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Irish Writer Portraits Jennifer Farley

Irish Writers

As part of an on-going project illustrating Irish writers, here are portraits of George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and James Joyce. These three prints were chosen for inclusion in the Halftone Exhibition in the Library Project in Temple Bar in Dublin.

Irish Writers Illustrated by Jennifer Farley

George Bernard Shaw

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin 1856.

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George Bernard Shaw Illustrated By Jennifer Farley

Oscar Wilde

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

Two of my favourite children’s stories are “The Selfish Giant” and “The Happy Prince”, by Wilde. They are both a little bit heart-breaking.

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854.

And here is Oscar resplendent in red:

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James Joyce

Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”

James Joyce wrote a book of short stories called “Dubliners” and one of the characters in there was called Farley – just like me. Here is my illustrated homage to the man who wrote many classics, including one I’ve never been able to get through – Ulysses. James Joyce was born in Dublin in 1882.

James Joyce Illustrated by Jennifer Farley

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Viking Map Illustrated By Jennifer Farley

Viking Map

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An illustrated map showing the routes taken by the Vikings leaving Norway, Sweden and Denmark on their way to Britain and Ireland. I’ve used mostly muted tones on this picture with just a touch of red on the viking ship sails, the scary sea monster and the rosy cheeks of the viking. He’s not too scary though, he might even be a bit smug. My home town, Dublin was visited by the Vikings or Ostmen around 841, where they settled. the name Dublin comes from the Norse Dyflin or “Black Pool”, referring to a dark tidal pool where the River Poddle entered the Liffey at the rear of Dublin Castle.

Viking illustration by Jennifer Farley

If you need a map illustrated for your project, book, magazine or website. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Things You May Not Have Known About Vikings

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This project brief was to illustrate and design a set of facts about Viking behaviour. Some of these facts may not be so well known. The facts were presented for children on a set of pull-up panels accompanying an exhibition for adults about Viking life in Fingal.

I did know that Vikings didn’t REALLY have horns on their helmets, but I didn’t know about the food they ate, or about how they nearly all had hair combs. This was a really fun and interesting project to work on. I used a limited colour palette for each of the panels

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Grace O’Malley Meets Queen Elizabeth 1

Grace O'Malley's Dad illustrated by Jennifer Farley

This is a set of spot illustrations created for Irish language publisher An Gum.

According to Irish legend, as a young girl Grace O’Malley wished to go on a trading expedition to Spain with her father. Upon being told she could not because her long hair would catch in the ship’s ropes, she cut off most of her hair to embarrass her father into taking her, thus earning her the nickname “Gráinne Mhaol” (Irish pronunciation: from maol bald or having cropped hair). The name stuck and was usually anglicised as Granuaile.

Grace And O'Malley and her father illustrated by Jennifer Farley

Grace O'Malley with her hair cut short illustrated by Jennifer Farley

Eoghan Dubhdara Ó Máille, her father and his family were based in Clew Bay, County Mayo. He was chieftain of the Ó Máille clan. The Uí Mháille (O’Malleys) were one of the few seafaring families on the west coast, and they built a row of castles facing the sea to protect their territory. Grace was married in 1546 to Dónal an Chogaidh Ó Flaithbheartaigh (Donal of the Battle) – he was much older than her and they had three children together.

Grace And Donal Get Married Grace O'Malley illustrated by Jennifer Farley

O’Malley went to England and met with Elizabeth 1 at Greenwich Palace, wearing a fine gown, she refused to bow before Elizabeth because she did not recognise her as the Queen of Ireland.

Grace O'Malley illustrated by Jennifer Farley

Queen Elizabeth illustrated by Jennifer Farley
Many folk stories and legends about Grace O’Malley have survived since her days of pirating and trading with a huge number of traditional songs and poems about her.

Queen Elizabeth meets Grace O'Malley illustrated by Jennifer Farley

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Brian Boru and the Vikings

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To commemorate the town of Swords connection with the 1000th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf and the death of Brian Boru, Fingal County Council organised a weekend of activities in the town of Swords itself that included a night time torch-light parade to mark the funeral procession and handing over of Brian’s body to the delegation from Armagh.

I was commissioned to create the illustrations and graphic design work on a set of three large 2m x 1m corriboards – telling the story of the Vikings arrival, the battle at Clontarf and Brian’s removal to the tower in Swords. I illustrated a series of posters showing some of the main characters involved in the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 – Brian Boru, Wolf the Quarrelsome and Sitric Silkenbeard. The promotional materials also included a very large 6m x 1.2m PVC banner and a DL trifold brochure.

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Death of Brian Boru - Vikings - Illustrated by Jennifer Farley

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Swords Castle Map Illustrated by Jennifer Farley

Map of Swords Castle, Dublin

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I drew this map showing historic Swords Castle and its surroundings as part of a brochure I designed for Fingal County Council.Swords Castle was built as the manorial residence of the first Anglo-Norman Archbishop of Dublin, John Comyn, around 1200 or a little later in Swords, just north of Dublin. The castle was never strong in the military sense, but is unusual in that the perimeter wall of 305 metres is far larger than normal for an Irish castle.

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