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Between 2015 and 2017 Tom Phelan created a new series of paintings, which are deeply inspired by the urban environment of Vienna.
» Read full statement by Dr. Axel Stockburger [PDF]
The paintings in this show are a result of my acute awareness and uneasy of being "landlocked" in Central Europe and with my obsession with the Sea and particularly a love of surfing. This has most notably manifested itself in the series of "Lipsticks", the name given to the first colourful fibreglass boards produced after World War II on the West Coast of America.
Racks of surfboards, colours, surfaces, fins and contours prove an irresistible influence on the work along with the Ocean itself, the rolling swell of the Pacific Blue, the Surf Magazine ideal, and the gritty cold grey reality of the north west Atlantic in January. Struggling in and out of a wetsuit in a car park in the wind driven rain, often asked, "You're not going out there in this weather, are you?", the reply always the same, "Sure I am getting wet anyway."
The Glasnevin Gates Series started with an etching in the exhibition “The Cracked Looking Glass” for the Re Joyce Centenary of Ulysses in Dublin in 2004. From this an intention to create a series followed, which was put into germination first in the artists residency of the Cill Rialaig Project, Ballinskelligs, County Kerry and then commenced in earnest in the Adamsbergergasse Studio in Vienna.