Rathdrum, Europe, Ireland
About Patrick Walshe
Born in the West of Ireland, in 1952, Irish painter Patrick Walshe left Dublin to practice his art in New York and Los Angeles in the 1980's where he exhibited widely, returning to Ireland in the 1990's via South and East Asia. He now lives in the mountains of County Wicklow near Laragh village. Though his work uses the language of landscape painting ,curiosity, experimentation, light and colour are at the heart of his journey. By painting on metal leaf he has created a three dimensional ambience that can only be fully understood by viewing the original paintings, and personally being involved in the three way interaction of light, observer and orientation.
Chronology1952 Born in Ennis, County Clare, in the West of Ireland on the 25th November and ran wild for 12 years in a town that was then only partly in the 20th century.1964 After a grounding and a hidng at the Christian Brothers, had the good fortune of being sent to the Benedictine school of Glenstal Abbey, which has proved to be one of the most enduring influences on my life. "It is not so much what you do as the spirit with which you do it." It was also the time of a great artistic "renaissance" within the school which was not altogether to the liking of the parents.1970 Became a student in Trinity College, Dublin at a time when Dublin tardily caught on to the swinging 60's. Won first prize at the annual Art Society exhibition and then became president of what was probably the most anarchic society on campus, being known solely for what would now be known as "raves"in it's dungeons behind the college.1974 Graduated with an Honours degree in Business and was promptly advised to emigrate if I wanted a job. Withdrew on welfare to the Wicklow countryside to paint.1975 First exhibition in Dublin at the Tom Caldwell Gallery and remember being encouraged at the time by the painter Patrick Scott .1976 Won an Italian Government scholarship to paint in Florence, but realised quite early on that it is impossible to paint anything relevant to the 20th century in a city that flaunts the most wonderful art and architecture of Western civilisation. Escaped to the Greek island of Corfu for the duration.1982 Invited to exhibit paintings at Northeastern University in Boston, in a survey show of Contemporary Irish Painting. While on this trip I was introduced to Rosalind whom I married in 1984, having sold up my catering business in Ireland and moved to New York city.1985 Had first Solo Exhibition in New York as part of the "East Village" scene at a venue inexplicably called Beuhlahland. Slightly in awe of the hipsters and found myself unable to shamelessly self promote. Became Banquet Chef at the Waterclub which provided many unforgettable life experiences. The neighbourhood of our loft biulding in the Bedford Stuyvesant ghetto in Brooklyn was home to many other artists and there was great crosspolination of ideas.1986 Moved to Los Angeles and began to share a studio in Downtown (skidrow) Los Angeles with a Jamaican artist friend from New York. While painting in this godforsaken neighbourhood, I was also setting up a restaurant in Beverly Hills for some Entertainment Lawyers. The irony was not lost on me.1988 Exhibited as part of the Los Angeles International Art Fair. Came under the influence of two East Coast artists resident in Santa Fe, David Barbero and Paul Shapiro. Their work and their approach to it has had an enduring influence me, though David died in 2001. Both excuded an intensity and commitment to their craft and were extremely generous in their support of my work.1989 Was introduced to Renata Beuhler and exhibited in a group show at her Rivernorth gallery in Chicago. Also exhibited in an invitational exhibition sponsored by The Los Angeles Arts Council.1990 Solo exhibition at Renata Beuhler Gallery, North Wells St. Chicago.1991 Exhibited at the Wilshire Tower Gallery, Los Angeles and also at the Fullerton County Museum.1992 Exhibited at the John Thomas Gallery, Santa Monica, California. Left Los Angeles to return to Ireland via a circuitous route that took in Nepal, India, Thailand, Indonesia and several African countries. Produced hundreds of watercolour sketches on this 18 months journey and became enthralled by the qualities of light and colour in these countries.1993 Initially settled in the West of Ireland but had no studio. Started a business that took me back to Indonesia several times a year.1994 Had a "retrospective" show of my American work at the Hallward Gallery in Dublin. Decided on a hiatus from painting in favour of starting a family.2003 Began the year with the intention of sketching in watercolour the scenes around me in the Wicklow Hills, adapting to the time constrictions I had worked to in the Far East of never spending more than 10 to 20 minutes in rendering the essence of a place at a certain moment.2004 Renovated a studio and began work a body of work, which later crystalised as "A Year Imagined" promising myself I would strip away the unessential and strive to finish pieces while they stilled retained a clear spontaneity.2005 Invited to exhibit at an International celebration of Landscape Painting in the Castle d'Este, Ferrara Italy in October and by the International Scientific Committee to take part in the Biennale Art Fair in Florence in December.. His participation at the Florence Biennale was sponsored by the Irish Government Dept. of Arts.2006 Solo exhibition at Gallery Gora, Sherbrooke West, Montreal, Canada in March. Solo exhibition at The Mill Pond Gallery, Long Grove, Illinois in May. "A Year Imagined". Residency at Cill Rialaig Artists Retreat , September.2007 Exhibited n
Light Silence Time an installation of 30 paintings on silver leaf in the medieval Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, April 2012.