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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Cross, Dorothy (Sarah Kelleher)

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Sarah Kelleher

Cross, Dorothy

For three weeks during February 1999, in the waters off the coast of Dun Laoghaire, a spectral vision appeared, glowing green against the night sky. The Ghost Ship was a gigantic temporary artwork by Dorothy Cross, one of Ireland’s most fêted contemporary artists. Every evening the Albatross, a decommissioned light ship coated in phosphorescent paint, was exposed to UV light and then left to glow and fade over the course of three hours. The Ghost Ship, based on Cross’s childhood memories of the sea, was her most public project and its reception the most broad-based and enthusiastic. The Ghost Ship stands as one of the most ambitious and impactful artworks of the 1990s in terms of scale, and, as the recipient of the Nissan Art Project fund awarded jointly by IMMA, one of the most generously sponsored. As such, Ghost Ship speaks to the burgeoning confidence in and ambition for contemporary Irish art practice. It is also lastingly significant as a marker of the changing nature of an Irish engagement with the sea.

By 1999, Cross was firmly established as one of Ireland’s most important artists. Her sculptures used unconventional materials such as cows’ udders to skewer cultural stereotypes relating to both gender and reductive readings of Irish national experience and were collected by institutions such as Tate Britain. Cross’s career epitomises a moment when contemporary Irish art arrived on the international stage; in its focus on gender and...

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