The long and distinguished career of Limerick sculptor Tom Fitzgerald is the subject of a new exhibition opening in Limerick City Gallery of Art on Thursday 03 March.
Spirit Music is a celebration of his long career and contribution to the visual arts locally and nationally. Tom Fitzgerald studied at the Limerick School of Art and Design and later served as head of the sculpture department from 1976 to 2000.
He was also a founder member of Limerick's EV+A International festival in 1977.
Up to 100 works are included in this exhibition dating from the early 1980s right up to the present day.
Fitzgerald’s early work is predominantly sculptural using limestone and other materials, including slate, wood and glass. These works frequently engage with the myths and legends of the past to more personal works such as his father’s tools (on loan from Limerick City and County Council).
Spirit Music is an invitation to look at his work in different ways: quiet/resonant, internal/external, corporeal/ethereal, all of which are embodied in this exhibition.
Although Fitzgerald’s work has been exhibited internationally, his life, education and practice has been in Limerick city and county. His quiet confidence in a unique personal language and his ease in his own place has been a constant source of inspiration.
Included also are drawings from his exhibition, The Ministry of Dust (2004) and The Celtic Zoo (2014), include works in pencil, watercolour and beeswax. The almost dream-like quality of the images, combined with the humour of the titles, don’t tone down the caustic perspective taken by Fitzgerald on greed and corruption and their impacts on the environment.
Una McCarthy, Director/ Curator of Limerick City Gallery of Art said: "Spirit Music is a celebration of this artist’s body of work over forty years and provides us with an opportunity to see the development of his work over this period. It also takes us on a journey at times mythical and whimsical and others caustic and satirical, ensuring that the 'past is not a foreign country'.
"The catalogue to accompany this exhibition to be published in mid-April 2022 contains essays by Sean Ó Laoire, Gerry Dukes and Niamh Nic Ghabhann, who all present a close pen-portrait of this ‘pure artist’ and his significant and ongoing contribution to the visual arts in the Mid-West and Ireland."
Spirit Music runs in Limerick City Gallery of Art, Pery Square, Limerick, until 8th May. Admission is free.