Waking the artistic ghost

When I was living in Dublin, just because I wanted to avoid going crazy, almost every day I visited local museums and art galleries. That separation from reality allowed me to stay in that crazy town for almost a year. As we know, big cities can offer a lot of cultural pleasures, but can provincial Roscommon fill our souls with aesthetic experiences? Oi, yes, it can. My partner and I became convinced of this fact last Saturday. The job was really simple. Just go at three o’clock to the Art@work exhibition, take a few pictures and get some information and that’s it. All Saturday morning we planned how we were going to take the pictures, what time we would have to leave and of course, what we were going to wear. Plans, plans and soon it was half past two. As usual, we forgot to recharge the battery for the camera and we forgot to borrow a tripod and back-up camera. But, if you are rushing, it mobilises you. Please believe me! In three minutes we were dressed, in the nearest clothes to hand. At three minutes to three, with two cameras we were at the entrance to Roscommon Arts Centre. What happened in that amazing afternoon was better than a dream. We went there together but then we separated. Each one concentrated with their own camera and made their own connections with the installations. It’s not a museum and the event wasn’t an exhibition. It was pure art and we were at one with it. Maybe you are thinking that what I am writing is too abstract, but it really was like that. Not a big room, few people and from somewhere a flash from a camera. It managed to be both loud and silent, silent conversation and that amazing installation.  The sudden and unexpected emotional rush was akin to getting a slap in the face from a stranger. It’s good that organisers thought to get some dry red wine, which calmed down our emotions and we also spoke with an artist whose feet were firmer on the ground than ours were at that time. So, I have to repeat myself. Good spirits surely sleep in Roscommon, a small town, which soon will be a serious metropolis, hiding from us its artistic face. But, in another way, I’m ashamed because I think that we are running from work to shopping and forgetting to take a look around. Because that good Roscommon ghost sleeps in the details. He has a nap in small rooms and is just waiting for someone to wake him up.  PS. The Art@work exhibition at Roscommon Arts Centre is ongoing until August 25th.