A north light
Twenty-five years in a municipal art gallery
‘A North Light provides fascinating insight into the life and opinions of John Hewitt and his time working at the Ulster Museum’, John Montague, Irish Times (January 2014).
‘The publication of John Hewitt’s autobiography is a cause for celebration … the text provides some fascinating, and rarely recorded, insights into the cultural landscape of Northern Ireland in the first half of the 20th century … the tone is uncensored and reflective … For enthusiasts of Irish art, the text confirms Hewitt’s role as the most influential Northern curator and critic of the Modernist period … Ultimately, this publication is significant because it helps to confirm that Hewitt’s impact was not purely literary. Here, he takes his place alongside Thomas MacGreevey and James White as one of the few serious commentators on Irish art', Riann Coulter, Irish Arts Review (Autumn 2013).
‘A valuable and timely insight … this book, edited with meticulous care by Frank Ferguson and Kathryn White, clearly shows Hewitt himself as a much-travelled, well-read, enthusiastic art lover with an independent spirit and sense of dissent that brings some surprise in its wake … Hewitt’s poetry and prose, including this most important account of his professional life as a curator and poet, justifies the claim made by Frank Ormsby and Michael Longley, editors of his Selected Poems, that Hewitt was the forerunner, “the prophetic predecessor of the so-called Ulster Renaissance”', Gerald Dawe, Dublin Review of Books (April 2014).
‘A North Light isn’t just about doings and dealings in a municipal art gallery (Belfast), as its subtitle implies, but adds up to an informed commentary on cultural, social and political affairs in the North of Ireland during the middle part of the twentieth century … it is abundant in insights into the modus operandi of a benign, free-thinking and gifted individual, in circumstances not conducive to any kind of cultural efflorescence', Patricia Craig, TLS (December 2013).