John Fitzsimons: Projections
This is Fitzsimons’s fourth solo exhibition with the Olivier Cornet Gallery who has represented the artist since 2011.
“John Fitzsimons’s latest exhibition, entitled ‘Projections’, takes a darker and more foreboding turn than his previous work to date, reflecting the current international political climate and associated nervousness about the path that lies ahead. This collection, a series of surrealist landscapes, presents us with a series of ominous, hypnagogic premonitions into the future.
Time and time again Fitzsimons’s foreboding landscapes feature paths or roads that lead the eye to an ambiguous, dark destination possibly a scene of war or environmental catastrophe. In each piece the artist deliberately distorts and blurs this distant space; the haze and confusion creating a sense of uncertainty and, in turn, anxiety at the viewer’s inability to decipher what it is that lies ahead. Some of the works give a sense of a ‘Dark Age’ looming ahead in the distance of the horizon, whilst some show this ‘Dark Age’ as being very much a present reality. Modern society lauds capitalism and materialism, a throwaway culture where sustainability is a concept alien to many and there continues a refusal by many to recognise the scientific proof of global warming. The outcome of which is the desecration of nature conveyed in this work. Pollution and disintegration are represented through murky dark polluted colours; brown, yellow, orange and rust shades along with the colours of rot and ooze. Oft times we are faced with a barren landscape that lacks green vegetation while we witness a dark grey sea devoid of life. Animal and fish carcasses appear intermittently throughout the work. These are hauntingly distressed paintings of landscape.
As is typical of Fitzsimons’s work there is a duality at play. Though bleak, these images are in no way devoid of hope. At times there is fresh blue water, lush vegetation and smoke on the horizon, all of which point to evidence of life. In fact, Fitzsimons’s work here is a testament to the resilience of human life. Despite the artist’s apocalyptic prophecies, human life, represented in the form of orb-like spherical shapes, continues. The artist’s use of the circular shape is telling given that the circle is a universally divine and sacred symbol that represents the infinite return of energy in the patterns of the seasons and time. These richly vivid coloured orbs are scattered throughout much of the work and offer an unflagging vibrancy that transcends the bleak surrounds.
Fitzsimons’s dystopian ‘projections’ into the future may well predict inevitable dark days ahead but, for the artist, the indomitable resilience of the human spirit will triumph over adversity.”
– Paula Clarke
Paula Clarke’s full text on ‘Projections’ is available here; it also contains a selection of images for the show.
A slideshow of some of the images is also available here.
(beside Belvedere College)
Tues to Fri: 11am to 6pm (till 8pm on Thursdays) • Sat & Sun: 12 noon to 5pm • Closed on Mondays (or viewing by appointment only)