My contribution to the nightcap at our first session was an oil painting by Jack B. Yeats (brother to WB Yeats), called ‘O’Connell Bridge’ (1927). According to the book I was referencing, this is currently in the collection at the Pyms Gallery in London:
I discovered the work of Jack B. Yeats purely by chance – the week before our first session I was staying with a friend in Devon (the composer James Barrett), and I happened upon a book on his shelf that featured the paintings of Jack B. Yeats. James is also a painter, and he proceeded to enthuse about the artist, which was great inspiration. I was immediately struck by his work, especially the interiors and the circus-themed paintings. It’s hard to find any books or information about the artist – in the end I managed to get my hands on a book from the library on his Late Paintings (ISBN 0 85488 091 7), which is available from the Whitechapel Art Gallery website (scroll down the page to find it listed), and chose this painting to show to the Culture Club because of its Irish theme (it’s a scene from Dublin street life). It seems to tie in with his brother’s view of Ireland to me – I’m reminded of the lines from Easter 1916:
I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Jack B. Yeats’s work is well worth exploring further. I’ve done a search on the internet, but could only find a few books showcasing his work, the best probably being The Art Of Jack B. Yeats. Perhaps he’s due a re-assessment.