A rabbit perched on the shell of a giant snail; a group of Brit excursioners – they could only be Poms given their attire – floating through the air on a wooden plank, counter-balanced by a cute doggie; oarsmen rowing their way through a sea of denim or, this scribe’s pick, a super, super cuddly ted with boy and dog. It’s all the dreams of childhood before reality quells.
It’s the planet as Jimmy Lawlor imagines it. ‘His paintings are so delightfully executed that he confirms the beauty of countryside life, but he picks his nose with his nationality brush and pokes fun at the constructed Ireland.’
The Irish surrealist was born in Wexford in 1967 and now lives in the pluvially glorious west of the country. Here the Atlantic gales sweep in and the sea has created a landscape like no other – a place where the whiff of a leprechaun can still be noted if one sniffs its wind-blasted hedgerows. It’s a perfect for a chronicler of the absurd such as Lawlor. He aims at the child in all of us – and hopes the child never becomes us.
My first whiff of him came via an art-savvy friend on Facebook – and I had to discover more. This seemed particularly the case as I now have a granddaughter whose take on the world and all its wonder has reawakened mine.
Lawlor reportedly mourns the disappearance of the old ways of the Emerald Isle. It too has become a member of our generic globalised environment, but his paintings keep something of the whimsical spirit of the Irish alive – a race who can still, on occasions, snub
their nose at the political correctness so rampant everywhere. They can observe and lampoon the stupidity of, through Guinness tinted goggles, the big knobs in charge. One just has to cite, to discern that, the calibre of their comedic talent for taking the mickey. Such like is placed on canvas by Jimmy L. His works are now sought after world-wide, demonstrating we’re still not quite ready to let go the traditions of Dali and the type of adventures of the mind he indulged in. I love the magic in the contemporary version’s art.
To my mind each painting asks for a story to be constructed around it. Here logic perhaps takes second place to imaginings. I can’t wait for Tessa Tiger Gordon to tell her Poppy what is going on in some of these daubings by a painter prepared to sit whales in giant goldfish bowls; or produce traffic cones, with wings on, over the quiet unsuspecting byways of his homeland.
Jimmy Lawlor’s website = http://www.jimmylawlor.com/