Good Friday Wood Collage, 1968 by Tony O'Malley Expand Icon

Tony O'Malley (1913-2003)

Good Friday Wood Collage, 1968

View Icon Currently on view
63.5 x 44.5 x 5.7cm
Oil, wood and nails

Tony O’Malley had a yearly tradition of making a work on Good Friday that would reflect the natural cycle of death and resurrection and the shift from winter to spring. Good Friday Wood Collage, 1968 currently exhibited in the O’Malley Wing at Butler Gallery is an early example of this practice.

O’Malley referred to this type of three-dimensional work as ‘Constructions’ which he made from the 1960s onwards. When he first lived in Trevaylor in Cornwall, he would travel about on a motorbike to Penzance and Newlyn, where he invariably picked up discarded debris on the beaches to be reused at some other juncture. The constructions became a natural part of his working practice right from the beginning and were a constant presence, nestled and perched very comfortably in the studio, and reflecting an eclectic parallel to his life work.

These extraordinary sculptural works can be seen as extensions of what O’Malley achieved on canvas and on paper. They reveal another dimension to his range of abilities as an artist of extraordinary ingenuity. The beauty and diversity of these constructions is a real surprise, and encourages the viewer to look anew at one of Ireland’s most acclaimed artists.

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