A magical set of illustrations is drawing curious visitors to Cork’s Crawford Gallery
Seeking something to brighten up a dull month?
If you’d welcome a little magic in your life right about now, make a beeline for Cork’s Crawford Art Gallery, where regular opening hours resume today.
For a limited time only, visitors are invited to explore visionary artist Harry Clarke’s unique imagination in OTHER WORLDS, a new exhibition you can enjoy completely free of charge.
Renowned for his book illustrations and stained-glass works, Clarke had an extraordinary capacity for conjuring images, often from literary sources, and bringing often romantic or macabre worlds into being.
“Harry Clarke was a consummate world-builder and storyteller in the sense that, through his extraordinary work, he visually realised the fictional worlds of John Keats, Edgar Allan Poe, and others,” said curator, Dr Michael Waldron
“If we look back a century, 1923 was a busy year for Clarke. He had accepted a commission by Harold Jacob (Jacob’s Biscuits) to create The Eve of St Agnes stained-glass window. The artist’s watercolour studies for these are featured in the exhibition.
“In that year, he was also making illustrations for Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination and the exhibition features those for Marie Rogêt and The Fall of the House of Usher.
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“It is unsurprising that, on 28 May 1923, Clarke wrote to the then Crawford Municipal School of Art declining an invitation to deliver a lecture ‘owing to pressure on his time.’”
A year later, the Gibson Bequest Committee agreed to buy the 23 watercolours and illustrations now featured in the current exhibition.
In addition to Harry Clarke, OTHER WORLDS features the work of artists Pauline Bewick, Stephen Brandes, Salvador Dalí, Jan de Fouw, Stanley William Hayter, Brianna Hurley, William Otway McCannell, Xaver Schilling, and Noreen Spillane.
Dalí’s coloured lithograph, Four Dreams of Paradise: Romantic (c.1972), and Fourteen Steps to Nowhere (1982) by the late Pauline Bewick complement Clarke’s journeys into fictional worlds.
Check it out between now and March 2023.