In The Crying of the Wind, the British surrealist painter and writer Ithell Colquhoun recalls episodes from her travels in Ireland as a young woman turning her back on the modern world and setting out across the unruly Irish countryside.
Here, among the holy wells, monasteries and tumuli, she finds a canvas on which her sensibility and animist beliefs can freely express themselves. Her style is beguiling, her voice sincere, and through her unique perceptions we discover a land that is fiercely alive and compelling. It is a place where the wind cries, the stones tell old tales and the mountains watch over the roads and those who travel on them. By intuiting the eerie magic of Ireland, Colquhoun casts her own spell. She offers up a land of myth and legend, stripped of its modern signs, at the same time offering herself to the reader in this portrait of the artist as a young woman.
With a foreword by Stewart Lee
‘I swear this book burns invisibly with its own quiet and consoling heat.’ – Stewart Lee
ITHELL COLQUHOUN (1906—88) was a painter and writer whose works contributed greatly to the British Surrealist movement before and after the Second World War, and her phantasmagorical landscapes and penetrating portraits hang on the walls of major galleries throughout the UK. The daughter of a civil servant in India, Colquhoun was born in Assam, but was soon sent back to England. She studied at Cheltenham Art School and the Slade School of Art, after which she took studios around Europe, studying under the likes of Paul Vézelay and André Breton. In 1942 she married fellow surrealist Toni del Renzio. An acrimonious divorce in 1947 also saw Colquhoun informally separate from the surrealist movement, leaving her free to explore her interest in mysticism, the esoteric and the occult. The results of this pre-occupation are most evident in her writing, which includes the short novel Goose of Hermogenes (1961) and two earlier travelogues, The Crying of the Wind (1955) and The Living Stones (1957). She died in Lamorna, Cornwall 1988.
STEWART LEE is a stand-up comedian and writer. He was born in 1968. His work includes Jerry Springer: The Opera and the BBC series Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle. His North London home is full of records and books.
|Date Published||5th October 2016|