The venerable Waterford artist Tom Molloy, could be the oldest practicing painter in this area and you have to marvel at the sense of life and drama he manages to capture in his work; especially, his famous studies of horses and horse racing. What I also admire about him is the way he paints Irish skies, full of grey and rain and not just blue and puff ball clouds.
His latest exhibition at the Coastguard Station, Tramore, is a must see for the style and content of an artist who still has the eye for layers of meaning in a landscape. His IRISH STEEPLECHASER is typical of his fine studies of the sport of kings. There is such activity and energy in BEING CALLED IN NEWMARKET and the drama and confusion of a fallen jockey in BEECHERS SECOND TIME.
A harbour study THE OLD PORT HONFLEUR is a busy, action work that, when you stand back from it, comes alive. WAITING FOR THE BOAT, KILRONAN, is a much treasured work with a mix of age and culture. Backpackers mingle with shawlies and there is a potent sense of people waiting to get on with their lives and their new memories.
There is a wonderful SELF PORTRAIT sketch on brown paper, in fact it is two studies in one. The left hand image is drawn by his left hand and the right side image is drawn with his right hand in a continuous line. A hand in the foreground shows lots of detail and makes the connection sharper.
But the favourite for me is his Anna – a beautiful study of the late Anna Manahan with Reginald’s Tower and Luke Wadding in the background. Anna is in a blue dress, her face full of life and very expressive eyes. I cannot understand why this work is not in the Municipal Collection or hanging in the soon to be re-opened Theatre Royal.
Exhibition runs until 16th July.