Unravelling the Spiral - The Life and Work of Fred Conlon (1943-2005)
Scotus Press, Dublin, 2010.
Jack Harte's latest book is a memoir/biography of the sculptor, Fred Conlon. Harte and Conlon were born in adjoining cottages in the townland of Killeenduff in Co Sligo. Separated by a garden wall and ten months of an age gap, they grew up together, neighbours, cousins, close friends. And they remained close friends until Conlon's death in 2005. Just as Harte was inexplicably drawn towards writing at a young age, Conlon discovered equally inexplicably his talent and passion for the visual arts and eventually became a sculptor. His public sculptures are located all over Ireland and abroad as far as India and Japan. Harte is in a unique position to tell the story of Conlon's life and to give an insight into his mind and inspiration. The book is illustrated with photographs of Conlonís work.
From the reviews of
Unravelling the Spiral:
A detailed, engaging biography of Irish artist Fred Conlonís life and work, this nicely illustrated hardback also offers a vivid reminder of the sculptures which won Conlon renown...Harte speaks with great authority: he was Conlonís cousin, neighbour and lifelong friend. By turns moving, illuminating and informative, this portrait offers an insight not only into Conlonís story, but into the nature of life as an artist.
Jack Harteís Unravelling the Spiral is an illuminating account of the life of the sculptor and teacher Fred Conlon...It is carefully researched and richly illustrated. As a memoir it is valuable not only in offering a record but also in bringing alive a time and a place in recent Irish history. In addition, it performs an important task in putting the measure of Conlonís achievement on the record. (Read the complete article)
Fred Conlon was ďstone madĒ. He loved stone and made it sing. Sadly he came to a late flowering of his talent having spent so much of his productive years working as an Art teacher to support his family...The book comments accurately and tellingly on the stubborn nature of the Artist and his doggedness in all matters, personal, social, pedagogic, aesthetic...The book is beautifully produced, and I commend it both for its subject and its value as a social document.
(Read the complete article)
- CiarŠn MacGonigal, Vulgo
Available online from Scotus Press