Why not enjoy a leisurely latte and a slice of culture at Renzo Gallery Cafe, 32 Eyre Street? Galway artist, Maurice Walsh is showing his second solo exhibition of paintings at the cafe until May 26. Photographer Jane Talbot officially opened the event at a wine reception on Saturday last April 6.
Ms Talbot praised the artist for producing 'a diverse body of work, taking ideas from his natural environment, going from soft eerie woodland images, to depicting the harsher realities of life, such as emigration, and the social destruction wreaked on communities by rural and urban decline'.
She further applauded Maurice Walsh for including an awareness image that highlights the suffering of vulnerable women who were forced into institutions across Ireland and thereby not shying away from sensitive subjects. The actor Rod Goodall gave a lively rendition of Edward Lear's poem 'The Dong with a Luminous Nose', which directly inspired Maurice to paint 'Sailing in the Sieve'.(pictured ).
The artist, who has been drawing since the age of ten, held his debut solo exhibition in the Town Hall Theatre last June. He left school at 17, and trained in antique furniture restoration. Maurice returned to education as a mature student of Art and Design at GMIT Cluain Mhuire, and graduated just before his 50th birthday. He has developed an unusual style of painting which he calls 'mop and lance'.
Two of the paintings on display 'Paddy O'Brien's Shed,' and 'No Planning', address issues close to the artist's heart, both rural and urban decline.The first painting depicts the isolation of bachelor life in contemporary Ireland, 'The Shed' representing a cosy retreat from a hostile world. By popular demand, the piece 'No Planning' (pictured ) which first featured in the Town Hall, has been put on show
again in Renzo.
This work was painted freehand with indian ink and brush, and is a clever mix of the cities Galway and Cork combined. 'Curran's Bar' in the West can clearly be made out in the bottom left of the painting, with Cork's Shandon area looming in the background. Although not for sale, 'No Planning' is on display in the cafe
and a limited number of prints can be purchased at Renzo.
'Two Million Miles Away' runs at Renzo until May 26, and paintings can also be viewed on the artist's website www.mauricewalshartist.com