Side Show is an exhibition of small and medium sized paintings by Irish artist Ian Healy. Working mostly on paper, Ian Healy’s work is primarily concerned with the human condition.
He paints scenes or images that seem rather innocuous – a bent-over lady crossing the road, a homeless man, or a bearded man posing with a stick. Ideas for paintings come out of his environment, mixed with commentaries about history, society, politics and the urban and rural world.
"The paintings can start with a random image. From there it will always deviate as the process of painting takes hold and the images get discarded or put out of sight. If I want to paint a person I use an image and then my imagination.
How the works are finally realised has to do with looking for something otherworldly. Painting allows for this without rules or order, you are free to move around. I am concerned with surface and how things can take on appearance. The colouring and tone is about making the image extraordinary and timeless.
The painting, ‘The neighbour’, was an exercise in a sort of life drawing. He didn’t know he was been drawn or painted. I see him many days sitting on his bench, alone, outside his house. I was a voyeur. He was been subjected. This rather banal image now has unpredictability and inappropriateness, questioning for me the notion of life study.
The painting ‘King of the cobbles’ represents a soft of tableau. He’s almost posed or frozen. He appears or not in costume, the costume of vagrancy. I identified him as having an almost historical pose. It is a striking scene. The spectacle of this being is a familiar sight, but certainly overlooked. So it was defined and painted with the
‘hidden’ in mind".
Ian Healy is an Irish artist based in Edinburgh. He studied Painting at the Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork. He has been selected for the Lynn Painter Stainers Prize 2017, shortlisted for the Wilson Williams Solo award in 2016. His work is in the collection of the Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork.