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Exhibition and Poetry Reading at the RIAI: ‘Tracing the Lines’

‘Tracing the Lines’ pen drawings by the award winning architect John Dorman illustrate corners of the city captured in the poems and writings of many other past and present Irish poets ranging from Patrick Kavanagh to Phil Lynott and Dermot Bolger as featured in the anthology If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song. The drawings go on show at the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland in an exhibition running from 26 to 30 May.

If Ever You Go takes the reader on a journey around Dublin as seen through the eyes of poets and songwriters. Inspired by this anthology, architect John Dorman set out on his own 5-week journey of discovery during the month of the festival. The images of Phil Lynott based on his song Dublin and St Werburgh’s Church based on Peter Sirr’s poem ‘Madly Singing in the City’ are just two of the 39 drawings sketched over five weeks as a companion to the 2014 book choice for Dublin’s 2014 One City One Book Festival ‘If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song’.

Armed with a small sketch book, felt tip pen and a copy of the book, architect John Dorman daily took to the streets on a dublinbike sketching fragments of Dublin based on images referred to in the poems. The sketches were then overlaid and woven with fragments of historic maps to provide a geographical reference and context to the poems. John Dorman says about ‘Tracing the Lines’: ‘I found this project to be an exciting and illuminating experience as it connected me with two greats: our poets and our town. ‘

Unlike his usual sketches of random buildings and places this was a project that began with a sketch of the Patrick Kavanagh sculpture on the Grand Canal which then developed over the month into an exploration, through drawings, of the many differing interpretations of place and memory in the book’s poems.
The exhibition titled ‘Tracing the Lines’ will be held at the RIAI Architecture Centre, 8 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

John Dorman is the principal of Dorman Architects a small Dublin based architectural practice known for its finely crafted buildings. As work of the practice is spread across the island it provides Dorman with opportunities to visit unusual places and sketch elements of the built landscape that fascinate him. These could be anything from a carved detail on a ruined mediaeval monastery to the tracings of ancient field patterns to an abandoned mill.

Exhibition and Poetry Reading is NOT an IAF event and is delivered by RIAI for more information please visit this website.