John Doherty: Tempus Fugit et Vita Brevis
I am a realist painter.
In trying to describe my work I am reminded of the words used by Brian Fallon, former Irish Times art critic, to the effect that my paintings transcend simple realism and become a kind of ‘Intimisme’. Intimisme was an art movement around 1900 that involved the depiction of personal domestic scenes. I suppose my work depicting rural town scenes could fall under this heading.
In discussing the domestic scenes of Intimisme, the French critic Camille Mauclair describes them as being ‘the suggestion of what lies behind.’ I would certainly agree with this statement. Modern Realism answers all the visual problems but it is up to the viewer to ask why.
The inspiration for the current show comes from my childhood. My family would travel to Wicklow to visit Grandpa and other relatives, this was in the 50s and 60s when we also made regular epic trips to Kilkenny to visit Dad’s side of the family. The journeys were long; no motorways then! We visited many interesting towns and petrol stations on our way, particularly during the summer holidays when we travelled further afield to Wexford, Waterford and West Cork.
Subconsciously these journeys lodged in my mind and many years later when I would get letters from home (I was living in Australia at the time), filling me in on weddings, births and deaths etc. I could see quite clearly in my mind’s eye the rural world of my childhood. It wasn’t homesickness but a clear image of what I had left behind.
This exhibition captures some of that but also how we have moved on without destroying our rural vernacular architecture.
John Doherty, October 2023
Monday 10:30 - 17:30
Tuesday 10:30 - 17:30
Wednesday 10:30 - 17:30
Thursday 10:30 - 17:30
Friday 10:30 - 17:30
Saturday 11:00 - 15:00