Storm Ulysses – now that was a cracker!

watercolour by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of fallen trees, Phoenix Park, Dublin
“Storm Ulysses”, a watercolour by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

So the unfortunate Lady Dudley also gets a mention in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses (!) You may remember that I wrote about her in the past, concerning her fancy garden fêtes in Ros Muc (and the cucumber sandwiches). Well, that self same lady was the inspiration for a painting of mine that is bound for the “Drawing on Joyce” exhibition at the Olivier Cornet Gallery, opening this Sunday at 3pm.

So now, here’s the quote from Ulysses : – “Lady Dudley was walking home through the park to see all the trees that were blown down by that cyclone last year…”

That’s the thing about Ulysses – a mere mention, a few words or a short sentence – and it opens up a whole new story.  Did you know that 2948 trees were blown down in the Phoenix Park in a great storm in 1903?  And that was the year before the first Bloomsday.

We didn’t have names for storms back then (like Ophelia or Charlie etc) but this storm, because of its literary connections, was recently christened: Storm Ulysses

“Drawing on Joyce” is a group exhibition for the Bloomsday Festival, in association with the James Joyce Centre in Dublin.  It features the work of Robert Russell, Nickie Hayden, Maser, Paula Meehan (poet) and myself. Yiz are all welcome!

Drawing on Joyce

PS – and if you’re especially interested in trees – Éanna Ní Lamhna will be giving a talk in Harold’s Cross Park inspired by the ‘marriage of trees’ from the Cyclops episode of Ulysses at 5pm on Bloomsday (16th of June).


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