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WORK OF THE WEEK | 31 December 2018

CAG.1477 James Scanlon, Lonradh, 1993, stained-glass installation, 275 x 130 cm. Presented, Friends of the Crawford Art Gallery, 1993. © the artist

WORK OF THE WEEK! As we get ready to say goodbye to 2018 and welcome in the New Year, we offer one of the most radiant pieces in our collection: Lonradh (1993) by James Scanlon.

Named for the Irish word for ‘radiance’, Lonradh has been catching the morning light on our Grand Staircase for 25 years. Commissioned as a gift from the Friends of the Crawford Art Gallery, it remains a much-loved contemporary presence within the historic architecture of our beautiful building. This stained glass window is playful in its references to the computer-assisted design process (the arrow at middle left is a cursor), the materiality of glass (‘will the crack last?’), and the artist’s nickname, Scan, paired with a surveying eye.

James Scanlon was born in Kerry in 1952. He studied sculpture at the, then, Crawford School of Art (now CIT Crawford College of Art and Design) from 1974 to 1978 when it was still based at our Emmet Place premises. He became interested in glass towards the end of his studies and was encouraged by the principal, Barry Moloney, who installed a kiln and stock of glass. Scanlon experimented with various techniques of painting, layering, and etching glass in his pursuit of intense colour and depth. Reflecting on his process and work, he said at the time of Lonradh’s unveiling that ‘it is extremely important not to sacrifice the glass to the idea.’

Today Lonradh takes its place in the story of Irish glass in our collection, from historic Cork and Waterford Glass to the work of Harry Clarke (1889-1931), Evie Hone (1894-1955), and Maud Cotter (b.1954). It also lends its name to our monthly visiting programme for older adults, who are experiencing memory problems, and their carers.

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