What pops into your mind when you think of Ireland? –Irish Pubs? Peet bogs? Poetry? Dance? The glorious Irish countryside?
If you’re like me, you don’t think of the Irish as masters of the decorative and fine arts. Yes, it’s true that the Irish are famous for Waterford crystal–a fact which was burned into my memory from a young age. When we visited my Irish granny for holiday dinners, we were warned about her collection of cut glass wine decanters and vases and stemware on display in a cabinet in her living room. We were told that it was beautiful, expensive, and very fragile. This fact was repeated to my sister and me as we ran through granny’s apartment, making the glass rattle. Right afterwards, we were banished to the basement where we couldn’t break anything.
Despite my familiarity with Waterford, I had no idea of the range of talent in Ireland in a variety of creative mediums until I visited the exhibit Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. Over 300 items were on display and the work was simply gorgeous. Intricately-carved musical instruments and furniture. Fine silver. Jewelry. Pottery. Textiles. Here’s a small sample:
Music is a lot more like solving an intricate puzzle with moments of pure, random creative bliss… whereas painting is much more purely random creative bliss with moments of problem solving.–Brandon Boyd
Isn’t the intricate carving on this harp stunning?
Fine Bone China
My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation.–Arthur Conan Doyle
The delicate colors on this vase and the milky-white china are especially beautiful.
It’s hard to imagine that this embroidery was done hundreds of years ago. It looks so fresh and lovely.
This man could have stepped out of a family portrait. His lips curve easily into a smile just like my granny.
This looks fine enough for royalty, doesn’t it?
What an expressive face!
To learn more about this exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago, click here or view the movie below:
To see more interpretations of this week’s “intricate” theme on Word Press, click here.
Ireland is on my very long list of places to visit. Have you gone? What areas in Ireland should I visit? What time of year should I go? Have any of you gone to Mohill in County Leitrim? That’s where my granny was from.
Thanks as always for your thoughts and comments and have a wonderful week–