NINE SILENCES Launch Details and Video

October 22, 2018
Nine Silences

Please join us for the launch of NINE SILENCES.

In this new suite of poems, Doireann Ní Ghríofa responds to artwork by Alice Maher. Nine Silences is a consideration of the embodiment of silence, mermaids, and the monstrousness of the feminine, deepening into an exploration of female desire and domesticity. Alice Maher’s (fragmented) woodcut makes visible the tensions between language and silence, autonomy and substance. Through the book’s design and production, Jamie Murphy has nurtured the delicate relationship between text and image, creating a powerful narrative guided by space, typographic sensibility and a deep awareness of materiality.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Alice Maher and Jamie Murphy will be joined by Fiona Kearney (Glucksman Gallery, UCC) in a conversation about the making of this new artists’ book. They will explore the ways in which the collaborators interacted with site, materials, production tools / values and collaborative working methods.

2 pm – 4 pm, November 17th, 2018

Crawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place, Cork, Ireland

Printing a Woodcut by Alice Maher

August 01, 2018
Nine Silences

Throughout the making of the poems Doireann Ní Gríofa had access to a recent collection of Alice Maher's woodcuts which she had made in collaboration with Parallel Editions in Limerick. These images would become inspiration for the poetry and so I thought it would be best to in some way incorporate a woodcut into the book. In discussion with Alice we decided to take a silhouette which had been a source of inspiration to Doireann and to make something new with it. I'm hoping to achieve a number of full impressions for the deluxe copies and to then break the woodcut down to include in the printing of the book. This will symbolise the defragmenting of the female body, a theme relevant and appropriate to the project. This defragmented image will be scattered throughout the book where will it will take the form of abstract but interesting forms, a subtle suggestion of female form.


June 01, 2018
Nine Silences

Nine Silences will comprise of thirteen new poems by Doireann Ní Gríofa which will weave through a scattered, defragmented woodcut by Alice Maher. The project originated with Alice's finding of a stone carving at Kilcooley Abbey in County Tipperary. The carving, located many miles from the sea, clearly depicts a mermaid and two fish, possibly a salmon and a carp. Both Alice and Doireann will here investigate themes of, amungst others, the body as a hybrid and the female form in folklore. The themes of water and the sea will greatly inspire the book's design and materiality — water has played an integral part in the making of the vintage handmade paper, Carrigeen Moss from the West coast of Ireland is a major factor in the making of the newly commissioned marbled paper and salmon leather will be used in the deluxe bindings.

About the collaborators: Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer whose books explore birth, death, desire, and domesticity.  Awards for her writing include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Michael Hartnett Prize, and a Seamus Heaney Fellowship. She frequently participates in cross-disciplinary collaborations, fusing poetry with film, dance, music, and visual art. Recent/forthcoming commissions include work for The Poetry Society (Britain), RTÉ Radio 1, University College Cork, and The Arts Council / Crash Ensemble. She writes "with tenderness and unflinching curiosity” (Poetry Magazine, Chicago). Alice Maher studied at the University of Limerick and the Crawford College of Art, Cork. She was awarded a Master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Ulster and shortly after a Fulbright Scholarship to San Francisco Art Institute. Her work involves many different media including painting, drawing, sculpture, print, photography and installation. She has exhibited widely in Ireland, England and the United States, and represented Ireland in the 22nd São Paolo Bienal. In 2008, the David Nolan Gallery in New York hosted a solo exhibition of new drawings and sculptures titled Hypnerotomachia. In 2007, a large survey show of her work, Natural Artifice, was held at the Brighton and Hove Museums. Also in that year she completed a major drawing installation, The Night Garden, for the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin. 

The type will be hand-typeset in 14 and 24 point Méridien, designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1957, cast here by Rainer Gerstenberg. An edition of Alice Maher’s woodcut will first be printed from the original block for inclusion with deluxe copies. The woodcut will then be broken up and scattered throughout the book where it will weave its way through the poetry. The vintage handmade paper was produced in the 1970s by the Wookey Hole Mill for the Stanbrook Abbey Press. The marbled paper will be prepared by Jemma Lewis based on the theme of the sea.

The book will be printed in an edition of 80 copies. Copies marked 1 — 50 will be bound in marbled paper over boards, housed in a clear perspex slipcase. Four similar copies marked i — iv will be for collaborators. Copies marked A — Z will be half-bound in salmon leather and marbled paper and housed, accompanied by a chamise containing a folded printing of the original woodcut, in solander box. The bindings will be executed by Tom Duffy and family in Dublin’s Five Lamps area. 

I hope to launch the book in Autumn, 2018. The book will launch at €950 (deluxe) and €550 (standard). A small number of both standard and deluxe copies are available now at a pre-publication discount of 20%. Please enquire.