Mainie Jellett was one of Ireland’s leading lights in 19th and 20th century modernist painting. Born in 1897 living a life that spanned only 46 years, Jellett is known internationally today as an artist who was at the forefront of the modernist explosion during the 1920s. Not only this, Jellett was also an important player in the Art Deco movement that revolutionised thinking in design, colour and composition. MainieJellettPic1_large Organised by Ceadogán rugmakers in county Wexford, Ireland, a new exhibition of Jellett rugs is now on display in Wexford Opera House. Based on the original gouache drawings by the artist, the rugs on display in this show “in their shapes and colours, in the magical balance of material content,” are, explains Bruce Arnold, “a unique rightness of vision. This is what makes her work unique, her life successful in a non-material, creative sense. She confronts us magnificently in the surfaces she created”.Mainie-Jellet-1200 All of the rugs on show were each made on site at the Ceadogán workshop in Wexford, using 100% finest New Zealand wools. A team of highly trained craftsmen worked on these pieces, ensuring the highest quality of craftsmanship for this modernist rug display. With a hand-tufting machine, yarns were shot into the fabric until the entire surface formed a dense pile. Then, they were carefully shorn for the smooth finish – something that the team of makers at Ceadogán take pride in, and recognise as their signature style. scale1 After initially studying in Dublin and subsequently moving to London and then Paris, this exhibition marks Jellett’s return to her country of birth. A splendorous site such as the Wexford Opera House is an apt location for such an inspirational artist whose art has remained popular throughomainieut the decades.

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