Described as a Contemporary Book of Kells, The Great Book of Ireland is an extraordinary single vellum manuscript comprising the original work of 121 artists, 143 writers and nine composers. The Great Book was published in 1991 and acquired by University College Cork in 2013, it captures a significant moment of Ireland’s cultural production. The exhibition “Facing Pages”, launched at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland, 2014, explores the ideas that went into the creation of the manuscript, the ways in which collections offer insight into specific historical moments and the legacy of such anthologies.
Photographed 1989, evocative intimate behind the scenes images of the poets Seamus Heaney, John Montague, Hugh Maxton, Nuala Ní Dhomhaill, and Brendan Kennelly in the presence of Poet Theo Dorgan, as they made their inscriptions directly onto the vellum manuscript pages that were then embellished with illustrations by a selection of Visual Artists. Gene Lambert , Eamonn O’Doherty, Imogen Stuart are among the Visual Artists present on the occasion .