An Exhibition of Art by Joe Walsh, OFM

Smock Alley Theatre, Temple Bar, Dublin,

until 21 February.

The launch took place on Thursday 7 February
by Minister Provincial, Hugh McKenna, OFM


“Whether using the traditional techniques of painting or the more contemporary technique of computer manipulation, the subject of   spiritual search remains my primary interest. At the heart of my concern is mystery, the word we apply to the ineffable, un-nameable reality that grounds our being.   In choosing to work with abstract and semi-abstract themes, I place myself among those who believe that we have often defined the reality we call God too quickly and too precisely. We have been afraid to live with uncertainty, with the unknown. The mythological narrative and language used by many great spiritual leaders may have served its purpose at one time but it can be asked if such language can be taken literally today. It may be that we have to journey from myth to metaphor.

In choosing not to tell a story or engage with a particular form or content, I hope to lead the observer to that place which lies beyond words and images, to intimations—largely by the use of colour—or hints at what lies below the surface of observable reality. The observer plays an important role in my work. It is the observer who decides what the work means for him/her; in this sense the observer becomes a co-worker with me in producing the fullness of the work which includes whatever number of “readings” it has in its lifetime.

The use of computer technology allows me an ever larger pallette of colour (and therefore a larger bank of emotional and spiritual responses) with which to interest my work. The willingness to hand over the base material to the computer (usually photographs that I have taken) permits me a distance from the work and introduces an element of non-control, even risk. This element of risk, I believe, is central to spiritual growth in an age when faith is more and more expressed in the structure of a question.”

Joe Walsh, OFM

 Check out photo album