Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Blue Moon at Newlands Cross Crematorium

The art world seems to be suffering a lot of casualties this summer. The latest was Bernard Taylor, brother of John and Pat who run Taylor Galleries. Bernard was also involved in the art business but his area was hanging and transporting paintings.  He was a highly-skilled technician in this area and had a very sympathetic eye for a hanging. He was employed by all the high-end galleries and museums in the country and was the OPW’s main man when it came to Government buildings. Apart from his competence in hanging, he was a thoroughly amiable and charming man and good fun to meet for a pint. He had an infinite supply of entertaining and often scurrilous stories about the Irish art scene. He encountered some tragedy in his life (two of his sons died prematurely) but bore it with admirable fortitude. I last met him at Sean McSweeney’s funeral in Wicklow a few weeks ago. He looked shook but was as amiable as ever, giving no indication of the terminal nature of his cancer. He was cremated at Newlands Cross yesterday. The great and the good of the Irish art world were there in addition to a large attendance of family and friends from the Clondalkin area. I spotted Robert Ballagh, Brian Burke, Charles Tyrrell, Martin Gale, John Daly from Hillsboro Fine Art, Ib Jorgensen, James O’Halloran from Adam’s, John de Vere, and the Kerlin boys Ken and David amongst many others. It was a simple lay service with little God bothering apart from a hymn and a few biblical readings. A lady from the OPW, whose name I didn’t get, delivered a very warm and well structured tribute to Bernard – covering both the professional and the private man. We learned how proud he was of his very impressive head of blonde hair and how smartly he was always turned out even for work. I hadn’t attended this crematorium before and I was impressed by its facilities. There was loads of parking, a fine semi-circular room/chapel with plenty of seating, and at the end of the service the wicker-work coffin descended slowly into the basement below the church while we listened to a lengthy and aptly plangent version of Blue Moon by the Mavericks. Definitely a good way to go, if you must. Although poor Bernard had not quite reached 60.