Not my shot – John Byrne – Last Supper, Blooms Lane, Lower Ormond Quay on the North side of the River Liffey.
When we first arrived in this beautiful city we only saw Irish everywhere. Can’t tell what the passerby is saying – must be Irish. Red haired dude on the bus – must be Irish. You get the picture.
As we get more accustomed to living here it is clear that to find Irish in Dublin is not that easy. Our IKEA delivery guy was Polish and openly invited me to talk to him in Russian. My hair dresser was Russian, so was the waitress and the neighbourhood Ashton’s Pub. Indian people run the convenience stores, even here. Chinese people run the dry cleaners. Our next door neighbours roast the herring on the weekends, what else is new.
Occasionally we run into the Polish bakery or deli shop. The other day we saw a few Middle Eastern shops in a row and decided that we are indeed in the Middle Eastern district, an illusion that was shattered once we encountered a Pork Chop Butchery down the street.
So far we only came across one Russian store – the Euphoria above. Russian speech is heard on and off throughout the city, no matter whether you are north or south of the Liffey.
Dublin’s multiculturalism is perfectly depicted on the Last Supper photo above. John Byrne sees Dublin’s Last Supper as an expression of “positive politics and his faith in ordinary people”.
To assemble the apostles, Byrne walked the City and approached people asking them “if they would like to partake in the Last Supper”. The final selection, dressed by the artist in emblematic garments, could – without these garments – represent a cross section of people encountered in any ordinary day in the City’s streets. The thirteen, from left to right, are: Bartholomew: Jude O Dochartaigh, tattoo artist; James the Less: Vernoica, librarian; Andrew: Eddie Salim, from east Africa; Judas: Frank Conlon, actor and drama facilitator; Peter: Henry; John: Julie Kerrigan, employee at Pavee Point Travellers’ Centre; Jesus: Kulpreet Singh, PhD student at Trinity College, Dublin; Thomas: Willie Crowley, ecologist; James the Great: Leighton, student at Cornell University; Philip: Diana Sabogal, student at the American College, Dublin; Mathew: Alan Kavanagh, architecture student at DIT, Dublin; Thaddeus: Aloysius McKenna, building worker; Simon: Michael Foley, network analyst. And the extra hand behind Judas is that of Jonathan Hession, photographer.
No doubt, we have yet to see the multiculturalism of the city as we explore it further.