The Book of Clondalkin

Nothing quite like drawing directly from a piece of celtic knotwork to reveal what exactly is hidden amongst all those swirls. The folk at Brú Chrónáin, the new centre at the Clondalkin Round Tower, asked me to design a logo for their tour guides. They suggested I use a detail from the remaining fragments of the Book of Clondalkin as a basis.

At first glance I could make out a bird and what seemed to be another bird with a crest, or some sort of dog-beast. It was when I was eyeballing the drawing and trying to redraw it that I realised the beast had hooves and a horn. Not a dog then; a unicorn! Drawing something, whether it’s a complex image or a living animal, makes you really examine it properly and helps you see the details.

The fragments, which are all that remain of the Book of Clondalkin, are kept in Karlsruhe Badische Landesbibliothek, Germany. You can see photos of the fragments when you visit Brú Chrónáin or check out some of it here Handschriften / Sacramentarium, Fragment – Aug. Fr. 18.

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