The Green Gallery – PinUps of Bowie, Sound and Vision Art Exhibition
As you wander through St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, you will notice something quite unique when you reach the top floor. Stretching the length of one of the corridors is one of the most unique art galleries you will ever see – the Green Gallery. The gallery has been a mainstay of the shopping centre since Dermot O’Grady had an idea 22 years ago to transform the dimly lit corridor into a bright and thriving art gallery.
O’Grady has a knack for choosing wonderful artists from home and abroad to exhibit and this has allowed the gallery to keep operating even in harsher economic times. O’Grady previously worked in the hotel industry but always had a passion for art and he ran a number of other galleries before coming up with the novel idea of the Green Gallery. His other big passion in life is music and he has married these twin passions successfully over the years, having previously held exhibits dedicated to the artwork of Ronnie Wood and John Lennon, as well as Jim Fitzpatrick, who designed many of Thin Lizzy’s album covers. “Jim doesn’t display in any other gallery,” O’Grady says proudly. “He just loves it here.”
O’Grady’s latest marriage of art and music is dedicated to the late, great David Bowie. Entitled ‘PinUps of Bowie, Sound and Vision Art Exhibition’, the exhibition is held in the Dome Exhibition Space just past the Green Gallery. The exhibition was created by fans for fans of the iconic singer who passed away last year. “I’m a major Bowie fan and always have been since even before Space Oddity, his first album,” says O’Grady.
As such a huge fan, it was important to him that the works that would go on display in the exhibition would also be made by fans. “There was an open submission to anybody and everybody,” he says. “It didn’t matter if they were professional or nonprofessional or even their first time to paint something. It didn’t matter as long as you were a Bowie fan.”
The result is four rooms of wonderful artwork depicting Bowie at various stages of his career, along with prints of some of his own sketches. To add to the atmosphere, Bowie’s music plays throughout the exhibition space, while some of the black walls were originally left blank so that visitors could leave their own messages in chalk on them. “The walls themselves are quite amazing,” says O’Grady. “They’ve turned into pieces of art.”
With the first anniversary of Bowie’s death having only passed recently, this exhibition is a great way for people to remember him and his work. It has even proved to be quite an emotional experience for some people. “I had a woman here in tears the other days,” says O’Grady. “A couple of guys were in as well and one of them, he was inconsolable.”
It shows the effect the work of the wonderful artists that O’Grady has chosen has had on people. Many of the works in the exhibition are available for sale and, as with the Green Gallery, O’Grady ships all over the world, with free shipping for any purchase over €2,000.
The gallery continues to thrive and attracts customers from all over the world. In fact, it is perhaps not surprising that Bowie, a total one-off, would be an inspiration to Dermot O’Grady, a man who has created an art gallery that is truly one of a kind.