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2 0 1 9 A celebration of 60 years at MIC


I n P rinc ip io


I m o g e n

S t u a r t

Described by Brian Fallon as a ‘woman of two worlds - German by birth, upbringing and artistic training, but also Irish by adoption involvement and sympathy’, Imogen Stuart RHA is one of Ireland’s best-known artists. Her sculptures have been displayed in public places across Ireland. It is her ecclesiastical commission work for which she is best known. These include the Stations of the Cross in Muckross, Ballintubber Abbey and Firhouse, Tallaght; the interiors of Castleknock Church and Burt Church (which was subsequently voted ‘Irish Building of the 20th Century’); and the large bronze of Pope John Paul II in Maynooth; the bronze reliefs in Galway Cathedral; the Madonna in the Lady’s Chapel of Christ Church Cathedral; the Lough Derg Crucifixion scene, and the altar at the Honan Chapel at UCC. From her teenage years, Imogen was interested in sculpture, and in 1945 she became a pupil of the expressionist sculptor Otto Hitzberger. In 1948, a young Irishman came to study with Hitzberger - he was Ian Stuart, the son of writer Francis Stuart and Iseult Gonne, the daughter of Maud Gonne. Imogen visited Ireland with him in 1949 where she became interested in Irish saints and scholars, such as St Brigid and St Kevin. A member of Aosdána since 1981, she was also elected a full member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1990 and Professor of Sculpture by the RHA in 2000. Imogen Stuart was presented with The McAuley Medal, which is the highest award that Mary Immaculate College can bestow, in honour of her lifetime contribution to the arts in Ireland, by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, in September 2010. She was elected Saoi of Aosdána in a ceremony presided over by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, in September 2015. A retrospective exhibition of her work was held at the RHA in 2002. She has received the Oireachtas Art Exhibition Award (1972) and the ESB Keating McLoughlin Award at the RHA Annual Exhibition (1999), among others. She has exhibited unique wood carvings, bronze sculptures, wall reliefs and important maquette studies for some of her major religious commissions. Whether the sacred or secular, small or large, in wood, bronze or stone, her superb craftsmanship and soulful humanity still shine through. To date, twelve of Imogen’s works are part of the Mary Immaculate College collection. The Sisters of Mercy commissioned three of her major pieces in 1958: ‘St Colmcille’, ‘St Brigid’ and ‘Christ Teaching’. Since then, ‘The Madonna & Child’, ‘Window on the World’, ‘In Principio’, ‘The Scholar and the Blackbird’, ‘A Psalm’, ‘Three Ladders’, ‘Garde Robe’ and ‘Bark Cloth’ have been added to the collection. ‘Homage’ is on loan to the College. This calendar commemorates 60 years of Imogen’s work at Mary Immaculate College.


JANUARY

The Sc ho lar and t he Blac kb ird


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THE SCHOLAR AND THE BLACKBIRD (1996)

The sculpture is a vertical wooden

piece with a contemporary carving

style, reminiscent of the ‘Totem Pole’ format. It is carved out of 250 year-old

pitch-pine rafters, and is intended as

a kind of reading bench for students. Engraved on three sides of the piece

is a translation of an Irish Marginal Poem, dated from the ninth century

from an unknown author. The fourth side captures scenes from the poem.


FEBRUARY

I n P rinc ip io


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IN PRINCIPIO (1978)

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but also for non-believers and people

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A timeless cross made for believers,

of different faiths – all-embracing

idol-like. ‘In Principio’ the first words of St John's Gospel, the basis of all Christian faith. It is a cross and man

in one; man carrying his cross and

being his own cross. The Ogham writing on the back is an old Irish

script, quoting from the beginning of St John’s Gospel.


MARCH

A P salm


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A PSALM (1993)

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located at the entrance to An tSlí in

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A Psalm (1993) in cedar wood, is the TARA building.


APRIL

St Brigid


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ST BRIGID

One of the first big commissions Imogen received after coming to live

in Ireland in 1951 was from Mary

Immaculate College. The renowned architect, Andy Devane, acting on

behalf of the Sisters of Mercy, invited her to carve three life-size statues.

This piece, St Brigid, is located in the College Boardroom.


MAY

H o mage


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HOMAGE (2007)

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Homage is carved in pure white

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A modern and abstract piece, Michelangelo Marble.


JUNE

St C o lmc il le


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ST COLMCILLE

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Imogen received after coming to live

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One of the first big commissions in Ireland in 1951 was from Mary

Immaculate College. The renowned architect, Andy Devane, acting on

behalf of the Sisters of Mercy, invited her to carve three life-size statues. The three statues are ‘St Colmcille’,

‘St Brigid’, and ‘Christ Teaching’. St Colmcille is located in the Library Building.


JULY

St P at ric k’ s L ad d er


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ST PATRICK’S LADDER (AN ECOLOGICAL PRAYER) (2003)

Symbolising the connection between heaven and earth, sculpted from wood.


AUGUST

Wind o w o n t he Wo rl d


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WINDOW ON THE WORLD (1991)

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(Fensterkreuz) of a window. Imogen's

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A crucifix carved into the crossbar

inspiration came from the tiny windows

in the cottages from the Famine era. She wanted to show in her work the deep

faith of the people which kept them

going throughout those terrible times. Window on the World was shown in

Boston at the Irish Famine Exhibition. The 5 ft x 5 ft wooden carved sculpture

stands in it’s own oratory in the main corridor of An tSlí in the TARA building.


SEPTEMBER

The P salm ( No . 8 )


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THE PSALM (NO. 8) (AN ECOLOGICAL PRAYER) (2005)

Symbolising the connection between

heaven and earth, sculpted from Indian paper and wood.


OCTOBER

C hrist T eac hing


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CHRIST TEACHING

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Imogen received after coming to live

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One of the first big commissions in Ireland in 1951 was from Mary

Immaculate College. The renowned architect, Andy Devane, acting on

behalf of the Sisters of Mercy, invited her to carve three life-size statues. The three statues are ‘St Colmcille’,

‘St Brigid’, and ‘Christ Teaching’. Christ Teaching is located in the College Boardroom.


NOVEMBER

The L it any o f Daniel ( No . 3 )


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THE LITANY OF DANIEL (NO. 3)

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heaven and earth, sculpted from lead

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Symbolising the connection between on wood.


DECEMBER

The M ad o nna and C hild


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THE MADONNA AND CHILD

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the Madonna and Child and stands on

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The standing stone in granite depicts the grounds of MIC to welcome

students and visitors to the College.

The reverse side of the Madonna and Child holds a carving of the Irish

prayer, A Mhuire na nGrรกs, with a

translation by the poet Seamus Heaney.


GARDE-ROBE

A gift to MIC in 2011 from a German donor.

BARK CLOTH

Donated to the College in 2010 by the artist.

www.mic.ie

Profile for micireland

Imogen Stuart Calendar 2019  

2019 calendar to honour the 60th Anniversary of Imogen Stuart’s work at Mary Immaculate College, Ireland. www.mic.ul.ie

Imogen Stuart Calendar 2019  

2019 calendar to honour the 60th Anniversary of Imogen Stuart’s work at Mary Immaculate College, Ireland. www.mic.ul.ie