Friday, June 19, 2009

Harry Clarke, Irish Genius

Harry Clarke has a genius which manifests itself at its highest in stained glass ... I imagine that if one scraped a little the subconscious mind of the artist you would let in a flood of rich colour out of some inner luminous aether, where the fire is more brilliant than the eye can see, and the only way he could recreate that colour for us was by the art he practises.
AE (George Russell)
I had only begun reading The Life and Work of Harry Clarke by Nicola Gordon Bowe, an incredibly researched, detailed and beautifully written book, when I set off for Lough Derg. Can you imagine my shock and joy as I sat in the Basilica on my first night and stared around me? At first I thought, "this must be the work of a student of his, someone following his style, they are magnificent." Then the priest announced that we would be doing The Way of the Cross marked by the stations at each of the windows by the Irish artist, Harry Clarke. I nearly fainted. Do click on the images and expand them. You'll see the exquisite and minute artwork. My favourite window of his is The Eve of St Agnes - jewelled fairy tales in midnight blue - but at the same time, it was truly a gift to see his work in everyday use, as opposed to the formal setting of an art gallery or museum.

1 comment:

Jaymie said...

would you happen to still have your copy of the book and would you part with it for $100 US dollars????