Annual artist celebration on show at Crawford Art Gallery

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.
Annual artist celebration on show at Crawford Art Gallery

Crawford Art Gallery 

Crawford Art Gallery’s annual celebration of Harry Clarke returns for a limited time only.

Visitors are invited to explore visionary artist Harry Clarke’s unique imagination in OTHER WORLDS, a new exhibition at Cork’s Crawford Art Gallery.

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, The Fall of the House of Usher (detail)
Harry Clarke, The Fall of the House of Usher (detail)

Curator of the exhibition, Dr Michael Waldron, says: “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."

"If we look back a century," Waldron continues, "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."

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.

Crawford Art Gallery. Photo: Jed Niezgoda
Crawford Art Gallery. Photo: Jed Niezgoda

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.

At a time when we are tentatively poised on the cusp of the ‘metaverse’ – an immersive virtual world – this exhibition draws together the work of several artists to consider how visual art participates in world-building.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more