East in the middle

The young Dublin artist Garrett Cormican stages his second solo exhibition, 'Compass Bearings', in Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar from 6-15 October. His powerful work has won many plaudits to date, and he has been championed by the great Camille Souter. Much of his recent work takes Middle-Eastern themes and he has produced some stunning desertscapes and works depicting the horrors of the various Gulf Wars. The centrepiece of the exhibition is the arresting 'Istanbul or Constantinople', pictured above.

I want candy!

Although the web will never replace printed matter when it comes to magazines, the digifest that is Candy is a close contender. The work of graphic designer Richard Seabrook, it's an oh-so-credible slice of Dublin's cutting edge, on the money, fashion, visual and club culture available in PDF format for downloading. The third edition includes nuggets on graphic designers, film makers, DJs, bands, producers, artists, all doing their thing as they flirt with the Irish underground. See for yourself on www. candyculture. net. It's a far more self-improving site to surf at work than ananova!


Lara, situated at 1 Dame Lane, Dublin 2, is one of those 'great find' boutiques that is crammed with cutting-edge clothes and accessories. It never disappoints, whether in search of a little black dress, or a bling-tacular showstopping number. Recently expanded in terms of shop space and stock, winter 2005 additions include Victoria Beckham's 'Rock and Republic' jeans and cutting-edge cobbler Terry de Havilland's python-skinned shoes.

There's also a new menswear section, consisting mostly of easy casual gear from brands like Boxfresh and shoes by Base London. Just launched is the introduction of a personal shopping service where store owner Lara Casey will open the shop exclusively for one-on-one styling sessions with customers. Worth a gander.

Burning desires

The last thing you need is another scented candle, right? Wrong. . .you haven't tried blends by Natural Magic, a company specialising in 100% organic aromatherapy candles, made from pure vegetable wax bases with beautiful blends to enhance the mood.

Entirely soot and fume-free (and thus void of the toxins these carry), there are five different variants in the collection, including a very festive 'Rebalancing' combination of mandarin, cinnamon and clove, the 'Relaxing' mix of lavender, geranium and juniper or 'Revitalise' with Thai lemongrass, mint and rosemary. All are luxurious, enchanting fragrance combinations, contained in clear glass containers and the perfect combination of chic and comforting. Check them out on www. naturalmagicuk. com and be first on the block with these ultra-cool candles.

Frame works

It's the first time The Frames will play The Point, and we can guarantee an arena packed to the gills with the sort of girls who still drink wine out of mugs at parties. This band have a phenomenal following, and with their spellbinding live sets, it's no surprise that Thursday, 10 November is already heavily marked on many calendars. Go indie and get with the masses . . . it's sure to be one of the gigs of the year.

Black magic

When John Rocha launched his black collection for Waterford Crystal, he presented the world with a far more decorative side to his design ethos, combining sharp modern monochrome with a far more intricate, traditional detail. Now he extends the line with a range of home and gift items in a similar vein. The round trinket box would enhance any mirrored console or dressing table, while his votives are made to welcome flickering tealights. Those who prefer a more functional edge to their crystal might opt for black shot glasses . . . perfect for equally intriguing black vodka or sambuca.

Available now from Waterford Crystal stockists.

Desperately seeking Susan

. . . And Bree, and Lynette, and Gabrielle. . . If you're about to burst with the anticipation of 'Desperate Housewives' imminent second series, there's relief at hand.

Swat up in advance of the girls' return to TV with 'Desperate Housewives Behind Closed Doors', a hardback tome that's packed with facts and stats about the ladies of Wisteria Lane. No, it won't give details about feuding starlets, but the picture-filled book includes episode breakdowns, interviews, character profiles, behind-the-scenes snippets, favourite lines, and a sample part of the pilot script. There's even a 'MAD' magazine-style comic strip. A must for diehards, and for those who like to watch. . .

Getting earthy

While there's still food in the ground, and a desire for hearty homemade soups, it's worth signing up to an organic box. It's a pot-luck situation. . .you get a box of fresh seasonal favourites, plus a few more unusual 'wild cards' like fennel or celeriac to keep you on your culinary toes and get a bit inventive. Absolutely Organic delivers throughout the Dublin area, with different sized boxes to suit various needs: 18.50 will buy you the four seasons box which features seven different vegetables (potatoes, carrots and onions plus four others) while The Ultimate has 11 different varieties for 27. The company also takes particular requests, extra portions and can tailor-make boxes to suit. Telephone: 01-4600 467/87 or email info@absolutelyorganic. ie for more information or to order.

Melanie Morris hotshots@tribune. ie