THE UNFINISHED ANGLO Irish Bank building in Dublin’s docklands is on the to-paint list of John Morris, the first artist in residence at the Gibson Hotel.
“There is lots to choose from in the area,” said artist John Morris. “But I want to paint the Anglo building before they finish it.”
The Central Bank has already bought the site – once earmarked to be the brand new headquarters of the now defunct institution – from NAMA in 2012 for €7 million.
Aside from the piece of Irish banking history, Morris will also capture the changing landscape of Dublin’s docklands and waterfront, as well as people from the local community.
He will live in the hotel for the next 10 weeks as he was chosen to kickstart the first artist-in-residence programme. The Dublin native has installed himself at the Point Village hotel but the painting will not begin until next week.
“At the moment I’m just setting up, building the studio, bringing in easels. Once the painting starts, I will do full work days, painting nine through five o’clock,” he told TheJournal.ie.
Usually a painter of seascapes, he intends to capture the entire area around the Point.
By the end of his 10-week stay, he believes he will have completed about 20 to 25 paintings which will be exhibited in the hotel at Christmas.
The idea of a hotel having an artist in residence is not a new one.
“There is a very famous programme in the Savoy in London,” notes Morris. “But I am the guinea pig here.”
As part of the project, local students from Larkin Community College in the north inner city will visit Morris so he can share his knowledge and expertise.
A formal launch is to take place on Tuesday with Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan in attendance. The hotel plans to host a live webcam of Morris painting a mural of his view from his hotel suite. Guests and visitors will also have opportunities to see the artist working on his canvases during their stay.
A sample of Morris’s recent work: