Art in Focus The Pit and the Pendulum by Harry Clarke
What is it?
The Pit and the Pendulum is an original illustration by Harry Clarke (1889-1931)
Howwas it done?
The Pit and the Pendulum is one of the pen and ink illustrations Harry Clarke made for Edgar Allen Poe’s collection of stories, Tales of Mystery and Imagination, in an edition published in 1919 by George G Harrap, London. Clarke’s dark, rather morbid symbolist imagery – The Bookman described the illustrations as “admirable and terrible”, in the sense of terrifying – is richly imagined, intricately worked and highly detailed. While clearly related to the work of Aubrey Beardsley, his extremely stylised vision is unmistakably his own. A follow-up 1923 edition included eight colour plates. It sold so well it was in its third printing by 1928.
Where can I see it?
It is included in Mystery and Imagination: Harry Clarke (Work by Harry Clarke and others. Crawford Art Gallery, Emmett Place, Cork, until January 19th, crawfordartgallery.ie). Following on from last winter’s extremely well attended show of Clarke’s watercolours, Dreaming in Blue, this exhibition features his ink drawings and watercolours made as illustrations for Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination and John Keats’s Eve of St Agnes. Presented in context with pieces by Margaret Clarke, Seán Keating and William Orpen.
Is it a typical work by the artist?
It is typical. Clarke is probably best known now for his stained glass but, as his friend Lennox Robinson wrote following his death: “Ireland has lost her greatest designer in stained glass, and her greatest black-and-white artist.” Clarke’s book illustrations had proved enormously successful. Besides producing illustrations and designs for stained glass, either of which would have been a full-time occupation, until the exhibition, the gallery holds a superb selection of printworks by a wide variety of artists. It hardly needs pointing out that limited edition prints represent excellent value, especially with the imprimatur of such a highly regarded studio. Open until 3pm on Christmas Eve (then from January 5th).
Winter Group Show
The Molesworth Gallery, Molesworth St, Dublin. Until December 23rd Cristina Bunello’s paintings have a rare, mesmeric quality. Painstakingly made, they appear to have been conjured into being, intact. Their magic-realist associations with fairy tales include the edgy menace of fairytales. Her Snow White is in the show. Like Bunello, her co-exhibitors, including Helen illness prevented him – and he was dogged by ill-health throughout his tragically short life – he ran the stained glass workshop established by his father as part of his church decorating business. While he was at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art, Clarke met and eventually married a fellow student and fine painter, Margaret Crilly, and in time she and his brother Walter took on much of the burden of the workshop.
Despite an extraordinary level of productivity, Clarke did nothing lightly. He invested prodigious energy in every project and drew on an extensive range of sources and influences. Éimear O’Connor has written about the
Blake, Megan Burns, Mercedes Helnwein, Catherine Barron and Molly Douthit, are all utterly distinctive artistic personalities.
Taoiseach’s Residence and State Guesthouse Architecture Competition
Architecture gallery, Irish Architectural Archive, Merrion Sq, Dublin. Until February
Many original drawings from entrants to the 1979 competition to design a residence for the Taoiseach on the site of the former Under Secretary’s Lodge in the Phoenix Park. At the time the compeition attracted a great deal of interest in Ireland and abroad: Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield and Rem Koolhaas all submitted proposals. The winners, Evans and Shalev Architects, never saw their scheme way that, while he was very knowledgeable about Irish literature and tradition, he also looked much further afield and was as deeply involved with a complex of European and Eastern sources. Because he did not fit into any readily identifiable art historical category, he was for many years underestimated, with historian Nicola Gordon Bowe being the key figure in rediscovering his significance. The layers of detail that are embedded in his imagery can seem limitless. It is hardly surprising that his work, whether in stained glass or illustration, continues to throw up surprises and revelations. come to fruition. When Charles Haughey replaced Jack Lynch the plan was shelved on economic grounds. A visitor centre now occupies the site.
AModern Eye: Helen Hooker O’Malley’s Ireland
Bourn Vincent Gallery, Foundation Building, University of Limerick, Limerick. Until January 17th
A woman of huge energy and talents, from a privileged background in Connecticut, Helen Hooker chanced to meet Ernie O’Malley and they married, settling for some time in Ireland. Photography was but one part of her creative activities (along with sculpture, design and theatre). There are riches to be found in her documentary images of Ireland’s ancient sites and structures from
organ is transplanted in a current Christmas flick from Paul Feig? a) Liver b) Heart c) Kidney d) Brain
is the odd one out? a) Do not expose to
sunlight b) Do not let it come in
contact with water c) Never, ever feed
after midnight d) Do not let it come into contact with cats
above is not a gift in the 12 Days of Christmas?
Christmas flick was parodied in a recent painful election video for the Conservative Party? a) The Santa Clause b) Love, Actually c) Three Days of the Condor d) The Holly and the Ivy
Christmas song provides the title for a Schwarzenegger groaner? a) Ding, Dong, Merrily on High b) The Little Drummer Boy c) Jingle Bells d) Away in a Manger
film does not feature someone who sang on the original version of Do They Know It’s Christmas? a) Dune b) Buster c) The Man Who Fell
to Earth d) Pink Floyd’s The
cancelled Christmas for the folks in Nakatomi Plaza? a) Knut Hansen b) Peter Brötzmann c) Dirk Diggler d) Hans Gruber
Star Wars character made his first ever appearance in the notorious Holiday Special? a) Yoda b) Jar Jar Binks c) Jabba the Hutt d) Boba Fett
is not a real Netflix title? a) The Christmas Chronicles b) The Knight before Christmas c) A Christmas Prince d) Queen Christmas
is the greatest ever Christmas movie? a) The Muppet Christmas Carol b) It’s a Wonderful Life c) Love, Actually d) Silent Night, Deadly Night
Answers at irishtimes.com/culture