Athy artist says the show must go on

Paintings

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

Athy artist says the show must go on

Derek Fitzpatrick with his painting Kisses the Horizon

Derek Fitzpatrick, an artist based in Athy, has spent the past 18 months creating a substantial new body of work for a solo exhibition titled At the Edge of the Shadow. The paintings were framed up and hung on the gallery walls ready for their audience when the news came that the country was heading into six weeks of level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.

With the gallery closed Derek was forced to adapt, like many in the arts, and with the help of a friend quickly developed an online presentation of the exhibition. This new website includes images of all twenty-six oil paintings that make up the exhibition. While nothing quite compares with standing in front of an original artwork this beautifully designed website is the next best thing and includes a video giving a close up look at the tactile surfaces and thick expressive brushstrokes that characterise Derek’s work.

The exhibition is physically open on December 1 to the public. Alongside this, the online exhibition provides viewers with the opportunity to view these beautiful artworks from their own home.

In creating the paintings for At the Edge of the Shadow, Derek drew inspiration from the tradition of Chinese painting. Like those paintings, his art does not represent particular places instead he creates images of imagined landscapes to explore psychological and spiritual places. The paintings are a balance of the abstract and the representational. The title of the exhibition is borrowed from the poem Six Significant Landscapes by Wallace Stevens, in which the poet drew inspiration from another Asian artform, the Haiku, and which explores the human being in nature, a central theme of Derek’s own work.

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Derek describes painting as a “magical process of transforming or combining elements into something new. At the beginning of a painting I might have an idea of what I’m going to paint, but most of the time this is abandoned and replaced with a new idea. Sometimes this can happen many times on the one canvas.”

The paintings in At the Edge of the Shadow range in price from €490 for a work measuring 18 x 32cm to €3950 for a larger work measuring 120 x 150cm.

The online exhibition can be viewed at www.edgeoftheshadow.com and the work can be purchased by contacting Duke Street Gallery via www.dukestreetgallery.ie