Music photographer Ruth Medjber spent the first lockdown taking photos of people through their windows at twilight which has resulted in a book published by Penguin called Twilight Together which serves as a document of Irish people living at home during a pandemic.
Medjber has today announced a pop up shop, gallery and a live stream music and arts event called Grá agus Solas that will take place at The Dean Arts Studio on 39 Harcourt Street.
There will be a virtual celebration from The Living Room gallery space on YouTube and other platforms on November 5th to mark the launch of the book and exhibition. Ruth will read passages from the book and there will be performances from Bell X1’s Paul Noonan, Sinead White, and a poetry performance from Stephen James Smith. All three were included in the book.
Grá agus Solas at the Living Room will be the first exhibition to open at The Dean Arts Studio on 39 Harcourt Street from the expected date of lockdown lifting on December 1st, featuring a cosy space where you can buy the book, prints and postcards among other items.
Medjber says: “The broadcast will be a beautiful ensemble of arts and culture in 2020. It will be a positive show of our resilience and a testament to how Irish artists will always continue to create and transform our work even under the most difficult circumstances. It’ll be a chance for people at home to feel involved with the arts in Ireland. A chance to join our living room without having to leave theirs. I feel that it’s important to share the Living Room as a platform with other artists, poets, musicians, friends, who have had their livelihoods impeded by Covid19 and give them an opportunity to reach the new audiences that they would have found through touring and festivals in 2020.”
The Georgian gallery will be generously furnished in its entirety by IKEA. The entire room will be lit with a variety of lamps and candles, ensuring a warm, enticing glow beams through the gallery windows, drawing people in from the cold. The wallpaper that wraps around the room will not be ordinary wallpaper, but a bespoke creation (handmade in Dublin), featuring all of the portraits from the series. There’ll be a record player in the corner and guests can choose their own soundtrack as they enjoy a cup of tea or glass of wine. As they sink into the comfy couches or armchairs, they’ll be able to flick through the Twilight Together book or peruse the imagery on the walls. Due to restrictions on numbers and safety protocols in place, advance online booking will be essential and only one household at a time will be invited to visit the shop and gallery.
Medjber will be on hand for each visit to share the story behind the photographs. She’ll guide the viewers through tales of lockdown life in Ireland and introduce them to all the fascinating people in the portraits. In the Pop Up Shop, there’ll be an opportunity to purchase items from the series, including prints, postcards and the Twilight Together book. All signed by the artist.