To commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising I have produced a limited edition book of selected poetry of my grand uncle Joseph Mary Plunkett and that of his father, George Noble Count Plunkett.
This latest book was launched on 5 May as part of a three person show with Siobhan Hyde and Caroline Bond at Graphic Studio Gallery. The launch coincided with the centenary of the execution of Joseph Plunkett on 4 May 1916 for his role in the organising of the Rising and as one of the signatories of the Proclamation. His father was Director of the National Museum at the time and held in high esteem for his knowledge of Renaissance art.
The book includes 9 original linocuts with the text of 22 poems set by hand and printed letterpress. It is a double-sided book with a 12 page section of 8 poems by Count Plunkett opening from one side and a 16 page section with 14 poems by Joseph Plunkett opening from the other. It is quarter bound with linocuts depicting the two poets and presented in a cloth covered slip case with a blind deboss of each of the poet’s signatures. The binding has been completed by Tom Duffy of Duffy Bookbinders.
The linocuts depict the poets themselves, some of their family and objects. Joe is pictured with his brother George whose son Seóirse is depicted in another image reading his uncles poetry; Joe’s desk; a painting that the Count bought for his 21st birthday; a suggestion of the Counts book collection; his chair.
The page size is 26.5cm x 38cm and the book is approx 30cm x 40cm x 1.5cm in the slip case.
The book has been printed in an edition of 50, the first 10 of which, deluxe, are presented in a larger slip case with an additional portfolio of three prints from the book.
The text has been set by hand in 18pt Caslon with titles in 22pt small caps. The 7 linocuts within the book are reductive two colour prints and the 2 linos used for the covers are a single colour print. Printing was completed at my workshop, The Belgrave Private Press, on a Recaro proofing press.
The 9 linocuts are also available as prints in an edition of 20. There are also two broadsides of a linocut presented with poetry. I See His Blood Upon the Rose, is presented with the poem, To Grace, by Joseph Plunkett and the linocut of Joe’s desk; the other, The Shining Woman by Count Plunkett, is presented with a linocut of the two poets.
All prints are books are available for viewing and purchase in Graphic Studio Gallery, Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.
Below are some images of the opening night at the gallery. We were delighted with the crowd that arrived on the night and thanks to all who attended. Seán Sills of the National Print Museum and formerly of Distillers Press, NCAD opened the show for us with a well researched and very complimentary speech which delighted all in attendance. The show continues until 28th May.