Surruralism is a phrase I’ve heard coined by Westport artist, Jimmy Lawlor, who’s paintings combine surrealism with an acutely realised sense of Irish country humour. Skies the Limit is not a classic example but it is a copy of the limited edition print I bought as a wedding present for my good friend, Jimmy Molloy and his, charming and beautiful, young wife, Denise, when I was in Westport, Co Mayo, last week.
Jimmy Lawlor was born in Wexford in December 1967. He now lives in Westport, in the magnificent West of Ireland. Lawlor has been exhibiting for over 20 years.
His work is based not only on the Irish sense of humour, but on the vivid realisation that the old way of life will have vanished by our next generation.
His work takes elements from his surroundings and mixes them with the people of the place, in their environment and doing what they love best. In their own way, they have helped create the atmosphere around them, whether they be farmers, business people, students or otherwise.
Each town has its own characters and characteristics but they are basically the same in every town. He applauds these people and their character, which makes them unique. Lawlor appreciates the humour of the Irish people, he finds the gentle mannerisms that he encounters while painting them honourable.
Lawlor’s work has been likened to the works of the surrealist’s – “imagine a Salvador Dali who has regained at least half of his sanity and moved to the west of Ireland, and you begin to enjoy art that is not only accessible, but as warm and fantastic as a good dream”. Lawlor’s work is included in many important private and corporate collections in Ireland and all around the world. Among them, Hugh Leonard, Treasury Holdings, Diageo Ireland, Dermot Desmond, Brenda Fricker, Great Southern Hotel Group, Government Buildings and Anglo Irish Bank, London. Hugh Leonard, Art Critic with the Irish Independent, wrote of his work.
(This is a biographical excerpt from Jimmy Lawlor’s website, linked above.)