Eddie Rafferty

17 June -2 September 2017
Eddie Rafferty

The Pursuit of Happiness

The F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is delighted to announce a major exhibition of work by Banbridge based artist Eddie Rafferty. Rafferty’s prints, drawings, paintings and collages depict the people and places that he has encountered at home and abroad, particularly in South Africa where he worked for periods as an artist in residence.

Some of the earliest works in this exhibition are a series of colour lithographs depicting nostalgic subjects including Banbridge’s long demolished Art Deco cinema and Gilford Pigeon Club. These local scenes are depicted in a playful folk-art aesthetic that is in stark contrast to the fine draughtsmanship seen in later etchings, particularly the series of large in heads of young men, made from life in South Africa. The patients and service users that Rafferty meets through his work in hospitals are another source of inspiration. Rafferty’s tender portrayals of these often marginalised figures are a continuation of his early interest in the ordinary and the overlooked.

Rafferty’s artistic influences include familiar masters such as Egon Schiele and Sidney Nolan and less obvious figures from the South African canon including Sam Nhlengethwa, William Kentridge and Marlene Dumas. Ultimately, Rafferty’s heroes are the people who become the subjects of art. The people he collects along the way.