What lurks below: Lysaght’s simple navigation through his multi-layered work


Horace Lysaght The High Pasture

Tbut named after his grandfather, the Honorable Horace George Lysaght – son of the sixth Baron Lisle of Mountnorth and holder of the post of Justice of the Peace for County Cork, and “a quite capable artist who died young at the age of 45” – grandson Horace George says : “My immediate family was not artistic but interesting and cruelly dysfunctional”.

So much so that he hasn’t used a website for a few years, as he discovered that the other Horace George “appeared embarrassingly in the Republican Ireland of yesteryear.”

Horace the artist says that he “cannot identify what influenced me other than a desire to express certain ideas in my own way”.

Born in Cork, “four years after the end of the war in Europe and the grayness of life”, he has always, he says, “drawn and scribbled”.

“I remember going to Crawford School of Art after school or at night when I was a teenager. Thinking back on that passage, I remember two beefy figures in their late teens, decidedly non-artistic in character, the sons of a thriving and possibly coerced Cork decorating business, who appreciated praising my efforts. and, when I was a little bloated. , turning all my paint cans on my work for fun. Oh, the misery of this age.

Lysaght was “lucky enough to find a job at the Bank of Ireland in the 1950s. Most of my friends had to emigrate and my four siblings left for Canada.

For over 35 years Lysaght worked in College Green, Northern Ireland, Bandon, Cork, Midlands, and lastly managed the Kinsale branch and “rarely held a brush or pencil for works. of art ”.

He felt that art and banking were difficult bedfellows, but during those years he avidly read the history of architecture.

Lysaght remembers how he “returned to evening drawing and painting classes at the Crawford, had a few successful exhibitions in Cork in the early 1990s before I flew to Spain and other warmer climates. for six months or more every year because I have a lung problem ”.

He “delved into the search for inspiration” and two artists particularly inspire him: Camille Souter and Antoni Tàpies, notably the latter’s layered work which uses earth and plaster.

Lysaght does layered and textured work using “discrete amounts of marble dust and a little plaster to work it more easily.” These are pretty ruthless things if you get it wrong.

Many paintings by Lysaght feature sails and boats. They are inspired by Kinsale, as he puts it: “Sails, to me, represent one of man’s closest artefacts to nature – you can travel around the world in an environmentally friendly way with them and a floating craft. simply by using the forces of nature. “

In his work, Lysaght captures “the spirit of minimalism in isolation and serenity without a Zen figure in a world bombarded with images”.

For him, the human form can “take on the atmosphere that I want to capture”.

This work, The High Pasture (courtesy of The Open Window), an imagined place, “has a part of that quality, that serenity in seclusion” and “just as I’m trying to achieve the ultimate zen effect, to me, in a large painting where I would love to have a pet snail that I could load with different colors and allow it to travel by laying its trail on a subtly shaded ground ”.

Ideas. In its own way.

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Two to see

Martina O’Brien and Christine Mackey

Shul is Tibetan for “a mark that remains after the one that made it has passed ”. O’Brien and Mackey use Tipperary geological heritage, mining history, the fauna and the flora in an exhibition with drawings, photos and sound.

At the South Tipperary Arts Center until October 16

Blaise smith
Still life paintings

Smith’s Still life his works, dating from 1998 to the present day, include his brilliantly rendered and superbly composed images of subjects as varied as laundry, beets, a silver shirt and teapot. This bright exhibition shows Smith as a master of the genre.

At the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny until November 14.

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