Denis Brown was born in Dublin in
1968. Ireland's rich heritage of ancient calligraphy in
manuscripts such as The Book of Kells, was inspiration for
Denis Brown as a schoolboy. Denis studied calligraphy at
St. Benildus College Dublin in 1981 and from 1985 to 1986
studied Visual Communications at the College of Marketing
& Design, Dublin. Later, his rigorous formal training
in traditional calligraphy was at London's Roehampton Institute
with Ann Camp. Now his work explodes from, and extends,
those traditions in the form of innovative modern works
of art. Widely travelled with his work, he has won awards
and commissions on four continents, and is internationally
recognised as a world leader in the field of letter arts.
About the glass work exhibited here
These glass works are the artist's own
technique making 3-D layered constructions of calligraphy.
A work usually has six layers of glass, each engraved on
both sides with writing, overlapping to build three dimensional
The lettering is engraved with a tool
powered by compressed air, which spins a diamond tipped
burr at up to 60,000 rpm - that's 1000 revolutions every
second! Speed in writing is imperative. It encourages free,
fast strokes, but demands control and discipline. The glass
is also cream-etched in places to frost the surface.
The works are presented in box-frames,
with the glass layers each spaced 5mm apart, and the actual
depth of a work is about 6 cm.
In these flat reproductions, all legibility
is lost, as is the 3-D effect, but in the original it is
possible to focus on individual layers and decipher parts
of the text.
1998: Danmarks Grafiske Museum, Odense,
1996: Art Center of Battle Creek, Michigan, USA, - Hallward
1994: Gallagher Gallery, RHA, Dublin - Hallward Gallery,
Grainstore Gallery, Galway
1992: Riverrun Gallery, Dublin
2002: Living Letters, CLAS fellows
& associates Exhibition, UK; Faculty show, Connections
Conference, Minnesota, USA.
2001: Faculty show, Calligraphic Odyssey conference, Boston,
USA, RDS National Craftwinners Travelling Exhibition 1999:
Writing Beyond Words, Connecticut, USA; Alpha Beta Club
exhibition, Hong Kong; Internationale Kalligraphie, Berchtold
Villa, Salzburg, Austria.
1998: Celebrating American Poetry, Frye Art Museum, Seattle,
USA Discoveries, Faculty exhibit. University of San Diego,
1997: Belle Lettere Exhibition, Cittadella, Italy; Gateway
to Art, Dublin Airport; SSI Exhibitions, Durham Art Gallery
& Leamington Art Gallery; Confluence, Faculty &
juried exhibits. Southern Illinois University, St. Louis
1996: Word as Image, Black Swan Guild, Somerset; SSI Celebration
of Calligraphy, Leighton House, London; Words Revealed,
MAC Center, Birmingham & tour; Picturing the Word. The
Book of Kells, Trinity College Dublin; Oireachtas Exhibition,
1995: Decorative Arts Today, Bonhams, London; Oireachtas
Exhibition, Dublin; Gateway to Art, Dublin Airport; Bridges
b Crossroads, Irish Life Center & tour; Codes &
Messages, UK Crafts Council & tour
1994: The California Experience II, Faculty exhibition,
Pitzer College, Los Angeles; RHA Exhibition, Dublin; Grainstore
1993: Contemporary Irish Art, Fujita Vente Museum, Tokyo;
Talentborse Handwerk, Internationale Handwerksmesse, Munich;
Oireachtas Exhibition, Dublin
1992: RHA annual exhibition, Dublin
1991: Europaisches Kunsthandwerk, Stuttgart; The Great Book
of Ireland, Irish Museum of Modern Art; Fine Words, Fine
Books, St Paul's Cathedral, London; Oireachtas Exhibition,
1990: RHA annual exhibition, Dublin
Numerous honours received at YouTube.com
for 2 movies uploaded to YouTube, including top 50 listings
for both movies in all of the following: Most
Discussed (This Month) - Film & Animation; Most Viewed (January)
- Film & Animation; Top Favourites (January) - Film
& Animation; Top Rated (This Month) - Film &
2007: RDS National Craft Competition, 1st prize,
category for Calligraphy; other media
2006: National Craft
here for more details).
2005: 2nd Prize, Review 2005, annual international
letter arts competition, Letter Arts Review, USA.
2003: First Prize, Review 2003, Letter Arts Review, USA;
First Prize, Calligraphy on Paper category, RDS National
Craft Competition; Crafts Council of Ireland Purchase Award;
Golden Web Award 2003-2004 2002: Golden Web Award 2002-2003
PUBLICATIONS & REVIEWS
International specialist publications
Letter Arts Review,
USA,(formerly Calligraphy Review): featured in annual
reviews 2006, (cover image and elsewhere inside), 2005, (2nd
prize), 2004, 2003 (overall winner), 2002, 1998, '97, '96,
'95, '94; also featured in vol.19 number 1; vol.17 number 4;
& letter's column vol.14 number 4.
