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Drawn to the Page

IRISH ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATION 1830-1930

Title: From the Bridge

Title of artwork:
From the Bridge
Artist:
Dickey, Edward Montgomery O'Rorke
Materials:
Paper (fiber material), Ink
Techniques:
Wood engraving
Engraver:
Dickey, Edward Montgomery O'Rorke
Author:
Rowley, Richard
Title of Publication:
Workers
Publisher:
Duckworth and Co.
Publication place:
London
Publication date:
1923
Curator Comment:
Richard Rowley was the pseudonym of Richard Valentine Williams, the Belfast-born poet and dramatist. Rowley’s writings, as in ‘Workers’, addressed the social realities of life among Northern Ireland’s urban working classes and small-holding farmers. Dickey was part of a group of contemporary printmakers in Britain who, in the 1920s, lobbied the print industry to employ wood engravers as illustrators. 'Workers' was one of the first letterpress publications, illustrated with original wood engravings, to be commissioned by Duckworth Press.
Note on artwork:
E.M.O’R. Dickey’s artistic response to the text is strikingly modernist in approach. Printed from a hand-cut woodblock, he uses stark areas of black and white and, reduced, stylised forms to represent commuters crossing the river Lagan - overlooked by Belfast's docklands. Expressive elements include the hunched forms of the walking figures and the Van Gogh-like starlit sky.
References:
Snoddy (2002)


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