Chris completes his four-year Mizen artists book project

December 19th, 2020 7:05 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Jo Ashby’s View from the Old School House, acrylic on canvas, is featured in the Artists on the Mizen book.

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SOME of West Cork’s finest painters, sculptors and photographers are featured in a new book Artists on the Mizen by Chris O’Dell.

Chris, a cinematographer and photographer who has lived in West Cork since 1993, admitted it took him nearly four years to assemble the book.

He was half-way through taking the portraits of the 27 artists, and collating the 57 images in Artists on the Mizen when he had an operation for cataracts that ‘didn’t go to plan.’

Chris told The Southern Star that for about a year he couldn’t take a single photograph, and, when he eventually did get going again, he was looking forward to the launch of the book – as well as an exhibition of the featured works – when the pandemic struck.

Chris – who has travelled the world as a cameraman and worked on many famous documentaries including Carl Sagan’s Cosmos – initially approached 65 artists, but just 30 replied.

Three dropped out, leaving 27 locally-based artists on the Mizen peninsula.

It is their work that is featured in this impressive 118-page hardback book, which comes in A4 landscape format, and is printed on art paper.

Chris, who backed the project himself, described the response of the painters, sculptors and photographers on the Mizen as ‘excellent,’ and he took pride in dedicating the limited edition volume to his friend, the late Ulli Crespo, who was very active in cultural affairs here through her foundation.

In addition to photographic portraits of the artists and their work by Chris, there is also a short text on each contributor. The book – which was edited by Frankie Ross – is available at The Blue House Gallery and the Worm Bookshop in Schull.

Artists on the Mizen, priced €40, features the work of the following painters, sculptors and photographers, as well as fabric and glass artists: Jo Ashby, Peter Wolstenholme, Mary E Carter, Nigel Huleatt James, Hammond Journeaux, Angela Brady, Sonia Caldwell, Ulli Crespo, Richard Hodgson, Carol James, Sheena Jolley,  Diana Kingston, Terrance Keenan, Damaris Lysaght, Peter Mabey, Nuala Mahon, Ann Martin, Leda May, Catherine Melvin, Patricia Coogan O’Dell, Helen O’Keeffe, Fiona Power,  Kathleen Kelley Reardon, Jenny Snashall, Trevor Spalding, Christine Thery, and Julia Zagar.

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