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The near-tragic tale of Doves type

  The Doves typeface is a thing of beauty that almost had a tragic end. It was created for the typesetting of titles published by the Doves Press, founded in Hammersmith, London, in 1900 by TJ Cobden-Sanderson and Emery Walker. They were associated with William Morris and the Doves Press…

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Midwinter’s Merry Rabble – The ‘Wren Boys’ in Folk Tradition

Despite the revelry and excess enjoyed by some late into Christmas night, we might expect little by way of quiet or tranquillity on the morning of St. Stephen’s Day (the 26th of December), for this is the day that the Wren Boys make their rounds. Early on this morning, laneways…

mags

The Magazine Rack as Indicative of Culture

Yes, that effeminate emporium of horror, the magazine rack. How this evil whore of commerce has morphed over the years since I was a youngster. How perfectly indicative of wider culture this worthless pink trinket proves itself. This cheap, gynocentric altar to superficial and feeble vulgarity. We see them in our daily journeys, whether we pay…

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the Great War

“One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be — though possibly a colored canvas and a sheet of notes will remain — because the last eye and the last ear accessible to their message will have gone.” ― Oswald Spengler,…

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The Threshold of Plenty: Harvest Customs in Irish Tradition

The podcast Blúiríní Béaloidis / Folklore Fragments aims to explore aspects of Irish (and broader European) folk tradition across an array of different subject areas and topics, in order that we might come to know and honour the customs, wisdom, nobility and artistry of our forebears and ancestors. Drawing from…

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Modernist abstraction vs. ancient heavy style

There are those still eager to defend abstraction, or see criticism of Modernism as unreasonable. These are the fence sitters and mid-way thinkers that make the porridgey mass of the mob and keep the status quo by calling out only the extremes, on either side of an argument. Despite an…

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Now that’s what I call taking the piss

It is always nice to see bullshit called out in the modern art world and this has been done brilliantly with the latest twist in the Fearless Girl row. In response to the installation of Kristen Visbal’s subversive statue opposite Arturo Di Modica’s iconic Charging Bull sculpture in Wall Street,…

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Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

I love a painting that tells a story. Paintings that do this well allow a kind of meditation on the theme presented and let us tap into and exercise our wider cultural knowledge. This often means we can find parallels between a painting and a story or theme in another…

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The spaces we occupy

Architecture is a key front in the elite’s war to erode tradition and establish a global monoculture, from the domestic level to our public buildings and spaces. Whatever one thinks of Foucault, a point that can be drawn from his study on panopticism in Discipline and Punish is key to understanding…

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Frederick Richardson, Art Nouveau artist and author

Frederick Richardson was a Chicago artist of the Art Nouveau style who created the artwork for many memorable children’s books and classic Western fables. His rich and colourful style and rejection of Modernism, including illustrating a book about the follies of the new abstract art, put him firmly in the traditional…

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May Day Rituals and pinch-bum day

May is named for the Greek Goddess Maia. It is celebrated as the midway period between spring and summer equinox, when the sprouts begin to emerge for the growing season. Known in Ireland as the Bealtaine celebration, 30th April &1st May (May Eve & May Day) has several associated traditions which…