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Work of the Week | 17 August 2020

CAG.520 Sarah Grace Carr, View of Haulbowline and Spike Island from Cove, 11 October 1819, pencil on paper, 16 x 32 cm. Purchased, 1985.

In celebration of Heritage Week, we’re heading out to Cork’s historic harbour with this WORK OF THE WEEK!

View of Haulbowline and Spike Island from Cove (1819) by Sarah Grace Carr transports us back more than two centuries to a time when tall ships and fortifications defined Cork Harbour. Close inspection of this pencil drawing reveals the artist’s keen eye for detail and economy of line, as she observes the bustle of the lower harbour.

Carr preserves a visual account of Cork Harbour at an interesting time in its history. Part of a network of defences built during the Napoleonic Wars, the relatively new Martello Towers at Ringaskiddy and Haulbowline can be seen in the background (left and right) of her sketch. An outcrop of newly-built naval buildings at Haulbowline form the backdrop to sail vessels of different sizes, as a detail of figures embarking or disembarking in the middle foreground lends interest. Rocky Island appears to the left of the scene, while land reclamation of the eastern side of Haulbowline is yet to begin. Cork Harbour was then a principle victualling port (for stores and provisions) on westward shipping routes.

Between August and October 1819, and sketching as she went, Grace Carr (1794-1837) was to visit Cork, Kilworth, and Ballyannan during her travels through Ireland and Wales. From 1821, the artist was known by her married name, Sarah Grace Lushington – her father-in-law, Sir Stephen Lushington, was Chairman of the East India Company – while she was also to become a close friend of Annabella, Lady Byron (1792-1860). Examples of her work are held at Crawford Art Gallery, National Library of Wales, and Yale Center for British Art.

View of Haulbowline and Spike Island from Cove (1819) by Sarah Grace Carr is featured with two other drawings by the artist in STATIO BENE: Art and Ireland’s Maritime Haven, our current exhibition in the historic Long Room (Floor 1). Free entry and open daily.

Tune in to The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with assistant curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week's chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 19 View Of Haulbowline And Spike Island From Cove SARAH GRACE CARR

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