St. Patrick's Day
On February 23, An Post issued a stamp to celebrate St Patrick’s Day 2017.
An Post commissioned Aaron Canning, an Irish graphic designer based in Vienna, Austria to design this year’s stamp. His response was to use a minimal design featuring Celtic lines but in a modern manner – the old being the use of Celtic lines and weaving, and the new is the mix of thick and thin lines.
This is a very familiar Celtic style of design, and you will see it a lot if you live in Ireland. Often called ‘interlace’ it is characterised by a continuous, unending pattern of connected strands or plaitwork. A great example of interlace is the Celtic knots that you see in jewellery, manuscripts, burial crosses and, in more recent years, popular culture and tattoos. Interlace is the most common feature of Celtic art, along with spirals and fantastic animal shapes.
The ancient Celts did not actually invent interlace as an art form – it did not appear in its true form until the 6th or 7th century – some 500-600 years after the collapse of the pagan Celtic kingdoms on the Continent – by which time the surviving pockets of Insular Celts (e.g. in Ireland, Iona, Scotland and Wales) had become almost fully integrated with the indigenous cultures where they had settled.