“Gravity18” – Tokyo Cigar

Tokyo Cigar is a hip hop  artist / producer… who made this atmospheric short film as a personal diary of his 2018:


Murphy Devitt stained glass, Chapel of St Martin de Porres, Dominican Friary, Limerick

Murphy Devitt stained glass, Chapel of St Martin de Porres, Dominican Friary, Limerick

I have blogged before about discovering the stained glass work of Murphy Devitt Studios. Here is a brief background from the MDS page:

In the early 1950s at Harry Clarke Studios, Dublin, John (Johnny) Murphy and John (Des) Devitt first met. By 1958 Johnny and Des along with Johnny’s wife Róisín Dowd Murphy decided to strike out alone and immediately started to create some of the most stunning stained glass ever seen in Ireland and beyond. It was a relationship that lasted almost fifty years, most notably in the form of Murphy/DevittStudios Limited.

Imagine my joy at happening on more Murphy Devitt work by chance in Limerick at the Dominican Friary. As is often the case one can reflect at how overlooked this magnificent and very widespread art form is in modern Ireland.

One window has a slightly unfortunate misprint of “designed”

Here is the statue of St Martin de Porres in the chapel:

There is also a later window in the Friary which Reitlin Muphy contributed to. This window featured what seemed to me representations of the social and economic life of Munster. My photo skills were even more sorely tested and this area was quite busy with post Mass worshippers which always inhibits me a little :

Ashmolean Museum Advent Calendar

At Art and Theology, Victoria Emily Jones has a bumper collection of music, short films, books and art for the season. She features an online advent calendar from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the world’s first university museum. This calendar features works from the Ashmolean’s collectionea_1964_95_4a-a.

I particular liked this brown bear cub.

And this gold Edward IV coin with the Archangel Michael :




Stained Glass from Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Newcastle, Co Tipperary

Stained Glass from Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Newcastle, Co Tipperary

Following recent reflection (possibly navel gazing) and specific reflection on my stained glass related posts, I am trying to be more selective and focused in posting pictures from specific Churches.

Our Lady of the Assumption’s in Newcastle has some “traditional” windows typical of the late 19th Century, and some more unusual and distinctive ones. I don’t have anything against “traditional” windows (a post may come on on this) but for this post I will focus on some of the more unusual ones:

I especially liked this Holy Family image:

Here is a window of King David, which seems to have been made in Tours in France:

Ricky Jay RIP

Ricky Jay, scholar of magic and mountebanks, “the greatest sleight of hand artist of his generation”, has died

Here is a 1993 New Yorker profile of this extraordinary man. It is worth noting that magicians do not seem to tend to have happy home lives. Some highlights:

Jay has an anomalous memory, extraordinarily retentive but riddled with hard-to-account-for gaps. “I’m becoming quite worried about my memory,” he said not long ago. “New information doesn’t stay. I wonder if it’s the NutraSweet.” As a child, he read avidly and could summon the title and the author of every book that had passed through his hands. Now he gets lost driving in his own neighborhood, where he has lived for several years—he has no idea how many. He once had a summer job tending bar and doing magic at a place called the Royal Palm, in Ithaca, New York. On a bet, he accepted a mnemonic challenge from a group of friendly patrons. A numbered list of a hundred arbitrary objects was drawn up: No. 3 was “paintbrush,” No. 18 was “plush ottoman,” No. 25 was “roaring lion,” and so on. “Ricky! Sixty-five!” someone would demand, and he had ten seconds to respond correctly or lose a buck. He always won, and, to this day, still would. He is capable of leaving the house wearing his suit jacket but forgetting his pants. He can recite verbatim the rapid-fire spiel he delivered a quarter of a century ago, when he was briefly employed as a carnival barker: “See the magician; the fire ‘manipulator’; the girl with the yellow e-e-elastic tissue. See Adam and Eve, boy and girl, brother and sister, all in one, one of the world’s three living ‘morphrodites.’ And the e-e-electrode lady . . .” He can quote verse after verse of nineteenth-century Cockney rhyming slang. He says he cannot remember what age he was when his family moved from Brooklyn to the New Jersey suburbs. He cannot recall the year he entered college or the year he left. “If you ask me for specific dates, we’re in trouble,” he says.

Michael Weber, a fellow-magician and close friend, has said, “Basically, Ricky remembers nothing that happened after 1900.”

Victoria Dailey, who, along with her former husband, William Dailey, deals in rare books from a shop on Melrose Avenue, in Los Angeles, likes to refer to Jay as “our worst customer.” She hastens to point out, “He could be our best customer. He wants everything but can hardly buy anything.” Both Daileys regard Jay as “a true eccentric” in the English sense—part Bloomsbury, part Fawlty Towers. More than fifteen years ago, they sold Jay the first book for which he paid more than a hundred dollars. The first time he spent more than a thousand dollars for a book, and, again, when he reached the five-thousand-dollar threshold, the Daileys were also involved. The latter item was Jean Prévost’s “La Première Partie des Subtiles et Plaisantes Inventions,” the earliest known important conjuring book, printed in Lyons in 1584.

“I bought it unhesitatingly,” recalls Jay, for whom possession of the Prévost is a bittersweet memory; uncharacteristically, he parted with it during a fiscal crisis. “I bought it and then, with remarkable rapidity, three particular jobs that I thought I had went sour. One was a Johnny Carson special on practical jokes that didn’t pan out because of one of his divorces. Another was a tour of Australia that was cancelled by a natural disaster—in other words, by an act of God. This book was so fucking rare that people in the magic world just didn’t know about it.”

It is the Daileys’ impression—a perception shared by other dealers in rare books and incunabula—that Jay spends a higher proportion of his disposable income on rare books and artifacts than anyone else they know.

Here is the David Mamet directed “Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants” show mentioned in the New Yorker Piece:

Stained Glass from Church of Our Lady, Coolagh, Callan, Kilkenny

Stained Glass from Church of Our Lady, Coolagh, Callan, Kilkenny

Coolagh is a little outside Callan; this church is part of Callan parish. It is also featured in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage\:

Occupying a prominent position on a crossroads in the centre of Coolaghflags on a corner site donated by Mr. Paddy Moore (n. d.) of nearby Coolaghmore House (12403002/KK-30-02) a pleasantly-composed modest-scale church built by Michael Kerwic (n. d.) of Callan makes a positive contribution to the aesthetic appeal of a rural townscape. Superseding an earlier church (12403004/KK-30-04) in the village a number of attributes indicate the growing confidence and prosperity of the Catholic congregation in the boom period following Emancipation (1829) and the Great Famine (1845-9): rock-faced detailing introduces a valuable textured visual effect enlivening an otherwise austerely-treated frontage while refined dressings to the openings exhibit expert stone masonry. Additional features including pretty stained glass panels identify the artistic design significance of the composition. Having historically been well maintained to present an early aspect the church contributes positively to the character of the locality: meanwhile an elegant gate screen displaying high quality craftsmanship makes a bold visual statement in the street scene.

The stained glass is indeed pretty. I noted that it seemed to combine depictions of the Saints and the Holy Family typical of much stained glass of this period (indeed the faces are getting familiar now, which is not surprising as many of the windows are from the same manufacturers. Recently I have been reading more about stained glass, which will no doubt make it into a longer post at some stage) with backgrounds of coloured grass in more abstract patterns. Examples:




Here is a plaque outside from the centenary celebrations of 1996.