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Viv Albertine

in Conversation with Sinead Gleeson
Saturday 9th March 2019

In conversation with Una MuLlally
Sunday 10th March 2019

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Songwriter and musician Viv Albertine was the guitarist in cult post punk band The Slits. She was a key player in British counter-culture before her career in TV and film directing. Her first solo album The Vermilion Border was released in 2012, and her memoir, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys was a Sunday Times, Mojo, Rough Trade, and NME Book of the Year in 2014, as well as being shortlisted for the National Book Awards. Her latest memoir, To Throw Away Unopened is a fearless dissection of one woman's obsession with the truth - the truth about family, power, and her identity as a rebel and outsider.

‘Mum’s last moments ruined; my relationship with my sister irredeemable; and possibly the loss of my thumb. All big losses but nothing compared to what I was fighting for. What was I fighting for, though? Even now I’m not sure. Something so old and so deep, it has no words, no shape, no logic.’
Every memoir is a battle between reality and invention - but in her follow up to Clothes, Music, Boys, Viv Albertine has reinvented the genre with her unflinching honesty.  To Throw Away Unopened is a gaping wound of a book. An exercise in blood-letting and psychological archaeology, excavating what lies beneath: the fear, the loneliness, the anger. It is a brutal expose of human dysfunctionality, the impossibility of true intimacy, and the damage wrought upon us by secrets and revelations, siblings and parents.
Yet it is also a testament to how we can rebuild ourselves and come to face the world again. It is a portrait of the love stories that constitute a life, often bringing as much pain as joy. With the inimitable blend of humour, vulnerability, and intelligence that makes Viv Albertine one of our finest authors working today, To Throw Away Unopened smashes through layers of propriety and leads us into a new place of savage self-discovery.

About Sinead Gleeson (9th March 2019)
Sinéad Gleeson is a writer, critic and broadcaster. She is the editor of three short anthologies, including the award-winning The Long Gaze Back: an Anthology of Irish Women Writers and The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland. Her own writing has been published in Granta, Banshee, Winter Papers, Looking at the Stars, Gorse and Autumn: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons. She presents The Book Show on RTÉ Radio One. Her debut collection of essays, Constellations, will be published by Picador in Spring 2019. She is currently working on a novel.

About Una Mullally (10th March 2019)
Una Mullally is a writer from Dublin. She is a journalist with The Irish Times, contributes opinion columns to The Guardian, and her writing has also appeared in the New York Times and Granta. She is the author of In The Name Of Love (The History Press, 2014), an oral history of the movement for marriage equality in Ireland, and editor of the best-selling anthology Repeal The 8th (Unbound, 2018). She is the co-founder Lucid Lucid, a film and TV development project with her screenwriting partner Sarah Francis. She has performed her poetry at various festivals including Dublin Fringe Festival, Electric Picnic, Body & Soul, First Fortnight, Kilkenny Arts Festival and elsewhere. She co-founded the touring spoken word event Come Rhyme With Me with Vickey Curtis, co-created and co-presented the pro-choice podcast Don’t Stop Repealin’, co-founded the Irish Times Women’s Podcast, and co-founded the music documentary film festival OneTwoOneTwo. She was the presenter and music producer for six series of the alternative music show Ceol ar an Imeall on TG4, and also authored the RTÉ documentary I Am Irish. She was the Independent Chair of Ireland's National LGBTI+ Youth Strategy - a world first - which launched in 2018.

Presented by NCH



The self-professed ‘artist, broadcaster, transvestite, lecturer, worshipper of teddy bears and telly addict’ best known for his ceramic vessels, printed tapestries and his colourful cross dressing continues to explore themes of popularity and art, masculinity and the current cultural landscape in his works.

Alongside his many exhibitions Perry has also undertaken a number of documentary television programmes as well as publishing several books and graphic novels including: two autobiographies, Grayson Perry: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl (2007) and The Descent of Man (2016), an illustrated a graphic novel; Cycle of Violence (2012), a book about art, Playing to the Gallery (2014) and illustrated Sketchbooks (2016).

Renowned for dissecting British "prejudices, fashions and foibles" (Tate), Perry uses his art to address subjects that are universally human such as identity, gender, social status, sexuality and religion. Peppered with political and allegorical references, his work draws on an autobiographical narrative which often features his alter ego Claire. The narrative chronicles a troubled childhood in which Perry turned to transvestism to find solace.

Much of Perry’s art can be interpreted in tandem with questions about décor and decorum, class and taste, and the status of the artist versus that of the artisan. Many of these themes are explored in most recent exhibitions including that of his six tapestries entitled The Vanity of Small Differences shown at the RHA Gallery Dublin earlier this year.

Last year’s exhibition ‘The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!’ was designed to address how contemporary art can best address a diverse cross section of society. This summer Perry is coordinating the 250th annual celebration of The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2018, which is set to be the biggest, brightest and most colourful Summer Exhibition yet, with over 1,200 works on display including those by Perry.

Perry was the first ceramicist to win the Turner Prize in 2003. Much of his work is held in museum collections worldwide including The British Museum, London; Tate Collection, London and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; among many others. In 2013 he received a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.