Renowned stained glass artist launches Paraic’s new book
BROSNA native stained-glass master James Scanlon was back on home turf on Thursday to launch a new book by a fellow North Kerry man.
Betrothed, written by Listowel native Paraic Maher, examines the Biblical story of Mary and Joseph; how they came to be wed.
It’s an especially poignant retelling of the story, as Paraic sets out just how difficult the whole experience must have been for the adolescent Mary; taken from her life of devotion in the Temple to live as manand-woman with Joseph, in a union initially conducted under the weight of Judaic customs.
Betrothed is as much a work of art history as it is of interpretation, however. For Paraic’s work also encompasses the many glorious ways stainedglass artists depicted the marriage – in a tour of church windows across the island.
Paraic was delighted to have two cultural powerhouses from North Kerry launch the work at his alma mater of St Michael’s College, on Thursday: James Scanlon and Siamsa Tíre founder Fr Pat Ahern.
There are not too many who know the craft of stained glass better than the Brosna man. He is revered in the field; the creator of the amazing windows at Glenstal Abbey, of the Arts Council installation in Sneem, of part of the EU Consilium building in Brussels and much, much more.
Both James and Fr Ahern put the stunning work in its context as a unique exploration of a key biblical event, combining its author’s personal take on the tale alongside a visual guide examining the myriad ways in which some of the nation’s finest artists interpreted it before him.
The Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church in Cahersiveen is, incidentally, among the churches which feature in the eye-catching work.
At the launch of Betrothed in St Michael’s College Listowel this week were its author Paraic Maher (second left) and Brosna-native stained glass artist James Scanlon (third from right). From left, Fr Pat Ahern, Paraic Maher, Margaret Maher, James Scanlon, Fr Dan Ahern and Mary Claire Scanlon.