Calligraphy Review, USA; Full
color illustrated articles: review of Ancient Codex series,
vol. 11 no.1, 1994; and Great Book of Ireland, vol. 9 no.4,
1992; also featured in Fall '89, & annual reviews '93,
International Calligraphy Guild
articles and reviews
Germany, illustrated article 'Denis Brown, Virtuose
der Feder', Jahrgang 13, Nr.2, August 2006
Majuscule, Journal of the St. Louis Calligraphy Guild, Special
25th anniversary Exhibit Edition, vol. 17 2006
Colophon, Australian Society of Calligraphers
Journal, June 2007- extensive workshop reviews; March 2006-
illustrated article by Denis Brown. Also Colophon Vol. 23
no.1, Dec 2002; Vol 2, June 1995
Society of Victoria, Australia; Feb-March 2005; June-July
ACA Newsletter, Association
for the Calligraphic Arts, USA: full illustrated article
Spring 2003, also cover image Winter 2003
The Edge magazine of CLAS,
UK, August 2005 full color special: features several
articles by Denis Brown who guest designed the issue with
David McGrail. See also frequent snippets in The Edge since
the first issue, and esp. the the March '97 issue,
co-written & designed by Denis Brown & David
Alpha Club Japan, Journal
Vol. 5 2004, Creators Interviews
The Scribe, Journal of The
Society of Scribes & Illuminators UK: Issues no. 45, 52,
54, 55, 57, 60, 61, 68.
Calligraphy Guild, Sept/Oct 2003, Denis Brown full color
Kalligrafisk Forum Danmark:
no. 2 August 2001.
Scriptores, Belgium: no.4,
Letters & Letters,
Dutch/Belgian magazine, December 2000 and frequently since
Hong Kong Lettering Arts Club
Newsletter, Spring 1999, Summer 1999
Alphabet, Journal of the
Friends of Calligraphy, San Francisco, USA, vol. 22 no.2,
Winter 1997; vol. 19 no.3 Summer 1994; vol. 18 no. 2 Spring
1993, article by Jane Boyd.
Society of Scribes Newsletter,
New York, USA, Vol 21, no.1, Winter 1997.
Pacific Scribes Journal ,CA,
USA, winter 1997
The Western Scribe, Journal of the Calligraphers Guild of W.
Australia: June '93.
Periodica N.I, Primavera '92, Italy.
Calligraphy Society of New Zealand,
Christchurch NZ, May 1995, reviews of Denis Brown work and
New Zealand Calligraphers newsletter,
Auckland NZ, Summer 1994.
Other International magazines and
Artists' Cafe, Best
of Somerset Studio, USA: 6 page color feature on
Denis Brown, Vol 1 issue1, 2007.
Easy Traveler, Japan, vol.14 2006, Ireland Feature.
The English Journal, (USA), Jan 2006- cover art by
China Review, UK, Summer
2005, issue 33: review of ‘The Music of Ink’ by Helen
Somerset Studio, USA: full
illustrated article Nov/Dec 2002
Letterheads, US sign painters
journal: vol.7 no.1, 2002
Print Magazine, USA: Jan/Feb
2001, article Strokes of Genius by Paul Shaw on
International calligraphic art includes work by Denis Brown.
Digital Design, Denmark: no.
28 August 2001.
MOE magazine, Japan: February
2000, September 1998.
Artex, Japan; International
Art review, Associazione per GLI Scambi Artistici
Internazionali, no. 3,1999.
Brutus Magazine Japan: April
'97, March '95.
Marie-Claire Magazine Japan:
Crafts, magazine of the
British Crafts Council: Jan/Feb '92; Featured in article
'Strokes of Genius-The New Calligraphy' by Ewan Clayton,
plus cover image by Denis Brown
The Architects Journal, UK:
The Artist, UK: December '92.
Leisure Painter, UK: November
Craft Review, Magazine of the
Crafts Council of Ireland: Winter '89, Issue No. 2, 1990,
Irish Arts Review:
Winter 2007, Irish Craft 2007 supplement; Summer 2007,
'Standard Setters' feature; Spring 2006, Crafts Council
Portfolio +CD-Rom; Vol 8 (1991-92) 149, Great Book of
Crafts Council Stopress:
Jul/Aug 2006, feature 'Bursary Winners 2006'.
Craft Review, Magazine of the Crafts
Council of Ireland: Winter '89, Issue No. 2, 1990,
Cara magazine: Vol. 24, No.5.
