Episode 16 – Eumaeus
Etching and aquatint
46 x 38cm
2022 marks 100 years since James Joyce’s modernist novel Ulysses was published in its entirety. To celebrate this, The Graphic Studio Dublin invited 18 visual artists, to each make an original print, responding to one of the 18 episodes in the book under the title Ulysses Imagined.
I was immediately drawn to the reference to shelter in this episode; the cab shelter inside which the story unfolds and its counterpart of Eumaeus’ hut. Within this protective space the characters appear to be hiding something from each other, be it their true identity or intentions so I am also thinking of pretence, theatrics and masquerade.
The exhibition is accompanied by a commissioned text by Nuala O’Connor, set in letterpress. Celebrated author of Nora. O’Connor’s book, published in 2021, imagines Joyce’s home life, through the eyes of his wife Nora Barnacle. The book was chosen as this year’s read for One Dublin, One Book initiative.
Joyce’s famous novel has inspired many different artists since its publication: writers, musicians and visual artists. This exhibition gives 18 printmakers the opportunity to create a work using an episode from Ulysses as a starting point. The resulting prints, in a wide variety of techniques, illustrate how art of the past inspires art of the future. A line from Nuala O’Connor’s text alludes to that continuum:
‘We loop into infinity, eating ourselves and each other, the end in our beginning and the beginning in our end’.
The exhibition is curated in collaboration with Anne Hodge, National Gallery of Ireland along with Peter Brennan and Mateja Smic of Graphic Studio Gallery.