keep Dublin’s heart beating; fashion and art, with a few groovy tunes thrown in just for good measure.

The concept of DCU graduate Mark Logan, The Collective Dublin aims to collaborate the best of Irish artistry and incorporate it into ‘wearable art’. The Collectives’ first line of T-shirts and tote bags were unveiled at the event last night as well as a collection of art bystreet artist Vents, whose designs are beautifully printed on a select few of the labels t-shirts.

Mark, left, enjoying his successful night which was sponsored by Desperados and Redbull

Mark, left, enjoying his successful night which was sponsored by Desperados and Redbull

The collection sits well with other street brands


The Collective have been hard at it for a while, building up the energy needed to launch their designs. A series of ‘Art Will Be Worn’ instalments have been painted around the city by graffiti artists Vents and Aaron Kiely, as well as a three-part film with inspiration taken from raw urban art and nature. Keeping the theme local, music was also provided by Irish-electro artist Kobina and even caught the eye of The Irish Times.



I am that person that checks material over and over for faults and flaws. I was pleasantly surprised by the exceptionally good quality of the t-shirts. The cotton and polyester blend is soft and very wearable, and ultimately feels comfortable. The stitching and printing was done over-seas, so it took several attempts to get the t-shirts to Marks standards. The T-shirts are currently available in charcoal grey and white.



So you couldn’t make it last night, but want to support The Collective? Their label is available to buy at The Generator Hostel in Smithfield and All City Records in Temple Bar. Alternatively the collection is available online from today at CollectiveDublin.BigCartel.com. T-shirts are 30 Euro and tote bags are a fiver. Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing young people achieving success; especially in our small town. Support local, stay local, and enjoy your city.


Cultured Cuppa

From music to macchiato

Bad news for music lovers, but great news for you coffee lovers. Walton’s World of Music on Parnell Street made the transformation from music to macchiato, and has become a trendy new café and restaurant in the heart of the city.

As a fellow musician, who used Walton’s quite a bit, I was saddened to see it go, but my remorse quickly subsided after tasting their delightful coffee! Situated opposite St. Fredrick’s Street church, the entire shop has been given a lovely and fresh make-over and adds a little bit of aesthetic charm to the old street.

The Old Music Café and Restaurant is designed like an old country cottage, and the décor certainly gives it that ‘homey’ feel! I’m usually pretty safe when it comes to my coffee, I’m a cappuccino kinda’ gal, but the pretty menu (and pretty prices) enticed me to order a latte with a shot of caramel. Definitely my new go-to drink. And then I got the whiff of hot-from-the-oven scones, with fresh cream and strawberry jam; sure look.

But coffee is not their only speciality. Split into two separate seating areas, coffee goers can enjoy relaxing on the couch and exploring the décor, while the restaurant goers are surrounded by elegance and charm, and of course a decent bit of grub too.

The Old Music Café and Restaurant is a lovely little gem on the North side of the city. Check out their facebook page for more info.


– CulturedCuppa


Halloween in August

 It may still be Summer for a lot of you; but I am truly already in Halloween mode. Cozy jumpers, hot chocolate, scarfs, and ghosts. Sure what more could a body want? This week I jumped at the chance to take part in Dublin’s Ghost Bus Tour– a haunted house on wheels!

Departing from O’Connell Street at dusk, guests enter the double-decker bus, but cannot look out the windows to see where they are being taken. Each tour has live commentary on board- our guy Nick was really entertaining and very hands-on as; we would later find out!

Without giving too much away, the tour lasts just over two hours and takes you around several parts of the city and some very frightening graveyards, plus you learn a thing or two along the way. There is an option of doing an earlier tour at 7:30, while it’s still some-what bright, or a later tour at 10:00 for those of you who have a little more courage and guts. I did the earlier tour, no judging please. The tour is aimed at an older audience, and warns that under 14’s may get scarred. God knows I was. At twenty-eight euro it’s not the cheapest, but it is definitely worth doing and was great experience. There are some great photo-opportunities so don’t forget your camera!

Is this something you would be interested in? My team at Picture This are currently in talks with the tour company to possibly have a Picture This Ghost bus on Halloween night at a reduced rate. Would you like to come with us? Let us know what you think. For more information check out their terrifying website at http://www.dublinsightseeing.ie/ghostbus


CulturedCuppa x