10 August 2007

Sand and water and a million years gone by

Went in on Wednesday morning to see the Codex Leicester in the Chester Beatty Library. The Codex is a notebook of Leonardo da Vinci, containing notes on the nature of water. His reverse script is distinctive and a very familiar site in popular culture, but to see it in real life was a pretty unique experience. Accompanying the Codex was a collection of manuscripts and early printed books from the Chester Beatty collection that were listed in a record of the contents Da Vinci's library, and it was interesting to see how he was clearly influenced in a number of his famous designs and inventions by both contemporaries and precursors.

On the way out of the exhibition there was an installation in progress, a series of sand sculptures by the Duthain Dealbh group (roughly translated 'Fleeting Sculpture' in Irish). The sculptures were based on the theme of Irish literature, with busts of Samuel Beckett, poetry flowing around pints of stout, and Swift depicted as Gulliver (the feet of which can be seen above).

Both exhibitions were free, but seemed to be attended almost exclusively by tourists. It made me wonder if there weren't amazing things like this going on in the city all the time, but most people never notice because we are too busy working 60 hour weeks to stop and enjoy our lives.

Dublin can be a brilliant place to live, sometimes you just need a little reminder.


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