TV doc tells story of St Brendan sculptor Imogen Stuart

December 6th, 2023 11:30 AM

By Southern Star Team

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A DOCUMENTARY by a West Cork filmmaker will open a window into the fascinating life of sculptor Imogen Stuart, who created Bantry’s much-loved St Brendan the Navigator statue.

Imogen From The Heart was made by Adrian McCarthy from Skibbereen, and will be broadcast on RTÉ on Thursday December 7th at 10.15pm.

Artist Imogen is 96 and still working. She grew up in Berlin during the Second World War. At the end of the war, Imogen fell in love with a young Irish sculptor student, Ian Stuart, grandson of Maud Gonne and she moved to Ireland in 1950 and into Maud’s family home in Wicklow.

Imogen and Ian were commissioned to create ‘St Brendan the Navigator’ in Bantry. It was given to the town as a gift by Gulf Oil, which operated the ill-fated Whiddy Oil terminal, and was unveiled in 1968 by Jack Lynch. Ian died in 2013. The statue recently had a plaque added, after a campaign by local artist Liz Rinn.

During the film, Imogen visits Glendalough where her daughter Siobhán, who died in a car accident in the 1980s, is buried.

Adrian McCarthy is an acclaimed documentary maker. He produced the documentary on rugby hero Anthony Foley – Munsterman, and directed the two-part documentary The Killing of Fr Niall Molloy.

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