Six years ago we were at the ‘press days’ before the official opening of the Venice Biennale. It was 40 degrees centigrade each of the days, dropping to 30 degrees at night. Our six-month-old daughter was there with us, and we were freaked – surely no child should be exposed to such heat? She dozed happily during the day, and slept happily at night, while we fussed and sweated. One evening out on Giudecca we came across a tableful of County Council arts officers from around Ireland. Thérèse was passed from lap to lap around the table as we enjoyed the meal and the stunning setting. She returned clutching three credit cards, so we knew we’d trained her well.

The days were spent between art and hunting down bottles of water – the city was running out of them. Sardined on a vaporetto at one point, we decided to leave; we were overheard, and directed to the air conditioning of the Hotel Danieli; luxury!

You’ve got to wonder. There can be few art events that present the art-viewer with so many obstacles to viewing the art. But it’s magic. Meanwhile, best of luck of Susan, Karen, Sarah, Gareth, Caoimhín, John, Enrique, Noel, Maeve, Pat, etc, and all those behind the scenes who make the seemingly impossible possible.

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