Gormley expresses belief that art is not just to decorate apartments as he launches O’Driscoll exhibition

(Photos by Peter Martin)

When it comes to The Arts festival in Kilkenny, artists must feel like it is Christmas in August.

Every available space both inside and out becomes an artist’s home for ten magical days.

It is a time when the artist removes the cloak of invisibility and throws up his/her work for all to see.

Last Friday, The Kilkenny Observer took a stroll from ‘The Gravel walk’ at The Parade to Lenehan’s bar on the Castlecomer road and sampled as many exhibitions as possible.

Our arrival at Langtons on John Street coincided with the launch of Kilkenny artist Eoghan O’Driscoll’s exhibition.

Eoghan is poet and artist and his work in both mediums deserve huge praise.

His collection of five books of poetry bears testament to the fact his pencil fits snugly into his hand.

However, the written word has taken a back seat for the moment as O’Driscoll concentrates on the brush and canvas.

The artist’s good friend Brian Gormley was on hand to launch the exhibition and executed his duties with aplomb and panache.

Gormley, himself a gifted artist and an internationally exhibited American painter is living and working in both Ireland and Bucks County Pennsylvania.

His hybrid works are greatly influenced by the abstract expressionist and graffiti movement.

And when it comes to launching an exhibition, Gormley did it in style. Direct and to the point. “Just look around you”, said the American artist. “What you have here this evening is true, honest art. Speaking about the artist, Gormley said “What you have here in Kilkenny is a real honest genuine artist, by the name of Eoghan O’Driscoll.”

Reflecting on the current work by O’Driscoll, Gormley said that the people in Kilkenny needed to realise that in their midst is the real deal. “Don’t for one minute think that this is work that is turned out for a few easy bucks”. If you think along those lines you would be greatly mistaken”, continued Mr Gormley.

And like any good speaker who is launching an exhibition, Gormley had a Picasso quote at the ready. “What do you think an artist is? He is a political being, constantly aware of the heart-breaking, passionate or delightful things that are happening in the world, shaping himself completely in their image. Painting is not made to decorate apartments. It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy”

Before he officially declared the exhibition open, Mr Gormley reminded those present that artists like Eoghan O’Driscoll have given up a lot for the sake of their art. The work is both in and of the community and it is a thing we should be thankful for.

“Eoghan’s delightful work oozes compassion and sensitivity and is packed with observations of the world we live in” conclude Mr Gormley.

It was lovely to see the forty plus attendance at Langton’s for Eoghans exhibition, which included family, work colleagues and fellow artist, all testifying to the popularity of Eoghan.

Fellow artists Edelle Nolan, who was working on her project ‘Train of Thought and writer Sandrine Dunlop who is set to publish her new book of poetry were also present.

Eddie Langton who has always been a great supporter of Eoghan’s said he was thrilled to have the work on display at the venue while Eoghan himself thanked all for their attendance.

Speaking to The Kilkenny Observer, Eoghan said his new work is abstract expressionist at its most life affirmative. “It is full of colours of hope, saying that the human journey is a worthwhile pursuit” said Eoghan.

Eoghan O’Driscoll’s exhibition continues at Langtons during the festival.


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