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Celtic Dreams came about after thinking it would be good to do my own book. The basic plot of the book is, that of an anthology of Irish poetry, with every page having a piece of my artwork on it.

At that time, I had built up a fairly sizeable database of black and white artwork. I then created various extra pieces comprising borders, carpet pages and title pages to complete the set I would require. I also had to get to grips with writing, since I had decided to do a fairly comprehensive introduction. Along with an appendix of explanatory notes to some of the mythological poems contained within.

The poems covered, range from a translation about the earliest Irish invasion myths, through to the latter half of the 20th century. Choosing and collating the poems to be used. Tracking down the owners of copyright, then obtaining permission to print from agents, authors or relatives of deceased authors. took a bit of work. A couple of poems I had to leave out because although I knew that copyright would exist I could not find the owner of that copyright. I did not have the net to do my research on at the time. So it was lots of phone calls and trips to the library.

Some of the poets included in the book are W.B. Yeats, Seamus Heaney, Patrick Kavanagh, Oscar Wilde, J.M. Synge, Jonathan Swift, Padraic Colum and Thomas Kinsella. Various issues get covered and I split the book into three sections. ‘The Mists of Time’ has poems relating to mythology and history in which, amongst others, Chúchulain, the Morrígan and the Sídhe appear. ‘Sacred Spaces’ concerns the land, the people lived on it, and the way they lived. Finally is ‘Of Love and Freedom’ which goes beyond the land to emotions, ambitions and longings.

When showing images from the book, I have decided not to include text. This not just because the big name poems, e.g. by Yeats, are covered by copyright restrictions (I obtained permission only for use in the book only and then only for the one print run) but also because the design is reliant heavily upon typography and typeface. On the web its just not going to work as it does in a book.

Click on the thumbnails to view the images

The Secret Rose Is it a Month?
Prophets Cushendun
Tree of Life Swans
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© Chris Down 2012