Sept/Oct 1991, feature: 'The Great Book of Ireland'.
Illustrators Ireland Journal: issue 5, 1994, article and
Progress, RDS Magazine 2, 4
1991-2, 'The Calligraphic Challenge of Denis Brown',
Craft Review, Crafts Council
of Ireland: Winter '89; Issue No. 2, 1990; Winter '91
Selected Press features & reviews
South Bend Tribune,
IN, USA, 22 May 2005, Interview by Andrew S. Hughes
Sunday Business Post, IRL,16
Jul 2000, Adrienne Dunne picks her ultimate home accessory
Kalamazoo Gazette, MI, USA,
22 Sept 1996, Review by Roger Green
Battle Creek Enquirer, MI,
USA, 22 Sept 1996, review by Roxanne Barry
Battle Creek Enquirer, MI,
USA, 17 Sept 1996, review by Mark Schwerin
Grand Rapids Press, MI, USA,
11 Sept 1996, Review by Roger Green
The Irish Times, 22nd Jan
1996, Letter to the editor by Denis Brown.
The Irish Times, 12th Jan
1996, Brian Fallon reviews Denis Brown exhibition.
The Irish Catholic, 29 Sept
1994, Review by Kate Robinson
The Irish Times, 27 August,
1994, Luke Clancy reviews 'The Word' exhibition at the RHA.
The Sunday Independent, 21
August 1994 Ciara Ferguson on 'The Word' exhibition.
The New York Times, 1st Jan
1994, featured 'The Great Book of Ireland'.
The Irish Times, 11th Sept
1993, Ciaran MacGonigal, The Opulent Eye
The Irish Times, Aug 3, 1993,
Jane Powers reviews the RDS Crafts Competition.
The Irish Independent,12th
Oct 1992, Bruce Arnold reviews Denis Brown’s 'Inverse
Irish Press, 26 June 1991;
'The Great Book of Ireland' feature, and cartoon!
Irish Independent, 26 June
1991; 'The Great Book of Ireland' feature
Irish Press, 26 June 1991;
'The Great Book of Ireland' feature
Sunday Press, IRL, 23 June
1991, color supplement on Great Book of Ireland
Sunday Tribune, IRL, 23 June
1991, color supplement on Great Book of Ireland
The Irish Times, 15 June
1991, color feature on Great Book of Ireland
The Irish Times, 27 Jan 1990;
'The Great Book of Ireland' preview
Irish Independent, 9th Aug
1989: 'In A Word, A Whizz Kid' review.
The Times, UK, 26th Nov 1987.
Feature and interview with Denis Brown as a calligraphy
student in London.
Young Citizen Magazine, IRL,
Nov-Dec 1982- review about Denis Brown making a manuscript
book at 14 years old!
Books featuring Denis Brown
George Thomson, 2003.
Passie voor Letters, Marianne
Heemskerk, Cantecleer Baarn 2002.
Dublin's Art Beat, Tokyo,
Belle Lettere, Carlo Buffa,
Edizioni Centrooffset, Italy,1997.
The Art of Calligraphy, David
Harris, Dorling Kindersly, London,1995.
Calligraphy, Art & color,
Peter Halliday, Batsford, London, 1994.
Calligraphy -The Rhythm of Writing,
Satwinder Sehmi, Merhurst, London, 1993.
Lettering Arts, Joanne Fink
& Judy Kastin, PBC, New York, 1993.
Calligraphy, David Harris,
Anaya, London, 1992.
International Crafts, Martina
Margetts, Thames & Hudson, London, 1991.
Encyclopedia of Calligraphy
Techniques, Diane Hardy Wilson, Quarto, 1990.
Advanced Calligraphy Techniques,
Diana Hoare, Quarto, London, 1989.
2006, National Museum of Ireland:
The National Museum of Ireland have acquired a work in glass
for their permanent collection. The commission was based on
an earlier piece which museum curators had seen on the Irish
Crafts Council's 'Portfolio' CD-rom, and the new work now
forms part of the National Craft Collection, co-funded by
the Crafts Council of Ireland and the National Museum.
Other collections: European Parliament, Strasbourg &
Brussels. San Francisco
Public Library. British Library, London. Trinity College
Library, Dublin. Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Crafts
Council of Ireland. Irish Office of Public Works. Cittadella
Town Council, Italy. Irish Association of Pension
Funds. Irish Life PLC. Calligraphy Society of Victoria,
Australia. The Great Book of Ireland, Dublin Castle. In many
Society of Scribes and lluminators, Fellow, UK Calligraphy
and Lettering Arts Society, Fellow, YK Honorary Membership
of Hong Kong Letter Arts Club & Alpha Beta Club Hong