Wednesday, April 25, 2018

St Andrew's Church, Westland Row

I don't go to churches (except for weddings and funerals, communions and confirmations!). But I was in St Andrew's Church, Westland Row, recently and sketched a composite view of it. It's actually quite beautiful inside. And very peaceful in contrast to the hustle and bustle of commuter traffic and people coming and going at rush hour. And warm on a cold day!

As I had my Bloomsday sketchbook with me (I was doing a reccie for our next "Dublin Sketchers Draws Ulysses" outing, checking out Sweny's pharmacy and making sure that we could sketch in the church) so I sat down in the warm church and admired the ceiling, altar, arches and statues. Funnily enough, I have just only noticed that I tend to sketch from the top down, always more interested in ceilings than floors, and rarely leaving enough space to fit both. Next time, I must make a conscious effort to sketch the "box" of the space, i.e. floor, walls, ceiling, before I get into the details.

By the way, if you would like to join us for our sketching outings, all information is available on We sketch every Sunday afternoon, except for Christmas and Easter. We'll be in the Westland Row area between 2 and 4 on the 13th May.

When I searched first through Ulysses, I couldn't find any mentions of St Andrew's Church. But it's actually referred to as "All Hallows". Here is the information I found on the James Joyce Project webpage: "After his circuitous journey from Westland Row, Bloom comes to "the open backdoor of All Hallows." This church, also called St. Andrew's, has a back entrance on Cumberland Street South and a main entrance on Westland Row, just south of the post office.

Now that I know, I think I might sketch around this quote: "The cold smell of sacred stone called him. He trod the worn steps, pushed the swingdoor and entered softly by the rere." I don't think I've ever been on South Cumberland Street. There is nothing that I love more than to discover new little nooks and crannies in this city that I've called my own for over 30 years (I am known to have uttered the words "Home is in Dublin" in the summer of 1983, although I didn't move here until 1986!).

I love Dublin! And I love urban sketching!

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