I wanted it to be not just a portrait of Joyce and not just a portrait of Ulysses, but a portrait of Joyce’s mind.
Tom Byrne is an artist who holds a strong affinity with Ireland and has produced works that celebrate Ireland’s world famous literary heroes and the country that inspired them.
Through portraiture Tom captures the legacy and talent of some of Ireland’s best known authors depicting writers such as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney.
“My purpose in art is to represent Ireland, from its great writers, poets and artists to its dramatic landscapes, islands, seascapes and cities. As a contemporary artist I want to paint these great figures of our past in a modern setting so that they have a place in our modern architecture and in our contemporary lives.”
Tom has created a painting of James Joyce’s famous literary work, Ulysses: it is a large scale masterpiece of painterly technique and craftsmanship.
This colossal painting is the first of its kind to translate Joyce’s Ulysses into a visual medium.
“For me Ulysses is as modern and contemporary now as it was when it was written in the early 1900s. That’s what I like about Joyce and why I feel like I can connect with him as one contemporary to another.”
Tom’s style of paintings is characterised by loose brushstrokes, occasional impasto, and the use of a very vibrant palette, colour seems to almost burst from the picture plain.
The exhibition runs until Friday the 27th of June at the Irish Georgian Society’s newly refurbished 18th century City Assembly House on South William Street.